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A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, #10)
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A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh #10)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  4,488 ratings  ·  244 reviews
It begins, dramatically enough, with a trial for murder. The distinguished criminal lawyer Venetia Aldridge is defending Garry Ashe on charges of having brutally killed his aunt. For Aldridge the trial is mainly a test of her courtroom skills, one more opportunity to succeed--and she does. But now murder is in the air. The next victim will be Aldridge herself, stabbed to d...more
Audio, 0 pages
Published November 25th 1997 by Random House Audio Publishing Group (first published January 1st 1997)
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May 04, 2008 Rose added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristine Dunn
I'll be honest, this book was okay. If I had to be in an airport, with no book, I would take it... However...

I have a friend who along with his books adds a recommended beverage to be enjoyed along side - this would have to be tea. Lots and lots of tea.
Aug 19, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Olivia Newton-John

A thoroughly delightful James, one of her best. And when I say delightful, it means I have already forgotten about the middle-aged, droopy-breasted slut-prostitute aunt who insists that her live-in nephew not only photograph all her encounters with the mens, but make love to her himself. Hey: it happens. In the world of female British crime writers, it happens a lot. But like I said, I've already forgotten this tidbit.

As our novel opens, attractive, divorced, successful, hard-edged, unmaternal,...more
Opens with a brilliant but chillingly aloof criminal defense lawyer getting a creepy young man acquitted for murdering his aunt. Not too long afterwards, the lawyer is found murdered in her office, her body garishly decorated. Adam Dalgliesh and his young team solve the case despite many dangers (I don't think I'm giving anything away by saying that).

Have I said already how much I love P.D. James? This was one of the most satisfying ones yet. I really enjoyed reading this passage in particular,...more
Katherine Clark
Wow--as I said before, James' books get more powerful the further along in the series. I do wonder if James' political views were changing over the course of the series. I don't know how to interpret this one, or its ending. And James' interest in sex. hmm. I have nothing intelligent to say about this book, but it was powerful and disturbing.
Bill Rogers
Venetia Aldridge wouldn't want your pity, and perhaps she wouldn't deserve it. That question is a large part of what this book is about.

She is a barrister specializing in criminal defense. A woman who has clawed her way to the top in the Old Boys' Network through hard work, brilliance, and ruthlessness, she describes her craft as a form of keeping the prosecution on their toes, pointing out the flaws in their cases. She would in no way describe it as helping the guilty to go free to kill again....more
Mike Jensen
Please, somebody tell me that this is the worst book written by P. D. James, because if it isn't then people are even more gullible than I think.

A scene can be handled sparely, as here, "I drove to the store and got the evening paper," or it can be given in pages of detail, describing the need for the evening paper, why the protagonist chose that moment to get one, the weather conditions, the road conditions, a description of the car and the route, what the protagonist was wearing, and a whole...more
Panu Mäkinen
Tiiliskividekkaristi P. D. Jamesin teokset tuntuvat sitä paremmilta, mitä useamman niitä on lukenut. Tarinoissa uppoudutaan hyvin syvälle henkilöiden menneisyyteen, ajatuksiin ja ihmissuhteisiin, mikä on toisaalta kiehtovaa mutta kasvattaa teosten paksuutta dekkareille epätyypillisiin mittoihin. ”Oikeus on sokea” ei ole tässä suhteessa poikkeus. Siinä toistuu myös P. D. Jamesin teoksille tyypillinen alkuasetelma: nuori nainen, joka kylvää vihaa ja katkeruutta ympäriilleen, päätyy lopulta murhan...more
After a little over a third of the way, I was just not into it so it's become the first book I've put down unfinished in quite a while (not something I'm proud of, means I've probably wasted my time on others, huh?). It's a well-written, but un-compelling murder mystery. I found myself being happy to read 8-10 pages at a time before doing something else (like sleeping), so I'm not going to waste any more time.
I've been alternating heavier non-fiction reading with PD James, it seems to be working out well. She's an interesting writer -- always clear and wonderfully understated, with occasional great turns of phrase. I think her major fault is that she has absolutely no ability to create different voices for her different characters. They all sound like her, even the murderers. (Which makes you wonder a bit.)
David Burkam
Another intriguing character-driven mystery from P.D. James. My only disappointment: a key plot development and unraveling of the mystery comes from a long letter written by one of the characters. The letter is unsurprisingly (but nevertheless disappointingly) written in the exact same distinctive style as P.D. James, complete with dialogue! Ultimately a lazy (if common) writing choice.
Finally I've come to a conclusion. Plotting has never been P. D. James' strength. It isn't bad but I've read books with better plots, better riddles. No, her strength has always been the writing. The same is with this book.

