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Publisher's Summary

Devices and Desires by P.D. James is the eighth Adam Dalgliesh mystery. Set against the remote Norfolk coastline under the shadow of a nuclear power station, a serial killer known as the Whistler is terrorising the neighbourhood.

When Commander Adam Dalgliesh visits Larksoken, a remote headland community on the Norfolk coast in the shadow of a nuclear power station, he expects to be engaged only in the sad business of tying up his aunt's estate. But the peace of Larksoken is illusory.

A serial killer known as the Whistler is terrorising the neighbourhood, and Dalgliesh is drawn into the lives of the headlanders when it quickly becomes apparent that the Whistler isn't the only murderer at work under the sinister shadow of the power station.

©1989 P.D. James (P)2015 Faber Audio

Critic Reviews

"Her storytelling is as consummate and fiendish as ever." ( Independent on Sunday)
"The characters are vibrant, the writing distinguished, the descriptions of mood and landscape perfect, the ironic ending nicely cynical. And over it all, a haunting Norfolk mist of dread, loneliness and ancient history." ( Sunday Express)

What listeners say about Devices and Desires

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    3 out of 5 stars

Unrealised potential.

James has introduced just too many potential killers - too many balls to be kept in the air. As usual, she engages in gratiitous hyperbole, overuse of adjectives, doubtful imagery and even more doubtful vocab and has an annoying tendancy towards tautology. In the end she resorts to farce to deal with the surplus characrers - introducing a sub-plot too ridculous to be believed, a revalatory process that becomes laboured, and yet another disappointing but predictable love interest for our super-sleuth. Too long. Too complex. Too ambitious. It is saved only by another polished performance by narrator, Daniel Weyman.

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  • Colin
  • 25-04-2021

One of her best

One of the very best of a catalogue of outstanding stories...a plot with twists & turns, complex characters whose relations ships change as the story progresses, several cliff- hanger moments & the slow building of tension make this an outstanding story.
Well read by Daniel Wayman.
Having recently listened to Cover her face, The Lighthouse, The Murder Room, The Private Patient & Death in Holy Orders one can chart the development of the author as well as the character of Adam Dalgleish.
Highly recommended as a book or an Audible presentation.

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  • Mrs
  • 15-06-2019

superb P.D. James

Daniel Weymans superb narration kept me spellbound. superb story line with twists and turns. P.D. James at her best.

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  • pauline wallin
  • 22-01-2019

Brilliant.

This is PD James at her brilliant best: blood, gore, intricate plotting, and Adam Dalgliesh in the background, a shadowy figure who observes the action but knows most of the answers. One of the most powerful characters is the roiling north Norfolk coastline and the weather blowing in from the sea like the roar of a god. The death toll is high before the thrilling conclusion but none of the killings are sensationalised simply to shock ... there are, though many spine chilling moments before sanity resumes and Dalgliesh departs his childhood territory to return to his private sanctuary high above the river Thames and a further thrilling case.

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  • Pavarotta
  • 05-09-2020

Disappointingly tedious

I have tried several times to read/listen to P. D. James' stories. I can't understand why she is as beloved a crime writer as she clearly is; the stories aren't bad but there is so much unnecessary filler that it's just tedious at times. Maybe editors are too in awe of her reputation to suggest the cuts needed? Sorry- I should stop griping- it's a matter of personal taste. Lots of people love her work, so I will just button it, and get myself something else to listen to!

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  • Flint
  • 25-10-2017

Disappointing

I didn't enjoy this book very much, it was too complicated and it was difficult to follow and the plot wasn't particularly interesting. I have enjoyed other books by this author which were read well by the same narrator but on this occasion the narration was not up to the usual standard. The book is set in Norfolk and it is not unreasonable to expect place names to be consistently pronounced correctly. I am not sure if the narrator was attempting a Norfolk accent but at least one of the characters sounded Australian for no obvious reason. I will try more books by this author and I would be happy to listen to other books read by the narrator, but this book was disappointing.

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  • NJ
  • 06-10-2020

Surprisingly good

I found a couple of P D James' books a bit twee and predicable. I half expected this to be the same because of the setting.

It wasn't at all what I expected and I really enjoyed it!

Perfectly read as ever by Daniel Weyman.

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  • S. Hall
  • 05-04-2015

Surprising that Insp Dalglish isnt in charge

Great narration by Daniel again and it is a very interesting story but seemed strange to me Adam Dalglish was not running the investigation which held him back and I missed him. Otherwise very good as always but not my favourite

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  • HPark
  • 08-10-2021

first rate

excellent telling of plot/exposition of ideas/philosophical/ psychological
therein- thoroughly enjoyed content and narration PDJ at her best !

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  • Patricia Talbot
  • 06-08-2021

Long and drawn out.

Such a long story. I had to keep reminding myself it was a murder mystery. I quite enjoyed it as it kept me company whilst I finished my knitted blanket. I could possibly have read it.

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  • Beth
  • 27-07-2021

Pure brilliance.

Superb as always. I felt as though I had been transported to the Norfolk headland, lost in the Author's wonderful detail.

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  • shazza
  • 18-07-2021

Good read

i loved this book and the narrator is good too. Have bought other books from this author all are very good reads.

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