Death in Holy Orders
The setting itself is elemental P. D. James: the bleak coast of East Anglia, where atop a sweep of low cliffs stands the small theological college of St. Anselm’s. On the shore not far away, smothered beneath a fall of sand, lies the body of one of the school’s young ordinands. He is the son of Sir Alred Treves, a hugely successful and flamboyant businessman who is accustomed to getting what he wants—and in this case what he wants is Commander Adam Dalgliesh to investigate his son’s death. Although there seems to be little to investigate, Dalgliesh agrees, largely out of nostal-gia for several happy summers he spent at St. Anselm’s as a boy. No sooner does he arrive, however, than the college is torn apart by a sacrilegious and horrifying murder, and Dalgliesh finds himself ineluctably drawn into the labyrinth of an intricate and violent mystery.
Here P. D. James once more demonstrates her unrivalled skill in building a classic detective story into a fully realized novel, gripping as much for its psychological and emotional richness as for the originality and complexity of its plotting—and, of course, for the horror and suspense at its heart. Filled with unforgettable characters, brilliant in its evocation of the East Anglian scene and the religious background against which the action takes place, Death in Holy Orders again offers proof, if proof were needed, that P. D. James is not only the reigning master of the crime novel but also, simply, one of the finest novelists writing today.
From the Hardcover edition.
"There are very few thriller writers who can compete with P. D. James at her best ... One of the things that sets P. D. James apart from other writers in this genre is the intellectual assurance of her work. This is manifest in her use of language - she writes beautifully - but also in the light touch with which she displays her learning ... DEATH IN HOLY ORDERS is pure pleasure." --Charlotte Joll, The Spectator
"DEATH IN HOLY ORDERS is a page-turner ... but it is also so well-written that you linger over James's beautifully-observed descriptions of characters or scenes ... More, please, P. D. James." --Rosita Boland, The Irish Times
"James transcends the crime genre, in that hers are fully evolved novels and not just murder mysteries. They are packed with argument and insight and detail." --Victoria Glendinning, The Daily Telegraph
"This is a thoroughly satisfactory, gripping and exceptionally well-written novel." --Anne Chisholm, The Sunday Telegraph
"James is a natural storyteller when it comes to pace and atmosphere." --Sarah Dunant, The Times
"Adam Dalgliesh's latest outing possesses the confident interplay of classical discipline, contemporary morality and strong evocation of place that had hitherto distinguished James's novels. Writing for the most part within the conventions of the detective story, she has again proved its constraints to be a liberating force for the creative imagination, drawing on accepted generic elements to produce a thoughtful, beautifully-written book which is far more complex than the sum of its parts." --Nicola Upson, The Observer
"This is a grand, gothic novel of gut-wrenching suspense, satisfying at all levels. (...) Here is a novel which goes beyond mere enjoyment." --Frances Fyfield, The Sunday Express
From the Hardcover edition.