Summary and book reviews of A Certain Justice by P.D. James

A Certain Justice

by P.D. James

A Certain Justice by P.D. James X
A Certain Justice by P.D. James
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Dec 1997, 364 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 1998, 431 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

In her first foray into the strange closed world of the Law Courts and the London legal community, P.D. James has created a fascinating tale of interwoven passion and terror.

It begins, dramatically enough, with a trial for murder. The distinguished criminal lawyer Venetia Aldridge is defending Garry Ashe on charges of having brutally killed his aunt. For Aldridge the trial is mainly a test of her courtroom skills, one more opportunity to succeed--and she does. But now murder is in the air. The next victim will be Aldridge herself, stabbed to death at her desk in her Chambers in the Middle Temple, a bloodstained wig on her head. Enter Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team, whose struggle to investigate and understand the shocking events cannot halt the spiral into more horrors, more murders...

A Certain Justice is P.D. James at her strongest. In her first foray into the strange closed world of the Law Courts and the London legal community, she has created a fascinating tale of interwoven passion and terror. As each character leaps into unforgettable life, as each scene draws us forward into new complexities of plot, she proves yet again that no other writer can match her skill in combining the excitement of the classic detective story with the richness of a fine novel. In its subtle portrayal of morality and human behavior, A Certain Justice will stand alongside Devices and Desires and A Taste for Death as one of P.D. James's most important, accomplished and entertaining works.

Murderers do not usually give their victims notice. This is one death which, however terrible that last second of appalled realization, comes mercifully unburdened with anticipatory terror. When, on the afternoon of Wednesday, 11 September, Venetia Aldridge stood up to cross-examine the prosecution's chief witness in the case of Regina v. Ashe, she had four weeks, four hours and fifty minutes left of life. After her death the many who had admired her and the few who had liked her, searching for a more personal response than the stock adjectives of horror and outrage, found themselves muttering that it would have pleased Venetia that her last case of murder had been tried at the Bailey, scene of her greatest triumphs, and in her favourite court.

But there was truth in the inanity.

Court Number One had laid its spell on her since she had first entered it as a pupil. She had always tried to discipline that part of her mind which she suspected could be seduced by tradition or ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Cosmopolitan
There's nobody like P.D. James...[We are] terrified one moment, astonished the next.

New York Times Book Review - Judith Christ
A first-class novelist...with a literary flair and an eye as perceptive as her heart.

New York Times Book Review - Judith Christ
A first-class novelist...with a literary flair and an eye as perceptive as her heart.

Author Blurb Robert B. Parker
She is simply a wonderful writer.

Author Blurb Anita Brookner
P.D. James is an addictive writer...A superior novelist.

Author Blurb Ruth Rendell
[Dalgliesh] is certainly the most interesting of fictional detectives.

Author Blurb Robert B. Parker
She is simply a wonderful writer.

Author Blurb Ruth Rendell
[Dalgliesh] is certainly the most interesting of fictional detectives.

Reader Reviews

Anonymous
Bill Hobbs
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 ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by P.D. James

If you liked A Certain Justice, try these:

  • How the Light Gets In jacket

    How the Light Gets In

    by Louise Penny

    Published 2014

    About this book

    More by this author

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec digs beneath the idyllic surface of village life in Three Pines, finding long buried secrets--and facing a few of his own ghosts.

  • Bury Your Dead jacket

    Bury Your Dead

    by Louise Penny

    Published 2011

    About this book

    More by this author

    It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes

Books with similar themes


Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

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

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Harlem Shuffle
    Harlem Shuffle
    by Colson Whitehead
    Colson Whitehead is known for revealing hidden worlds of bald and gritty violence, many times ...
  • Book Jacket: The Debt Trap
    The Debt Trap
    by Josh Mitchell
    The Debt Trap by Josh Mitchell opens up the dialogue for meaningful conversations about a problem ...
  • Book Jacket: Razorblade Tears
    Razorblade Tears
    by S. A. Cosby
    Razorblade Tears, a thriller by S.A. Cosby, follows a pair of ex-convicts who team up to avenge the ...
  • Book Jacket: Once There Were Wolves
    Once There Were Wolves
    by Charlotte McConaghy
    In Charlotte McConaghy's second novel after her debut Migrations, environmental biologist Inti Flynn...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Morningside Heights
by Joshua Henkin
A tender and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-winning author of The World Without You.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Lost Notebook of Edouard Manet
    by Maureen Gibbon

    A sensual portrait of Manet's last years, and a vibrant testament of the artistic spirit.

  • Book Jacket

    Never Saw Me Coming
    by Vera Kurian

    "Fun, entertaining and hard to put down."
    —The New York Journal of Books

Who Said...

A book is one of the most patient of all man's inventions.

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

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Pull Y U B T B

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 the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.