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The Lighthouse by P. D. James

The Lighthouse (2005)

by P. D. James

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Adam Dalgliesh (13)

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2,996591,905 (3.71)145
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» See also 145 mentions

English (57)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  All (59)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
This is only my second P.D. James books so I can't compare this book to a "typical" P.D. James book. I enjoyed it very much, James can certainly write an intelligent mystery with fully developed characters. My only warning is to keep a dictionary nearby; she does like to use an expanded vocabulary! ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
Over the years, the character of Commander Adam Dalgliesh has become a real person. Helped by the TV series of PD James detective novels, whenever I read a Dalgliesh book I see the face of actor Roy Marsden. ‘The Lighthouse’, the 13th in the series of 14, is perhaps her best. There is no doubt that as the series progressed, the writing acquired depths earning it the label ‘literary fiction’. A lot of the action is in the mind, intellectual detection. The Lighthouse is a long way from ‘Cover Her Face’.
This is another closed room mystery. The room is an island off the North Cornish coast, a secure, secluded get-away-from-it-all holiday destination for politicians, celebrities and entrepreneurs. Dalgliesh, with his team Kate Miskin and Francis Benton-Smith, become residents on the island with its small number of suspects. Dead, is a famous writer, Nathan Oliver, found hanging by a rope from the railings of the lighthouse. Nothing, from this point, is as it seems. All the island’s guests, residents and staff could have a motive. Oliver was not generally liked. But you can rely on James to unwind a story which brings unexpected depths, difficulties and an unpredictable motive for murder. Many of the suspects are unlikeable, but unpleasant people are not necessarily capable of killing someone. Set against the island location, its isolation, mists, tides and birds, are the peculiarities of the residents and their reason for being on the island. Is that where the answer lies?
Quarantined on the island because of infectious illness, a second murder ups the stakes. Tangled throughout the detection are the relationships between Kate and Benton, Dalgliesh and girlfriend Emma, and the detail and politics of policing.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | May 25, 2016 |
I must have missed something because I wasn't sure I followed the solution to this mystery. Its been awhile since I have read a PD James book and I didn't really enjoy this one. ( )
1 vote Neale | Jun 21, 2015 |
When a famous and unpleasant author is found hanging by rope from the top of a lighthouse on an isolated island retreat, Dalgliesh and two detectives are sent to determine if it was suicide or murder. When another death occurs that is definitely murder, finding the suspect from the limited possibilities on the island is complicated when Dalgliesh contracts SARS, ( )
  sleahey | Mar 27, 2015 |
I liked this book in that I hadn't a clue whodunnit until James told me so. There are plenty of twists and turns that keep one engrossed. It was a bit Agatha Christie (who I love) in that they'd be a murder and then they'd all sit down together for tea. Some of the description (such as what they were eating) became slightly distracting. However, she is a master of plot and most of the description, like that of the island, is highly original. Her characters are also believable and interesting, especially the young homeless girl, but I'll spill no more beans! I recommend this book to people who like traditional detective stories. ( )
  Sarah_King | Mar 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
"The Lighthouse" is too rooted in genre conventions to count originality as its strong suit. But it has deviousness to burn, and it also offers other enticements. It's the kind of book that boasts a wryly humorous Scrabble scene, not to mention a Scrabble-lover's vocabulary: Ms. James makes ready use of words like abseil, belay, symphysis and meiosis. It's a book that serves up figurative red herring as well as melon balls in orange sauce. Not a menu goes unmentioned.


» Add other authors (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
P. D. Jamesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Danielsson, UllaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Demange, OdileTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Keating, CharlesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In memory of my husband
Connor Bantry White
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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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Oorspronkelijke titel: The lighthouse.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307275736, Paperback)

A secure and secluded retreat for the rich and powerful becomes the setting for an unsettling series of murders.Combe Island off the Cornish coast is a restful haven for the elite. But when one of its distinguished visitors is found hanging from the island’s famous lighthouse in what appears to have been a murder, the peace is shattered. Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called in to handle the sensitive case, but at a difficult time for him and his depleted team. He is uncertain about his future with his girlfriend Emma Lavenham; his principle detective Kate Miskin is going through an emotional crisis; and the ambitious Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith is not happy about having a female boss. After a second brutal killing, the whole investigation is jeopardized, and Dalgliesh is faced with a danger even more insidious than murder.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:36 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A subtle and powerful work of contemporary fiction. 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 and his team are called on to solve a sensitive high profile case on Combe Island off the Cornish coast of England at a time when Dalgliesh is dealing with his uncertain 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 when 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. This eagerly awaited successor to the international bestseller The Murder Room displays all the qualities that lovers of P. D. James's novels the world over have come to expect: sensitive characterization, an exciting and superbly structured plot and vivid evocation of place.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141028688, 0141044462

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