The Private Patient

P. D. James, Author . Knopf $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-307-27077-1

In James's stellar 14th Adam Dalgliesh mystery (after 2006's The Lighthouse ), the charismatic police commander knows the case of Rhoda Gradwyn, a 47-year-old journalist murdered soon after undergoing the removal of an old disfiguring scar at a private plastic surgery clinic in Dorset, may be his last; James's readers will fervently hope it isn't. Dalgliesh probes the convoluted tangle of motives and hidden desires that swirl around the clinic, Cheverell Manor, and its grimly fascinating suspects in the death of Gradwyn, herself “a stalker of minds” driven by her lifelong passion for rooting out the truth people would prefer left unknown and then selling it for money. Beyond the book's central moral concern, James meditates on universal problems like aging (“the amorphous flattening of self”) and the government's education policy, which targets 50% of the young as university-bound while ensuring that another 40% are uneducated on leaving secondary school. Against her relentless intellectual view of our dying earth, James pits the love she finally grants Dalgleish—sufficient to reinvigorate hope and faith so rare in both fiction and reality today. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/22/2008
Release date: 11/01/2008
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 711 pages - 978-84-666-4804-2
Paperback - 561 pages - 978-0-7393-2820-0
Book - 978-1-4000-5910-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-4159-5964-0
Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-307-37168-3
Hardcover - 395 pages - 978-0-307-39778-2
Downloadable Audio - 1 pages - 978-1-4159-5965-7
Hardcover - 395 pages - 978-0-571-24244-3
Open Ebook - 230 pages - 978-0-307-27093-1
Paperback - 368 pages
Compact Disc - 12 pages - 978-0-7393-7691-1
Paperback - 480 pages - 978-0-307-39779-9
Compact Disc - 2 pages - 978-1-4084-6692-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 608 pages - 978-1-4000-2588-6
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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