The pace is definitely more than a little off. Two-thirds into the book, the plot is put on hold in favour of a sub- or beta-plot that goes almost to the end of the story. Therefore when the perpetrator of the main crime is revealed - on the last few pages of the book - it com...more
Aubrey Hatch
Splice of Life: Breakthroughs in Cross-Species Genetics
Dr. Curt Connors Ph.D.

A very interesting read about the work of Dr. Curt Connors, the world's foremost herpetologist. This man certainly has a grand vision for bettering humanity with his research in cross-species genetics. I love that the book is written in a clear way so that even the general public such as myself can understand it. After reading, it seems the only thing holding Connors back from being able to implement his ideas is the my...more
A pretty good Dalgliesh mystery slightly hampered by the fact that Dalgliesh doesn't show himself until about 141 pages in. James allows the audience to absorb the intensely detailed character sketches that became her trademark, utilising the page to reveal more than we thought we needed to know about any given specimen, weighting them so that none takes particular precedence over the others.

In the later stages of the book the investigation of a different facet of the main crime almost overshado...more
Gypsy Lady
Page 28
It was as if he were seeing Langton with the critical, unclouded eyes of a stranger, noting with detached interest the first ravages of merciless time. The strong regular features were losing flesh. The nose was sharper and there were hollows under the jutting cheek bones. The deep-set eyes were less clear and beginning to hold the puzzled acceptance of old age. The mouth, once so firmset, so uncompromising, was slackening into an occasional moist quaver.

Page 67
She saw their quick glances...more
My grandson, Graham, likes PD James so when I saw this hardcover book for only 25 cents, I purchased it. Last night I was reading from 3 - 4 in the morning. I was reading the novel as I went to sleep and woke later thinking of it, so read till I was done. I will happpily read more of her mysteries, partly because of the intrique, partly because of the English setting, and mostly because of the good story line. The language is formal, almost stilted at times, and that too becomes a plus as it mak...more
A Certain Justice is probably my least favorite P.D. James I've read so far. It is certainly a complex and intricate mystery, with the usual crisp writing, which I enjoyed, but overall it felt rather uneven. There was a lot of time spent with the narrative focused on the suspects, describing things that wouldn't be known to the detectives. Some of this is understandable in any detective story, but too much of it makes it less of a mystery than I would like. There was also an extremely long confe...more
Faith Mortimer
I've long been a fan of PD James and especially Adam Dalgliesh and his assistants (Kate and Piers)and oh what joy to read another! These murder mysteries are quintessentially 'very English'. PD James' descriptive passages are wonderful. I found myself savouring her words, and dwelling long on the intricacies of the plot(s).
The novel opens with a somewhat chilling start whereby a distinguished barrister (Venetia Aldridge) QC gets her client off a particularly horrendous murder charge. The unusual...more
Venetia Aldridge QC, distinguished barrister, is found dead in her Middle Temple Chambers, stabbed once cleanly through the heart; sat in her chair; wearing a full wig covered in blood.

She had recently successfully defended Garry Ashe, accused of killing his aunt, and has been horrified by the announcement that Ashe and her troublesome daughter Octavia plan to marry. The current Head of Middle Temple Chambers is about to retire and Venetia believed she had a right to the position, despite just a...more
I needed to unwind a bit in my reading. A Certain Justice was being read on Book Radio during my commute, but as my drive home doesn't always occur at the same time, I wanted to read the book to fill in the missing pieces - important especially in mystery books!

