Combe Island off the Cornish coast has a bloodstained history of piracy and cruelty, but now, privately owned, it offers respite to overstressed 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.
Adam Dalgliesh is called in to solve the mystery quickly and discreetly but at a difficult time for him and his depleted team. Dalgliesh is uncertain about his future with Emma Lavenham, the woman he loves; Detective Inspector Kate Miskin has her own emotional problems; and the ambitious Anglo Indian, Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith, is worried about working under Kate.
Hardly have the team begun to unravel the complicated motives of the suspects than there is a second brutal killing, and the whole investigation is jeopardised when Dalgliesh is faced with a danger more insidious and as potentially fatal as murder.
P. D. James (1920-2014) was a best-selling and internationally acclaimed crime writer. She was the creator of Adam Dalgliesh and Cordelia Gray and their long and successful series of mysteries. Her works include Cover Her Face (1962), An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (1972), Innocent Blood (1980), The Children of Men (1992), and the Jane Austen-inspired Death Comes to Pemberley (2011).
James was born in Oxford in 1920. She won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award. She received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983 and created a life peer in 1991. In 1997 she was elected president of the Society of Authors and stood down from this role in 2013.
©2005 P.D. James (P)2015 Faber Audio
"P. D. James at her finest." (Daily Mail)
"P. D. James on top form and you will love it." (Spectator)
"Formidable, classy whodunit...superlative scene-setting...expert, adroit and entertaining." (Literary Review)
"Tightly structured and well-plotted and has enough twists, turns and false leaps to keep one gripped throughout." (Mail on Sunday)
"James's people, places and plots are as artful as ever...long may she reign." (Guardian)
Just brilliant, the way PD James uses words to paint pictures. I felt like I was there, on Combe Island. I loved the story and performance. This was my first PD James novel, looking forward to another.
A very good gripping read kept me enthralled until the end. I would recommend this.
"Into the Shining Air"
As always with P.D.James, this book is beautifully written, a pleasure to read or to hear. The narration is excellent and very easy on the ear. The main story, too, is ingenious with the cast of players isolated from the rest of the world on an island off the coast of Cornwall. It has an old fashioned feel to the writing.
And yet there is something missing, something not quite satisfying. In fact, it feels more like an ending...
That said, it is still superior to so many others of the genre, enjoyable and recommended.
"Another gripping story from PD"
Loved the location of Combe Island n it's many interesting characters. I didn't guess the murderer and was surprised. Love the narrator and his many voices. Very enjoyable :)
"I gave up after 2 hours"
One character description after another and I gave up after 2 hours. There was no plot in that time and it wasn't going anywhere. It was quite well read though.
"Standard P D James fare"
An interesting setting with a good 'reveal' but otherwise standard P D James. Love interests are not her thing and their presence waters down the story.
The reading was competent enough but slightly flat in the listening, perhaps reflecting the absence of real tension in the story.
The sewing room - written with expertise, the description accurate and interesting, three dimensional where other settings in the book are not.
If the island was sufficiently dramatically portrayed.
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