(See Prepub Alert, LJ 8/05) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
If-as some reviewers have speculated-The Lighthouse marks the end of James's 13-book mystery series about policeman/poet Adam Dalgliesh, at least in this artful and gripping audio version the commander is going out in style. Gifted veteran actor Keating rises above some familiar plot elements and obvious padding to create a convincing atmosphere set on an isolated private island where burnt-out leaders in the fields of business, politics and art go to rest and recuperate. Keating delineates James's many characters sharply and smoothly-from the top men in the police and foreign office who initiate the investigation through the three very different detectives who show up to probe the mysterious death of a noted and much-disliked novelist and find themselves in the middle of another murder. Dalgliesh is even calmer than usual, much of his mind still back in London with his new love interest. Insp. Kate Miskin is also preoccupied by the attentions of a former colleague, and Sgt. Francis Benton-Smith-his eye on the prize of promotion-sees Miskin as a hurdle in the road to success. Dedicated James fans should find this pleasant listening. Simultaneous release with the Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Oct. 17). (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
"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." --"Toronto Sun " "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." --"Daily Express" Praise for P.D. James: "A first-rate writer without any qualifying genre tag."--"Newsweek" "[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 creatingcharacter 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"