cover image The Private Patient

The Private Patient

P. D. James, , read by Rosalyn Landor. . Random House Audio, $44.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-7393-7691-1

The latest (and perhaps final) mystery featuring Cmdr. Adam Dalgliesh of the Metropolitan Police Service finds him preparing to confront crucial turning points in his life and career. Meanwhile, he must solve the murder of a ruthlessly inquisitive investigative journalist who was killed in a private Dorset clinic just hours after a pre-eminent plastic surgeon removed her disfiguring facial scar. Dalgliesh and his team unearth a plethora of motives (and an ugly secret or three) as they investigate the inhabitants of the secluded manor that houses the clinic. Rosalyn Landor's lovely, well-bred tones add warmth, color and precision to this fully rounded, compassionately told mystery. She gives every character his or her own voice, clearly delineating gender, age and social class. Her voice combines with James's text to lend sympathy to each character, regardless of what sins he or she may have committed. In every way, this is a perfect auditory experience. A Knopf hardcover (Reviews, Sept. 22). (Nov.)