Excerpt from The Lighthouse by P.D. James, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Lighthouse

by P.D. James

The Lighthouse by P.D. James
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Nov 2005, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2006, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The call could hardly have come at a less convenient time. After a month of working a sixteen-hour day tiredness had caught up with him and, although he could manage tiredness, what he longed for was rest, peace and, for two blessed days, the company of Emma. He told himself that he had only himself to blame for the spoilt weekend. He wasn't compelled to undertake a possible murder investigation, however politically or socially important the victim or challenging the crime. There were senior officers who would have preferred him to concentrate on initiatives with which he was already closely involved, the complications of policing a multiracial society in which drugs, terrorism and international crime conglomerates were the major challenges, the proposal for a new detective force to deal with serious crimes best investigated nationally. The plans would be bedevilled with politics; top-level policing always had been. The Met needed senior officers who were at ease in that duplicitous world. He saw himself as in danger of becoming one more bureaucrat, a committee member, adviser, coordinator—not a detective. If this happened, would he any longer be a poet? Wasn't it in the rich soil of a murder investigation, in the fascination of the gradual unveiling of truth, in shared exertion and the prospect of danger, and in the pitiableness of desperate and broken lives that his poetry put out its shoots?

But now, with Kate and Benton-Smith on their way, there were things to be done and quickly, meetings to be tactfully cancelled, papers to be locked away, the public-relations branch to be put in the picture. He kept a bag always packed for these sudden emergencies, but it was in his Queenhithe flat and he was glad that he needed to call in there. He had never yet phoned Emma from New Scotland Yard. She would know as soon as she heard his voice what he was about to say. She would make her own arrangements for the weekend, perhaps excluding him from her thoughts as he was from her company.

Ten minutes later he closed the door of his office and for the first time with a backward glance, as if taking leave of a long-familiar place he might not see again.

Excerpted from The Lighthouse by P. D. James Copyright © 2005 by P. D. James. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Summer Before the War
    by Helen Simonson
    Set on the cusp of World War I, The Summer Before the War exudes strength and spirit as a small town...
  • Book Jacket: Lincoln in the Bardo
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    by George Saunders
    George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo is a philosophy discourse brilliantly disguised as a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Tender
    by Belinda McKeon
    Most of us have heard the slightly trite saying: "If you love something, set it free." But one can ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Sellout
by Paul Beatty

The first book by an American author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    I See You
    by Clare Mackintosh

    A dark and compelling thriller about an everyday woman trapped in the confines of her everyday world.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    A Piece of the World
    by Christina Baker Kline

    A stunning novel of friendship, passion, and art from the #1 bestselling author of Orphan Train.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.