The Private Patient by P. D. James

‘The Private Patient’ is P.D. James’s 14th Dalgliesh mystery and throughout the book it had the feel of the last book in the series.

Rhoda Gradwyn is an investigative journalist. She has had a disfiguring scar on her face since her teenage years and now, 30 years later has decided to have the scar removed. She chooses one of the best plastic surgeons, George Chandler-Powell and decides to have the surgery done at his private clinic at Cheverall Manor in the Dorset countryside.

Two days after the surgery, Rhoda is found strangled in her bed.

Because of the type of patients who attend the exclusive clinic, Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team are chosen to carry out a discrete investigation.

The staff at the manor are a fascinating group and it seems that all of them have secrets and a reason for wanting Rhoda dead, from the former owner of the manor, to the idealistic assistant surgeon, the jilted nurse and the surly young house maid.

Then there is a second murder and Dalgliesh and his team are able to start narrowing down their list of suspects.

Just as Dalgliesh thinks he knows who the murderer is, a crisis threatens even more lives and Dalgliesh must act quickly before the murderer can strike again.


Dalgliesh and Emma have set the date for their wedding and Dalgliesh is not sure how he will feel about his job once he is married. Then events outside of the case threaten to disrupt his and Emma’s plans.

Kate Miskin has already started to move on with her life both in terms of her love life and her career.


I’ve really enjoyed this series. My favourite book was probably ‘The Lighthouse’. At times I found James’s obsession with class a bit annoying and at times I just wanted Dalgliesh to step out of his shell and do something outrageous. But, Dalgliesh stayed true to himself and I’ll miss him.


Book Published 2008


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

1 Comment

Filed under Book Reviews, Crime, Detective, James, PD, Series Fiction

One Response to The Private Patient by P. D. James

  1. Very interesting book. Im so excited to read it! :)

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