Review (not rated)
Venetia Aldridge, a brilliant, up-and-coming criminal lawyer is found murdered. And P.D. James' quintessential English policeman Superintendent Adam Dalgleish is in charge of this high-profile case. As Scotland Yard becomes more involved facts begin to emerge that picture a not-so-ordinary past. Venetia is no angel (not yet, anyway!)--there are suspects a-plenty and the motives run rampant: her cleaning lady, colleagues in and out of court, and even her own family members! Venetia is found stabbed to death at her desk, and a barrister’s wig placed, askew, on her head. Her body is soaked in blood. A convenient suspect is hurriedly identified (a sociopath whom she’d successfully defended in a murder trial a few years back!) but, alas, he comes up with an alibi and Dalgliesh must look to others. James’ plot is, indeed, convoluted and may be hard to follow. At the same time, James painstakingly develops her characters, who, simply, are more than one dimensional. James also shows us another side of justice-- running amok, of cruelty in the name of the law, and of fair play nonexistent. The book is not without its rewards, and by the chilling final-chapter climax, it is, once again, a jury victory for James, certainly well-deserving her title of "queen of mystery writers"!