The Lighthouse Paperback – Apr 25 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
British master James's 13th Adam Dalgliesh mystery, like its two predecessors, The Murder Room (2003) and Death in Holy Orders (2001), focuses at first on a hostile character who threatens to shatter a longstanding way of life. Acclaimed novelist Nathan Oliver incurs the wrath of his fellow residents on Combe Island, a private property off the Cornish coast used as an exclusive retreat by movers and shakers in many fields. When Oliver is murdered, Scotland Yard dispatches Dalgliesh and two of his team to Combe, where the commander checks alibis and motives in his trademark understated manner. Because the detective's new romantic attachment is more of a backstory than in The Murder Room, it intrudes less on the murder inquiry. The solution, which hinges on the existence of an unknown child, is less than fully satisfactory and also borrows elements from some of James's recent plots. Devotees more interested in her hero's personal growth than his deductive technique will find much to enjoy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
*Starred Review* At 85, the remarkable P. D. James has written one of her most moving novels. As she has done throughout her career, she sticks closely to formula in the shape of her mystery story but injects her characters with a range of emotions and subtlety of motive that lifts the proceedings well beyond the level of a puzzle and its solution. In the past, she has often isolated her group of victims and suspects by homing in on a particular profession, but this time she uses an even more classic mystery device: an isolated location. Combe Island, off the Cornish coast of England, was once a pirates' enclave but is now used as a retreat for powerful people who need time to recharge their batteries, making it all the more shocking when one of the guests is found murdered. Commander Adam Dalgleish is called to the politically sensitive scene to investigate. The action plays out pretty much as it has in 19 previous James' novels: Dalgleish and his team--Inspector Kate Miskin and Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith--interview the finite group of suspects, making deductions along the way until the commander puts all the pieces together. But it's what happens between the lines that gives James' stories their punch: the tension between Miskin and the ambitious sergeant; the added frisson that comes from Dalgleish finally having a personal life but being unable to move forward with his lover, Emma; and, of course, the personal lives of the various suspects, all of whom James treats with unmatched depth and care. Each new Dalgleish novel should be treated as a gift by mystery fans everywhere. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
That concern is happily banished by reading the latest Adam Dalgliesh novel, The Lighthouse.
On an isolated island in the Channel, retainers and a few guests enjoy tranquility and seclusion. A mysterious death occurs, and A.D. is called in to check things out. It seems that "higher persons" are about to retreat to Combe Island, and the unpleasantness needs to be sorted out before that can happen.
A.D. is jolted out his is plans to spend a rare weekend with Emma Lavenham, the woman he has proposed to. Detective Inspector Kate Miskin finds herself faced with the prospect of having a new relationship interrupted. Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith is nervous about working under DI Miskin.
Next, we zoom to the island to meet the staff, permanent residents and visitors. They are an eclectic lot as such lands' end locations tend to attract. Miss Emily Holcombe is the last member of the family that deeded the island for its unique purpose. One visitor has come to take refuge from weighty family and public pressures. Another visitor has a hidden agenda. Some of the staff are like flotsam and jetsam, having washed up on Combe's shore when the mainland no longer seemed right for them. Two would like to escape as quickly as possible. At the center of these diverse persons is a world-famous novelist, Nathan Oliver, who was born on the island. Oliver is unable to experience emotions himself and prefers to stage crises so he can observe how those who do have strong emotions behave and speak. With Oliver are his daughter, who keeps house for him, and his own editor, who's on hand to help finish a new novel.
Against this backdrop, the death occurs. A.D.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
PD James' well worth re-reading all her Dagleish and company books. Still an awesome series of mysteries. I hope she lives and writes forever!Published on June 29 2013 by Mary Beehler
This novel is a very satisfying read, it has a wonderful build-up to the story, maybe too much history in presenting the different characters but the plot is well structured and... Read morePublished on July 10 2007 by Toni Osborne