After the publication of his latest book of poetry, Commander Adam Dalgliesh has escaped from the hubbub of London to the remote Norfolk headland called Larksoken and the converted windmill he has inherited from his aunt. But he cannot so easily escape from murder. A psychopathic serial killer has been terrorizing the area, strangling one woman after another, and here, in the shadow of the great Larksoken Nuclear Power Station, the police are frantically trying to stop the slaughter.
Thus begins P.D. James's chilling and intricate novel. Once again starring Dalgliesh (though this time in a less conventional role), Devices and Desires draws us, like Dalgliesh himself, deep into a web of hatred and violence. An extraordinary cast populates the nightmare: Alex Mair, brilliant Director of the power station, and his intimidating sister; Neil Pascoe, the vaguely pathetic anti-nuclear campaigner who has made a bitter enemy of Hilary Robarts, the station's Acting Administrative Officer; Ryan Blaney, a painter trying to raise four small children alone, who has an even stronger reason to hate her; and Miles Lessingham, Operations Superintendent at the station, who blames Robarts for the suicide of a close friend. Inevitably, one moonlit night, murder at last reaches the headland, and just as inevitably, Dalgliesh finds himself involved in it.
P. D. James is the author of sixteen previous books, most of which have been filmed for television. Before her retirement in 1979, she served in the forensics and criminal justice departments of Great Britain's Home Office, and she has been a magistrate and a governor of the BBC. The recipient of many prizes and honors, she was created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991. In 2000 she celebrated her eightieth birthday and published her autobiography, Time to Be in Earnest.