Murder P D James Death in Holy Orders

ISBN 13: 9780141004785

Death in Holy Orders

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9780141004785: Death in Holy Orders

When the body of a theology student is found on a desolate stretch of East Anglian coast, his wealthy father demands that Scotland Yard should re-examine the verdict of accidental death. Commander Adam Dalgliesh agrees to visit the young man's theological college, St Anselm's - a place he knew as a boy - expecting a nostalgic return to old haunts and a straightforward examination of the evidence. Instead he finds himself embroiled in intrigue, conflict and dangerous secrets as the college is torn apart by a sacreligious and horrifying murder.

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Review:

Despite challenges from Ruth Rendell and (more recently) Minette Walters, PD James' position as Britain's Queen of Crime remains largely unassailed. Although a certain reaction has set in to her reputation (and there are those who claim her poetry-loving copper Dalgleish doesn't correspond to any of his counterparts in the real world), her detractors can scarcely deny her astonishing literary gifts. More than any other writer, she has elevated the detective story into the realms of literature, with the psychology of the characters treated in the most complex and authoritative fashion. Her plots, too, are full of intriguing detail and studded with brilliantly observed character studies. Who cares if Dalgleish belongs more in the pages of a book than poking around a graffiti-scrawled council estate? As a policeman, he is considerably more plausible than Doyle's Holmes, and that's never stopped us loving the Baker Street sleuth. Death in Holy Orders represents something of a challenge from James to her critics, taking on all the contentious elements and rigorously re-invigorating them. She had admitted that she was finding it increasingly difficult to find new plots for Dalgleish, and the locale here (a theological college on a lonely stretch of the East Anglian coast) turns out to be an inspired choice: we're presented with the enclosed setting so beloved of golden age detective writers, and James is able to incorporate her theological interests seamlessly into the plot--but never in any doctrinaire way; the non-believer is never uncomfortable. The body of a student at the college is found on the shore, suffocated by a fall of sand. Dalgleish is called upon to re-examine the verdict of accidental death (which the student's father would not accept). Having visited the College of St Anselm in his boyhood, he finds the investigation has a strong nostalgic aspect for him. But that is soon overtaken by the realisation that he has encountered the most horrific case of his career, and another visitor to the College dies a horrible death. As an exploration of evil--and as a piece of highly distinctive crime writing--this is James at her non-pareil best. Dalgleish, too, is rendered with new dimensions of psychological complexity.

--Barry Forshaw

Review:

A student priest is found dead at the foot of a crumbling cliff - the jury returned a verdict of accidental death but on page 30 a second murder informs the reader [although not the other characters] that Ronald Treeves' death did not happen through misadventure. Treeves' step-father is a man of some importance and Commander Adam Dalgliesh is sent to St Anselm's, a small theological college on the East Anglian coast, to investigate..

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James , P.D.
Published by 0-14 Penguin
ISBN 10: 0141004789 ISBN 13: 9780141004785
New Encuadernación de tapa blanda Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description 0-14 Penguin. Encuadernación de tapa blanda. Book Condition: Nuevo. 14/01/02. Bookseller Inventory # 239726

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