Devices and Desires by P. D. James

This novel is the 8th featuring P.D. James’s well known character, Commander Adam Dalgliesh. Dalgliesh is on leave from work because his aunt and last living relative has just died, leaving him a substantial amount of money and her home –an old mill on the remote Larksoken headland in Norfolk.

There just happens to be a serial killer on the loose in Norfolk – the Norfolk Whistler. And while Dalgliesh has no role in the Whistler investigation, the homicide officer in charge, Terry Rickards, is an ex-colleague of Dalgleish’s from London. Rickards takes Dalgliesh into his confidence on the details of the Whistler and uses him as a sounding board.

Meanwhile, Dalgleish packs up his aunt’s effects and gets to know the people on the headland, which is dominated by the Larksoken nuclear power station.

Then the Whistler strikes again – a bit too close for comfort. One of the secretaries at the power station is murdered. As the tension increases on Larksoken headland, Dalgliesh discovers the body of another member of the power station staff, but is this latest victim really another victim of the Whistler?

I really enjoyed this novel as I do all P.D. James Novels. She is able to build incredible warmth and personality into her characters and make them very real. I find myself feeling for her characters, even the murderers.

P.D. James would have to be one of my favourite authors and in Adam Dalgleish she has created a series character while retaining the feeling of completeness within each novel. I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series ‘Original Sin‘.


Book Published 1989


See a full list of books by P.D. James

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