Devices and Desires
By P.D. James
(Vintage, Paperback, 9781400076246, 448pp.)
Publication Date: May 11, 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Compact Disc
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Featuring the famous Commander Adam Dalgliesh, Devices and Desires is a thrilling and insightfully crafted novel of fallible people caught in a net of secrets, ambitions, and schemes on a lonely stretch of Norfolk coastline.
Commander Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard has just published a new book of poems and has taken a brief respite from publicity on the remote Larksoken headland on the Norfolk coast in a converted windmill left to him by his aunt. But he cannot so easily escape murder. A psychotic strangler of young women is at large in Norfolk, and getting nearer to Larksoken with every killing. And when Dalgliesh discovers the murdered body of the Acting Administrative Officer on the beach, he finds himself caught up in the passions and dangerous secrets of the headland community and in one of the most baffling murder cases of his career.
P.D. James is the author of nineteen books, most of which have been filmed and broadcast on television in the United States and other countries. She spent thirty years in various departments of the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Departments of Great Britain’s Home Office. She has served as a magistrate and as a governor of the BBC. In 2000 she celebrated her eightieth birthday and published her autobiography, Time to Be in Earnest. The recipient of many prizes and honors, she was created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991. She lives in London and Oxford.
“Taut.... Absorbing.... Better than her best.” —The New York Times Book Review
“I have often thought of mysteries as the sorbets of literature, something light and tangy to clear the palate between more serious courses. The books of P.D. James, however are more substantial fare, fulfilling as well as delicious, and Devices and Desires is no exception.” —The Washington Post Book World
“A masterful writer.... Devices and Desires seems to be that highly prized work–a terrific tale suspense and detection that also delivers the satisfaction of a mainstream novel.” —The Wall Street Journal
“Brilliant ... wonderful. P.D. James does it again.” —USA Today
“Her stories are so engrossing that it is difficult to read slowly enough to pay attention to the remarkable writing. But in Devices and Desires, she is so at the top of her form that to rush though would itself be a crime.” —The Kansas City Star
“Undiluted pleasure.” —Newsday
“Vintage P.D. James. . . . Devotees of Britain’s Queen of Crime will be enthralled . . . showcasing lyrical prose abounding with vivid imagery, suberbly delineated characters, and a labyrinthine puzzle.... It’s impossible to resist this haunting, dark tale.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“We’re glued to P.D. James’s beautifully spun whodunit.... The master’s shivering touch is intact.” —Glamour
“A cleverly crafted book that readers may very well stay up all night to finish.... She exposes the murderously repressed rage beneath the clam surface of typical middle-class Britishers.” —Boston Herald
“The greatest living mystery writer ... weaves a dazzling array of psychological profiles into a gently ironic examination of human life and the ‘relative value’ we ascribe to it.” —People
“James at her best ... a superb tale of murder.” —Booklist
“Devices and Desires may be her best yet.... The plot is superb, with the larger moral issues of a nearby nuclear power station and the thickly interwoven lives of characters lending measured gravity to the sensational murder story. And the prose style is a dream.” —The Seattle Times
“Un-put-downable.... P.D. James is never content with just a formulaic detective story. She takes the whodunit to deeper levels.” —New Woman
“James is one of Britain’s best writers in the genre.... Devices and Desires brings the classic whodunit as far as it can go.” —The Detroit News
“The best book she’s written. It has literary merit that detective works seldom attempt ... everything fits beautifully.” —The Sacramento Bee
“No other mystery writer–and few writers period–offers such a rich bounty.... Devices and Desires is superb. It is what good writing–and reading–is all about. James has used all her powers to produce her best work yet. Her fans–old and new–will be overjoyed.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“James once again gives us a convincing portrait of contemporary society, while at the same time she scrupulously observes–and smartly updates and complicates–all the mystery genre conventions.” —San Diego Magazine
“Demonstrates just how well James commands the English language.... The complex plot unfolds into the usual Jamesian tangle of human relationships and subplots. The story takes shape as James unwraps each nuance of personality, each intricate piece of the puzzle.” —Library Journal