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The Murder Room
Synopses & Reviews
Commander Adam Dalgliesh, P. D. Jamess formidable and fascinating detective, returns to find himself enmeshed in a terrifying story of passion and mystery — and in love.
The Dupayne, a small private museum in London devoted to the interwar years 1919 — 1939, is in turmoil. As its trustees argue over whether it should be closed, one of them is brutally and mysteriously murdered. Yet even as Commander Dalgliesh and his team proceed with their investigation, a second corpse is discovered. Someone in the Dupayne is prepared to kill and kill again. Still more sinister, the murders appear to echo the notorious crimes of the past featured in one of the museums galleries: the Murder Room.
The case is fraught with danger and complications from the outset, but for Dalgliesh the complications are unexpectedly profound. His new relationship with Emma Lavenham — introduced in the last Dalgliesh novel, Death in Holy Orders — is at a critical stage. Now, as he moves closer and closer to a solution to the puzzle, he finds himself driven further and further from commitment to the woman he loves.
The Murder Room is a powerful work of mystery and psychological intricacy from a master of the modern novel.
“You cant possibly know him.”
“I can know enough,” Emma said. “I cant know everything, no one can. Loving him doesnt give me the right to walk in and out of his mind as if it were my room at college. Hes the most private person Ive ever met. But I know the things about him that matter.”
But did she? Emma asked herself. Adam Dalgleish was intimate with those dark crevices of the human mind where horrors lurked which she couldnt begin to comprehend. Not even that appalling scene in the church at St. Anselms had shown her the worst that human beings could do to each other. She knew about those horrors from literature; he explored them daily in his work. Sometimes, waking from sleep in the early hours, the vision she had of him was of the dark face masked, the hands smooth and impersonal in the sleek latex gloves. What hadnt those hands touched? She rehearsed the questions she wondered if she would ever be able to ask. Why do you do it? Is it necessary to your poetry? Why did you choose this job? Or did it choose you?
-- from The Murder Room
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
P. D. James is the author of 17 previous books, most of which have been filmed for television. Before her retirement in 1979, she served in the forensics and criminal justice departments of Great Britains Home Office, and she has been a magistrate and a governor of the BBC. The recipient of many prizes and honours, she was created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991. In 2000 she celebrated her 80th birthday and published her autobiography, Time to Be in Earnest.
From the Hardcover edition.
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