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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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2,179292,982 (3.73)38
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)

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

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» See also 38 mentions

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It is a while since I’ve read any PD James, why did I leave it so long? Reading an Adam Dalgliesh story is like slipping into a favourite pair of old jeans. It’s that feeling you get with an assured author: you are in safe hands. It is mutual trust. The author trusts the reader to make connections and ‘get’ references without having to spell everything out, the reader trusts the author to deliver a satisfying story without distractions of blind alleys. This applies, especially I think, to crime fiction.
I have read ‘A Certain Justice’ before, many years ago, my paperback is old. I remembered the character of Venetia Aldridge, the murder victim, and of course know detective Adam Dalgliesh, but I had forgotten the identity of the killer. One of the pleasures of a PD James novel for me is the cultural background and the depth of knowledge she demonstrates. Dalgliesh is a poet, he is fond of architecture, of music, of the countryside. The murder of Venetia Aldridge, a barrister, takes place in her Chambers, and so as the reader I became involved in the world of law, of trial by jury, of guilty v not guilty, of revenge, of abandonment, hate and lingering resentment.
James takes her time to establish the characters involved, Venetia Aldridge herself, but also everyone around her, the other lawyers, her colleagues in Chambers, her daughter, and the people involved in her recent trials. A PD James crime novel is not short, but each character sketch is a potential murderer, accomplice, witness or, another murder victim. So it pays for the reader to pay attention. James is a master storyteller.
If you haven’t discovered PD James or her series featuring Adam Dalgliesh, a treat awaits you.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Feb 17, 2016 |
Picked this up after running across Lisa Scottoline's "Top Ten Books About Justice." I was planning on skimming it for a sermon, but the characters drew me in and I ended up reading the whole thing. "It is good for us to be reminded from time to time that our system of law is human and, therefore, fallible and that the most we can hope to achieve is a certain justice." I'm sure I'll read more in the Dalgliesh series. ( )
  bibleblaster | Jan 23, 2016 |
PD James spends the first four discs of this audiobook introducing characters before any murder takes place. I greatly appreciate this. A good story from all points of view. Great depth, well written, very satisfying. ( )
  njcur | Mar 4, 2015 |
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 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:15 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

When noted criminal lawyer Venetia Aldridge turns up murdered after defending young Garry Ashe for the brutal killing of his mother, Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team struggle to unravel the case, which involves him in a series of deadly crimes linked to the complexities of the legal system.In a masterful new Adam Dalgliesh mystery, P.D. James enters the labyrinthine world of the law, forging a deeply compelling human drama from the complex passions that lie behind both murder and justice."From the Paperback edition.… (more)

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