PD James is a reliable writer. Interesting and detailed with enough possible outcomes that it isn't clear to me, at least, how the plot will unfold. Perfect for when work is a bit too demanding and I've only a couple of spare brain cells...more
When I pick up a P.D. James book, I know I'm in for a challenge. Her plot twists and characters require attention, which I'm happy to give since the return is so worthwhile. However, I'm not quite sure A Certain Justice was worth the time I spent reading it.

Venetia Aldridge, the victim of a murder that sets the book in motion, is totally unlikable--she's not even a good mother--so almost anyone could have wanted to kill her. She's surrounded by a bunch of unsavory characters, including the ungr...more
Many years ago, I tried reading a P.D. James book and never finished it. At the time, I was probably too new to the mystery genre to know what to make of it. More importantly, perhaps, I was completely unfamiliar with the English culture and its esoteric language. (When I visited England for the first time in 2005, my son who lived there had to translate for me for the first several days.)

Thanks to my book club, I've finally finished a novel by this quintessentially English author, and I promptl...more
Melissa Andrews
jun 24: listening to this as an audio book. interesting so far. like the writing style.

jul 2: p.d. james has got me hooked. i'm a big elizabeth george fan, but i'll have to read more of these. lots of characters in this. nice buildup to the murder. now everyone's a suspect, but you know everyone can't have done it - it will be interesting seeing the team figure it out.

jul 26: hmmmmm.....not sure about the ending. i won't spoil it, but i guess i expected a neatly wrapped here-is-what-happened lik...more
P.D. James has never quite clicked for me. As evidence against me, until I found this in my Noting:books list, I had it listed as to-read here. I do remember hearing James reading a snippet of this on the radio, and that's why I wanted to read it. But when I look at the synopsis, nothing comes back of the reading experience. Oh well. More time for Dorothy L. Sayers.
I love everything by P.D. James. For me, P.D. James is like eating chocolate and smoking crack at the same time. I haven't finished this one yet but of course it rules so far.
For the unitiated, P.D. James is an incredible British mystery writer, like Agatha Christie, but with characters and imagery and stuff. Sometimes the prose is so beautiful I have to stop and reread it a few times. The main character in most of her books is Adam Dalgliesh, a British policeman and poet. As you can imagine, he...more
Apr 18, 2012 Paul rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noone
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This murder mystery grabs you on page one and keeps your attention for the rest of the book. It has an interesting plot because within the first three pages, you know who is going to get murdered, but the murder doesn't take place until page 100. P.D. James spends the first part of the book developing the characters and helping you understand what makes the victim the victim. It is fascinating to see how she develops her characters and uses them to keep you guessing until the very end.

The one t...more
I find P.D. James less and less compelling as I'm munching through Adam Dalgliesh stories. It starts with the Unnatural Causes and creeps into more and more stories of hers - the action is once again followed and the revelation either quite expected, or obtained through a confession of the murderer and not through a clever sleuthing of our team. I think this is lazy storytelling. It's really sad because James is excellent at drawing compelling characters and pondering upon everyday situations fr...more
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P. D. James is the author of twenty books, most of which have been filmed and broadcast on television in the United States and other countries. She spent thirty years in various departments of the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Department of Great Britain's Home Office. She has served as a magistrate and as a governor of the BBC. In 2000 she...more
More about P.D. James...
Death Comes to Pemberley The Children of Men Cover Her Face (Adam Dalgliesh, #1) Shroud for a Nightingale (Adam Dalgliesh, #4) The Private Patient (Adam Dalgliesh, #14)

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“The English, thought Kate, obviously regarded praying much as they did a necessary physical function, something best done in private. Dalgliesh apologized for interrupting her work: “We’re police officers and I’m afraid we’re here on police business. Were you” 1 likes
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