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 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 Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith is worried about working under Kate. Hardly has the team begun to unravel the complicated motives of the suspects than 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.
From the Hardcover edition.
“With her trademark blend of subtle characterization, vivid sense of place and deceptively simple plot, James pulls off another triumph. A beautifully written page-turner from the queen of the genre.”
“An elegant and perceptive writer – rich drifts of prose pile up on the page, descriptive passages are Dickensian in length, ornament and power. . . James’s many fans will relish The Lighthouse, for all its poise and narrative familiarity.”
—The Globe and Mail
“James’s gifts animate and transform the armature into something exceptional. Her disciplined conventions, her observation of social and class niceties, renew the traditional Franco-British drama of domestic crime. She is a very superior writer of detection.”
—Times Literary Supplement
“James has proven that she deserves her reputation as our leading ‘literary’ crime writer. The Lighthouse confirms that she is also the most enjoyable.”
Praise for P.D. James:
"A first-rate writer without any qualifying genre tag."
"[James] ought never to be confused with such practitioners of the murder-in-the-vicarage genre as Agatha Christie. She is subtler, more sophisticated, much more adept at creating character and her social conservatism gives her a much darker view of human nature."
—Martin Levin, The Globe and Mail
"James’s novels are an escape like no other. . . . Masterful writing."
—The Vancouver Sun
"She writes like an angel. Every character is closely drawn. Her atmosphere is unerringly, chillingly convincing. And she manages all this without for a moment slowing down the drive and tension of an exciting mystery."
—The Times (UK)
"[James] suffuses The Murder Room with an intelligence and a perceptivity of human nature that seems casually placed. But that’s part of her genius. A grand design is there, but not readily apparent. Dalgliesh is one of the smartest, gentlest and most restrained cops to ever adorn a page. Moreover, every character, even minor characters, come across as fully realized.
—Winnipeg Free Press
From the Hardcover edition.