Author: P.D. James
A piercing scream, shattering the evening calm, brings Superintendent Adam Dalgliesh hurrying from his literary party to the nearby Steen Psychiatric Clinic, where he discovers the body of a woman sprawled on the basement floor, a chisel thrust through her heart.
This took me longer than was really necessary to read because – and I really hate to admit this – I just didn’t get into the characters or the plot. It was rather arduous to plod on through the pages and Dalgiiesh was just a bit drab. Now I know people will react badly to this statement and I am more surprised that anyone because I LOVE classic crime. A murder mystery that isn’t going to have me up all night but instead will have the synapses firing and my imagination translating it into a BBC Sunday afternoon drama is what makes my life complete. Unfortunately, either I was having an off-day or sadly P.D James is just not for me.
Rating: 5 out of 10
Title: John Bude
Two brothers, John and William Rother, live together at Chalklands Farm in the beautiful Sussex Downs. Their peaceful rural life is shattered when John Rother disappears and his abandoned car is found. Has he been kidnapped? Or is his disappearance more sinister – connected, perhaps, to his growing rather too friendly with his brother’s wife? Superintendent Meredith is called to investigate – and begins to suspect the worst when human bones are discovered on Chalklands farmland. His patient, careful detective method begins slowly to untangle the clues as suspicion shifts from one character to the next.
I enjoyed the first half of the story and Inspector Meredith was a more intriguing and enjoyable central protagonist – I especially liked his commanding officer who seemed to get over excited about every new clue and plot twist almost as if he was reading and following the twists and turns with you as a reader. However, I had worked out the who and the why by this point so the second half stumbled along rather slowly and drearily. Again it didn’t satisfy my craving for a classic crime, closer than P.D James but still no cigar.
Rating: 6 out of 10