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A Certain Justice by P. D. James
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A Certain Justice (original 1997; edition 2001)

by P. D. James, Jonathan Cecil (Narrator)

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2,040273,273 (3.74)35
Member:mccin68
Title:A Certain Justice
Authors:P. D. James
Other authors:Jonathan Cecil (Narrator)
Info:Chivers Sound Library (2001), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:audio book rental
Rating:****
Tags:Dalgleish, England, lawyer, murder, ABR, 50 book challenge (2012)

Work details

A Certain Justice by P. D. James (1997)

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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
Venetia Aldridge, barrister in the Temple Inns, has been murdered in Chambers with her own paper-knife, and her corpse desecrated thereafter. What follows is one of P.D. James' best fictional endeavors, an interesting story that is not too complex for the reader to follow. My lone complaint is that the book is too long. I have nothing against long books, but I think this story could have been wrapped up at least one hundred pages earlier. ( )
  ahef1963 | Dec 10, 2014 |
A pretty good story with almost Dickensian plot complications. You really don't ever come to care very much for James' characters, i.e., they aren't very likeable, but that's only because they represent the worst of humankind and represent them well. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 13, 2014 |
A good Dalgliesh, though more on the background and character of Kate Miskin this time. I never feel like I really know her or what drives her. Good double mystery with various characters interacting in ways they don't always understand and making for a good amount of complexity without it being totally farfetched or too confusing. A P. D. James is always a good choice.
  amyem58 | Jul 15, 2014 |
A Certain Justice is probably my least favorite P.D. James I've read so far. It is certainly a complex and intricate mystery, with the usual crisp writing, which I enjoyed, but overall it felt rather uneven. There was a lot of time spent with the narrative focused on the suspects, describing things that wouldn't be known to the detectives. Some of this is understandable in any detective story, but too much of it makes it less of a mystery than I would like. There was also an extremely long confession letter that was a bit tedious. The main detective, Dalgliesh, doesn't really have any character to speak of - I don't feel like I could describe him or his personality even after reading several novels featuring him. His role in the narrative is actually fairly small. It seemed like we didn't really get to follow the detecting process in detail as much as I would expect, and then suddenly at the very end somehow Dalgliesh knows who committed the murder.

I have now read one early P.D. James and two later ones (she took a break of several years in her writing) and so far I think the early was the best. I think I will try another early one next. ( )
  sbsolter | Feb 6, 2014 |
I've given this book four stars rather than five only because it uses two unprompted confessions, rather than detection, to get at the truth. If that is the style you are looking for, you will be very happy reading the book. ( )
  cherilove | Jul 3, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 27 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James, P. D.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carson, Carol DevineJacket Illustration and Designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ciocchini, María EugeniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ciocchini, María EugeniaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Denise MeunierTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Prebble, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my grandchildren with love, Katherine, Thomas, Eleanor, James, and Beatrice
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Murderers do not usually give their victims notice.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345430573, Mass Market Paperback)

Although A Certain Justice begins with news of a murder, the victim isn't set to die for another four weeks. Publicly respected but privately loathed, Venetia Aldridge has far more enemies than a brilliant London criminal lawyer should--and at least one of them is determined to do her in. Venetia plies her superior trade in courts that harbor "the illusion that the passions of men were susceptible to order and control," but her past and private life are exceedingly unruly. Her married lover is intent on giving her up; her daughter loathes her; her fellow barristers are determined that she not become the next head of chambers. Even the cleaning women seems to have something on her.

The outline alone of this complex novel would take pages (as would the eclectic inventory of players), but P. D. James makes us admire far more than her brilliantly developed plot. James in fact creates a crowded gallery of surprisingly decent suspects, along with one suitably vile creature--who happens to be Aldridge's last client.

A superior murder mystery, A Certain Justice is also a gripping anatomy of wild justice. James's characters can be overcome by hate, but she is equally concerned with love's manifestations--human, divine, destructive, and healing.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:21 -0400)

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A British woman lawyer is murdered soon after successfully defending her client who was on trial for murder. As he opens an investigation, Commander Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard learns the man recently became engaged to the lawyer's daughter. Is there a connection? By the author of Original Sin.… (more)

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