From the book jacket: 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.
Comment: Another stellar novel from P.D. James (85 years old when The Lighthouse was published in hardcover last year). Like all of her novels, The Lighthouse offers a solidly, well written story that sticks closely to her proven formula but rises above the crowd on the subtleties of motive and emotions that her characters display. A few reviewers imply that The Lighthouse is a little below her usual standard. Having said that, everything is relative - James's mediocre is still so far above the best that others turn out that it is one you won't want to miss, especially if you're a past fan of her Adam Dalgleish series; and especially as some reviewers speculate that this, the thirteenth in the series, will be the last that she will write. As Booklist so aptly puts it in its starred review, "Each new Dalgleish novel should be treated as a gift by mystery fans everywhere."
This review is from the November 12, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.
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