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Devices and Desires by P. D. James

Devices and Desires (1989)

by P. D. James

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Adam Dalgliesh (8)

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2,316242,729 (3.81)74



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This was the first P.D. James book I read, and it made me an instant fan of everything else she wrote. ( )
  MitchHoward | Jun 16, 2017 |
good mystery Adam Dalgliesh goes to London countryside + gets involved in a murder - Nuclear Station, Whistler, etc.

Commander Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard has just published a new book of poems and has taken a brief respite from publicity on the remote Larksoken headland in a converted windmill left to him by his aunt. But he cannot so easily escape murder. A psychotic strangler of young women is at large, and getting nearer to Larksoken with every killing. And when Dalgliesh discovers the murdered body of the Acting Administrative Officer on the beach, he finds himself caught up in the passions and dangerous secrets of the headland community and in one of the most baffling murder cases of his career.
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  christinejoseph | Dec 11, 2015 |
Perhaps of all the Adam Dalgliesh books so far, and this is the eighth in the series by PD James, this is the one with the strongest sense of place. The East Anglian coast: a bare, windswept, desolate landscape, its coastline dominated by Larksoken nuclear power station, it is a tight-knit community where there are few secrets and no hiding places.
The power station’s staff, its purpose and existence are at the centre of this murder mystery. Dalgiesh’s Aunt Jane has died and he visits her house, which he has inherited, both as a break after the Berowne murder [featured in the previous book, ‘A Taste for Death’] and as an opportunity to consider the house and decide whether to sell it or keep it. Meanwhile, the community on the remote coastal headline is being terrorized by a serial killer, The Whistler. And, of course, a few pages into the book, The Whistler kills. Or does he?
This is a magnificent mystery, I challenge anyone to work out the plot twists and turns. But it is not just James’ talent at plotting which sets this book aside from its predecessors. It is thoughtful, considered, and very moving: about death, love, and all the big human emotions.
I wonder how far ahead James planned her books. Reading ‘A Taste for Death’, I noticed that Book Four [of seven] is called ‘Devices and Desires’. Evidently James liked the title and used it for this eighth, and she repeats the phrase several times throughout the book: “Here the past and present fused and her own life, with its trivial devices and desires, seemed only an insignificant moment in the long history of the headland.”
I read this book many years ago and still have my original Faber copy, I think I prefer the old cover design.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Nov 18, 2015 |
James' breakaway from the pure British cozy format. Much better than some of her earlier works. Conveys the horror of violent death on several levels. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 19, 2014 |
no rating
  Carole-Ann | Aug 9, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
P. D. Jamesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Meunier, DeniseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rambelli, RobertaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The Whistler's fourth victim was his youngest, Valerie Mitchell, aged fifteen years, eight months and four days, and she died because she missed the 9.40 bus from Easthaven to Cobb's Marsh.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0394580702, Hardcover)

A serial killer of women is on the loose on the Norfolk coast in a community overshadowed by the Larksoken nuclear power station. Commander Dalgliesh, who is staying at his aunt's converted windmill, becomes in-volved in the hunt for the murderer, a search that implicates him in the concerns and dangerous secrets of the headland community.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:41 -0400)

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Scotland Yard's Adam Dalgliesh leaves London to vacation in Norfolk and becomes enmeshed in the hunt for the perpetrator of a series of murders of young women, which continues even after the murderer's capture.

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