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The Lighthouse (Adam Dalgliesh #13)
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Book of the Month pre-2020 > November 2014 - The Lighthouse

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Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) Have my copy on my bedside table, all ready to go. It is my next read! Have not read PD James before (that I can remember). 8:D


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Mines on my bedside table as well. I have 3 books on the go at the moment & will finish 2 of them before I start!


message 3: by Kay (new)

Kay | 218 comments I just got it from the library and may have read it before. Oh, well. I'll read it again. I like most P.D. James books.


message 4: by Ray (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ray | 1 comments I just got a copy and I'm looking forward to this, it's my first book of the month club read


Martha | 14 comments I've never read PD James. Is it going to matter starting in the middle of a series?


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ I've read quite a few of her books & from memory, they all work well as stand alone books. This will be my first reading of this particular book though.


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) Martha wrote: "I've never read PD James. Is it going to matter starting in the middle of a series?"

I have started Martha and am having no trouble with it not being first in the series. Am finding a few words I am not familiar with though - which is kind of exciting - I love finding new (to me) words! 8:D


message 9: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Post | 1 comments PD James is one of the best! I have read them all but up for reading this one or any of her others again.


message 10: by Jenika (new)

Jenika Looking forward to this! I'll be getting it from the library in the next few days hopefully. Not read any P.D.James before so I'm glad to know it works as a standalone. I enjoyed the Adam Dalgliesh series on tv in the 80s but it was so long ago I can't remember it much!


message 11: by Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ (last edited Nov 03, 2014 10:56AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ I still visualise Dalgleish looking like the actor who played him in that series!


Leslie | 1663 comments Picked this up at the library and started today. Been a while since I have read any of the Dalgleish books... but Martha, I think Carol is correct that it will be fine as a stand-alone book.


Martha | 14 comments I started reading it last night. So far I like her writing style. But its not going to be a quick read for me, which is ok.


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) Martha wrote: "I started reading it last night. So far I like her writing style. But its not going to be a quick read for me, which is ok."

No its not a quick read, but it is an engrossing one. Can't wait to finish work and go home so I can read some more! 8:D


Shauna (shaunathesheep) Just started this one, I have had it on my bookshelf for a while now so this is the perfect opportunity to read it. It will be interesting to see if it lives up to my expectations of a Dalgleish novel.


message 16: by Bee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bee | 10 comments Still waiting on my copy from the library. Fingers crossed that it comes in soon because I just hate waiting to start a good book.


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) I am 3/4 of the way through this and enjoying it immensely. it is a very 'comfortable' book, but at the same time compelling reading.
PD James is excellent at setting the scene and mood "The fire was dying with one frail wisp of smoke curling from the last blackened log."; and "The smell of sea and wood smoke was overlaid with the smell of coffee and hot milk."
Great with emotions: "Don't you ever feel that if you have to answer another question, hear another phone ring, or see another face, you'll go screaming mad?" - I think she must have worked in hospitality at some point!
A brilliant read.


Sandy | 83 comments I have started, and am enjoying, The Lighthouse. It is my first Dalgish, though I saw the series n PBS, and my only other James was Death Comes to Pemberly. But I am at a good stopping spot (characters introduced, body found) and I need to put it aside to speed read Murder at Brightwell by Ashley Weaver. Its a new book and due back to the library soon. Looking forward to returning to the lighthouse for a leisurely read.


Rebes | 16 comments Excellent! I'll get going on this one.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ I'm just under a third of the way through. I'm enjoying it but finding it a bit slow moving.


Shera (goodreadscomShera) | 0 comments Well friends, I don't know if any of you are as stressed as I am right now but my office is moving, I have bronchitis, and can't walk more than four feet without coughing like an old wino, I'm turning 65 and wading my way through acres of Medicare Supplement information and now I just discovered I read the wrong book for November. Would anyone like to discuss The Black Tower?

Sometimes you just have to sit down with a cup of Ghiradelli hot chocolate with Marshmallow cream and Kahlua, The LIGHTHOUSE, and laugh at yourself,


Sandy | 83 comments I'm new to the group and have a procedural question. When is it okay to mention spoilers in this discussion? Do we have an assumed 'finished date' when I should stop checking posts if I haven't finished the book?


