Synopses & Reviews
Adopted as a child into a privileged family, Philippa Palfrey fantasizes that she is the daughter of an aristocrat and a parlor maid. The terrifying truth about her parents and a long-ago murder is only the first in a series of shocking betrayals. Philippa quickly learns that those who delve into the secrets of the past must be on guard when long-buried horrors begin to stir.
"As a crime novel," wrote the London Times, Innocent Blood is "the peak of the art." "Flawlessly crafted...profoundly, masterfully moving," Cosmopolitan concurred.
"The British mystery writer P. D. James has been acclaimed as the successor to Agatha Christie. In her newest work, she departs from the detective genre to write of Philippa Palfrey's search for her identity. Adopted as a child, Philippa takes advantage of a new law and obtains her original birth certificate when she turns eighteen. Learning that she is the daughter of a father who raped a young girl, and of a mother who then killed the husband's victim, Philippa seeks out her natural mother upon the woman's release from prison (the father died earlier in prison). Meanwhile, there are the adoptive parents ... and the father of the raped and murdered girl. It is, in other words, a mystery tale of sorts in its own right, but one far deeper in character and plot development than Mrs. James's previous excellent works. This, perhaps, explains the curiously unsatisfactory ending; but nevertheless this remains one of the best novels out of Britain in recent years." Reviewed by Andrew Witmer, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
Time The reigning mistress of murder.
People P. D. James is "the greatest living mystery writer."
“One of the finest, most absorbing craftsmen of the profession.”
“One of the most chilling crime writers around.”
"The greatest contemporary writer of classic crime."
“As a crime novel it is a peak of the art.”
"P. D. James has burst the bounds of her territory . . . and written a novel that is subtle, rich, allusive, and most cunningly plotted. . . . We are held in tingling suspense."
About the Author
was born in Oxford in 1920 and educated at Cambridge High School. Widely acknowledged as "the greatest contemporary writer of classic crime" (The London Sunday Times), she has written twenty books and been awarded major prizes for her crime writing in Great Britain, America, Italy, and Scandinavia. After 30 years in the civil service, including a senior position in the Police and Criminal Justice Departments of Great Britain's Home Office, she held a series of distinguished cultural and literary offices, among them Governor of the BBC, on the boards of the Arts Council and British Council and as a magistrate in London. She is the lifelong President of the Society of Authors. She was awarded the OBE in 1983 and created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991. In 1999 she was given the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award. She has honorary doctorates from seven British universities. James is the widow of a doctor and has two children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
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