The Lighthouse displays all the qualities that lovers of P. D. Jamess novels the world over have come to expect: sensitive characterization, an exciting and superbly structured plot and vivid evocation of place.
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.
Commander Adam Dalgliesh was not unused to being urgently summoned to non-scheduled meetings with unspecified people at inconvenient times, but usually with one purpose in common: he could be confident that somewhere there lay a dead body awaiting his attention. There were other urgent calls, other meetings, sometimes at the highest level. Dalgliesh, as a permanent ADC to the Commissioner, had a number of functions which, as they grew in number and importance, had become so ill-defined that most of his colleagues had given up trying to define them. But this meeting, called in Assistant Commissioner Harkness's office on the seventh floor of New Scotland Yard at ten-fifty-five on the morning of Saturday, 23 October, had, from his first entry into the room, the unmistakable presaging of murder. This had nothing to do with a certain serious tension on the ...
"The greatest mystery of all is the human heart, and that is the mystery with
which all good novelists are concerned."
Phyllis Dorothy James, Baroness James of Holland Park OBE, better known as P. D. James, was born in 1920. Leaving school at 16 due to financial hardships at home, she took a variety of jobs before joining the National Health Service to support her family. She moved to the Civil Service in 1968 and worked there until she retired to write full-time in 1979. She wrote her first novel,Cover Her Face, the first in the Adam Dalgliesh series, on the train to and from work It was published in 1962
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