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Shera wrote: "Well friends, I don't know if any of you are as stressed as I am right now but my office is moving, I have bronchitis, and can't walk more than four feet without coughing like an old wino, I'm turn..."

So sorry! I think I've read The Black Tower but just don't remember it well enough to have any sort of discussion!
& thanks for the reminder, Jean-Luke. I'm nearly finished the book - will keep out of this thread till completed!


message 24: by Joan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joan | 310 comments ***Carol*** wrote: "I still visualise Dalgleish looking like the actor who played him in that series!"

I think that AD (as Kate calls him) is actually a lot better looking than the actor who played him on tv. :=)


message 25: by Joan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joan | 310 comments Sandra wrote: "... I think she must have worked in hospitality at some point!"

Not that I know of. She worked for many years as a government bureaucrat! Or, as the Brits call them (demonstrating a much better attitude than we Americans toward this group of people), "a civil servant."


message 26: by Joan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joan | 310 comments I finished my re-read of The Lighthouse a few days ago. It was wonderful to revisit PD James after a few years away from her, and I'm glad that I reread this one. Surprisingly, though, I agree with Carol that it was quite "slow moving." I used to think James was an absolutely masterful writer, and I had no criticisms of her style at all. My tastes must have changed during the last few years.


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) Joan wrote: "***Carol*** wrote: "I still visualise Dalgleish looking like the actor who played him in that series!"

I think that AD (as Kate calls him) is actually a lot better looking than the actor who playe..."


Me too - I never particularly liked their portrayal of AD, and certainly don't visualise him when reading the books. 8:D


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) Joan wrote: "I finished my re-read of The Lighthouse a few days ago. It was wonderful to revisit PD James after a few years away from her, and I'm glad that I reread this one. Surprisingly, though, I agree wi..."

It was slow moving, but the language and the images she evoked were quite wonderful. I don't see the need to have everything rollicking along at an alarming pace.
And I enjoyed The Lighthouse far more than several so called "thrillers" I have read lately purely because of her mastery of the English language. An altogether satisfying read in my opinion. 8:D


message 29: by Joan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joan | 310 comments Finally no need to avoid spoilers!

I would be very interested in hearing what others thought about Dalgliesh's emerging from a semi-conscious (and occasionally fully unconscious) state and making a crucial contribution to the investigation. To me, that felt a little melodramatic for PD James.


message 30: by C.J. (new) - rated it 2 stars

C.J. (cjverburg) | 238 comments ***Carol*** wrote: "I'm just under a third of the way through. I'm enjoying it but finding it a bit slow moving."

I abandoned The Lighthouse halfway through. Got tired of wondering when/if anything interesting would happen. Didn't care a bit about Oliver's death, which solved nearly all the other more appealing characters' problems, & seemed a strictly obligatory exercise for AD & Co. Felt PD James was (A) vamping, filling pages while waiting for an idea to come along, & (B) over-enamored (like Oliver) with a fancied soul-link to Henry James...NOT...


Leslie | 1663 comments Shera wrote: "Well friends, I don't know if any of you are as stressed as I am right now but my office is moving, I have bronchitis, and can't walk more than four feet without coughing like an old wino, I'm turn..."

:( Hope things look up for you soon Shera, at the very least in the health department! Enjoy the hot chocolate...

As for The Lighthouse -- I thought that the structure of the book was a bit odd. It is mostly a police procedural except for the second section. I couldn't decided what James' purpose for including that section was -- to lengthen the book? to write in a more modern novel fashion about the characters? Why give the readers more insight into the relationships between the suspects than the police?

@Joan -- your comment #31 made me smile. Although melodramatic, it felt completely in character to me. Dalgliesh is just the type of man to be turning over facts and impressions in his mind while in a feverish delirium!


message 32: by Bee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bee | 10 comments For the most part, I'm with Sandra and Joan on this book. It did move slowly, which was frustrating at times, but when I finished I found I enjoyed the slower pace.

I felt a little cheated in how the murder was resolved. "Melodramatic" is spot on.


Sandy | 83 comments I enjoyed my first Dalgliesh and agree with many of the earlier comments. I can understand why some thought it slow, but I liked pace. Meeting the characters is one of the best parts of a book so I thought the section introducing the island life and the people living there was interesting and important to the plot. I'm sorry the daughter did not reappear often as she was someone I loved to hate. Every time she did appear her characterization was perfect.

