The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse

Book - 2005
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Random House, Inc.
A subtle and powerful work of contemporary fiction.

Combe Island off the Cornish coast has a bloodstained history of piracy and cruelty but now, privately owned, it offers respite to over-stressed men and women in positions of high authority who require privacy and guaranteed security. But the peace of Combe is violated when one of the distinguished visitors is bizarrely murdered.

Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called in to solve the mystery quickly and discreetly, but at a difficult time for him and his depleted team. Dalgliesh is uncertain about his future with Emma Lavenham, the woman he loves; Detective Inspector Kate Miskin has her own emotional problems; and the ambitious Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith is worried about working under Kate. Hardly has the team begun to unravel the complicated motives of the suspects than there is a second brutal killing, and the whole investigation is jeopardized when Dalgliesh is faced with a danger more insidious and as potentially fatal as murder.

This eagerly awaited successor to the international bestseller The Murder Room displays all the qualities that lovers of P. D. James’s novels the world over have come to expect: sensitive characterization, an exciting and superbly structured plot and vivid evocation of place.

From the Hardcover edition.

Publisher: Toronto : A.A. Knopf Canada, 2005
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780676977790
Characteristics: 323 p. ; 24 cm. : ill


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Jul 10, 2016

Some plot elements seem far-fetched, starting with the private island retreat for VIPs. Some of James' stories begin with too much back story, some with the murder itself. This one is an odd mixture of the two. Still, I found it one of her more satisfactory recent books, perhaps because the reader's allowed into the mind of all the team members. None of the residents or guests on the island is particularly likable, especially the first man murdered. But all are interesting, and we come to understand both who they are and why they chose to be in such an isolated situation. I enjoyed it. I didn't even feel that Dalgleish pulled the answer out of a fevered brain.

Jun 08, 2011

P.D. James always seems to do such a lot of character developement before anyone dies that I always assume I"ll get bored, but I never do! Her mysteries always entertain and this one was a winner. A murder on an isolated, private island with limited suspects that is quickly followed by another mysterious murder makes for a truly exciting read.

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