Steve's Reviews > Devices and Desires

Devices and Desires by P.D. James
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Nov 25, 2011

really liked it
Read from April 01 to 20, 2012 , read count: 1

I have read a number of P. D. James novels and have enjoyed them all, certainly some more than others, but I am always captivated by her writing style. The way she develops her characters is extraordinary and her descriptions of the surroundings are so detailed I see them very clearly.
All of her books, probably because of the way she develops the characters, have a philosophical edge to them. Devices and Desires seemed almost like a philosophical musing, maybe because a nuclear power plant plays role in the story. I used to work for a radiation regulatory agency so this aspect was of particular interest to me. But it also seemed like there were more internal monologues by the characters in this book than in her others. Most of the characters were dealing with powerful issues in their lives, perhaps the power plant is a metaphor for those conflicting issues.
In one chapter Dalgleish meets an obviously well educated tramp on the headland. The chapter is fascinating and quite entertaining. The dialogue between the two says a lot about how we perceive and judge others, and how vastly different our value systems can be.
I was truly surprised by how the mystery was resolved and how the one that committed the murder had rationalized their way through the decision process without remorse. Maybe we truly never know much about the people in our lives.
Adam Dalgleish is not in this book nearly as much as he is in others, but still plays a pivotal role. Devices and Desires is a very good read.
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