I think AD's arriving at the solution after (or during) his illness is realistic but I didn't enjoy getting the murderer, clues and motivation recited to me all at once. I would have liked time ponder how AD arrived at the solution after I knew who did it.

I thought the SARS development was a little strange, but I suppose it got AD out of the way so Kate and Benton could shine. It also further isolated the island and gave the doctor confidence to return to his practice. So I guess I've talked myself into why SARS was introduced.

One thing I really enjoyed was watching Kate and Benton develop a working relationship. Now I need to start at the beginning of the series to learn Kate's relationship with AD (lots of hints in this book) and with Piers.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ 3.5 stars for me! I didn't mind slow moving when James was describing AD's relationship with his staff, but some of the minutiae (like Kate debating whether to ring Emma on Emma's cell phone or landline) was unbelievably tedious!
I enjoyed the finale but if that was my first James she would have lost me far earlier.


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) ***Carol*** wrote: "3.5 stars for me! I didn't mind slow moving when James was describing AD's relationship with his staff, but some of the minutiae (like Kate debating whether to ring Emma on Emma's cell phone or lan..."

I think Kate's debating was an indication of the insecurity she was feeling about being able to live up to the expectations and obligations of taking AD's place in the investigation - it is often the littlest things that cause the most indecision. 8:D


message 36: by Kay (new)

Kay | 218 comments Why isn't anyone commenting on Goodreads? The last one was four days ago.


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) The Lighthouse (Adam Dalgliesh, #13) The Lighthouse by P.D. James

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


4.5*
A secure and secluded island retreat for the rich and powerful becomes the setting for the murder of an author who is a regular visitor to the island.
Commander Adam Dalgliesh is called in to handle the sensitive case, but soon falls victim to an infective illness that has also felled one of the island's other visitors, so is forced to hand the case over to his principle detective Kate Miskin and the ambitious Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith.
Can they identify the killer before there is another death? Or is this to be the undoing of Kate's career?

This was an absolutely lovely read.
PD James is brilliant at setting the mood; she has a wonderful mastery of the English language and her characters are rounded and largely enchanting while being very human, although there were several in this book that I didn't particularly like.
There are several threads running through this story, which all tie together nicely at the end without resorting to the dreaded "happy ever after" ending.



View all my reviews


message 38: by Kay (new)

Kay | 218 comments Great review, Sandra. I also give the book a 4.5. Sometimes James is a little wordy but her descriptions are priceless. The SARS problem gave the story some added human interest.


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) Kay wrote: "Great review, Sandra. I also give the book a 4.5. Sometimes James is a little wordy but her descriptions are priceless. The SARS problem gave the story some added human interest."

And I liked the way she made Kate and Francis uncomfortable with one another.


Shauna (shaunathesheep) Sadly it has been announced that P D James died this morning aged 94.


message 41: by Joan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joan | 310 comments A great person who lived a long, remarkable life. And a grandmaster of our favorite genre.


Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂ Yes I commented on another thread. :(
Good that we were reading her this month, even though this wasn't one of her better books.


message 43: by Kay (new)

Kay | 218 comments So sorry to lose P.D. James. She did leave a wonderful legacy.


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) RIP you wonderful lady - you gave us so much enjoyment! 8:D


Rebes | 16 comments I generally enjoyed the book, but wanted to burn the short random chapter with Emma, when there was no previous first-person narrative from Emma.

I got a little cabin-fevery on the island, so I'll give it 3 stars.

New words/phrases to me:

numinous - having a strong religious or spiritual quality

St. Martin's summer - Indian summer that happens in November


Carmen (mrscarm) I have just joined this book club and I had already read P.D. James The Lighthouse, it was my first introduction to Inspector Adam Dalgliesh. So I had to re-visit the book and I agree with many who said it was slow paced but I really enjoy P D James' writing, she makes me want to speak better English :) I was sorry to hear of her passing. I am looking forward to going back and starting over in this series.


message 47: by Kay (new)

Kay | 218 comments Yes. I increase my vocabulary every time I read a book by James or Martha Grimes.


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* (sandyj21) I haven't tried Martha Grimes yet Kay. Thank you, I will have to look her up.


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