web site hit counter Original Sin - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

Original Sin

Availability: Ready to download

The literary world is shaken when a murder takes place at the Peverell Press, an old-established publishing house located in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames. The victim is Gerard Etienne, the brilliant new managing director whose ruthless ambition has made him many enemies: a discarded mistress, a rejected and humiliated author and rebellious colleagues. Adam The literary world is shaken when a murder takes place at the Peverell Press, an old-established publishing house located in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames. The victim is Gerard Etienne, the brilliant new managing director whose ruthless ambition has made him many enemies: a discarded mistress, a rejected and humiliated author and rebellious colleagues. Adam Dalgliesh and his team are confronted with a puzzle of extraordinary complexity and a killer who is prepared to strike again. Listening Length: 15 hours and 20 minutes


Compare

The literary world is shaken when a murder takes place at the Peverell Press, an old-established publishing house located in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames. The victim is Gerard Etienne, the brilliant new managing director whose ruthless ambition has made him many enemies: a discarded mistress, a rejected and humiliated author and rebellious colleagues. Adam The literary world is shaken when a murder takes place at the Peverell Press, an old-established publishing house located in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames. The victim is Gerard Etienne, the brilliant new managing director whose ruthless ambition has made him many enemies: a discarded mistress, a rejected and humiliated author and rebellious colleagues. Adam Dalgliesh and his team are confronted with a puzzle of extraordinary complexity and a killer who is prepared to strike again. Listening Length: 15 hours and 20 minutes

30 review for Original Sin

  1. 5 out of 5

    Phrynne

    It has been a while since I read a book by this author and I had forgotten how much I enjoy her style of writing. In one review I saw it described as "intelligent writing" and I think that describes it perfectly. She has a tendency to describe things in great detail,sometimes two or three pages of detail, but I find I can live with that. Adam Dalgleish is a favourite of mine but this book gave greater importance to his two offsiders, Daniel and Kate. I enjoyed the lovely descriptions of London a It has been a while since I read a book by this author and I had forgotten how much I enjoy her style of writing. In one review I saw it described as "intelligent writing" and I think that describes it perfectly. She has a tendency to describe things in great detail,sometimes two or three pages of detail, but I find I can live with that. Adam Dalgleish is a favourite of mine but this book gave greater importance to his two offsiders, Daniel and Kate. I enjoyed the lovely descriptions of London and the river and also the setting in a publishing company. There were an awful lot of dead bodies and it eventually ended up reminiscent of an Agatha Christie. But there's nothing wrong with that! I raced through all 511 pages of it and plan to read another P.D. James very soon.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Piyangie

    Original Sin, the 9th book of the Adam Dalgliesh series, takes us again to a literary circle. The managing director of a publishing house dies under peculiar circumstances. Is it murder, accident, or suicide? Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team are summoned to investigate the matter. Dalgliesh believes that the motive for the crime is rooted in the past. When one by one more information comes to light, it appears that after all, Dalgliesh may be right. This is comparatively a better murder-myst Original Sin, the 9th book of the Adam Dalgliesh series, takes us again to a literary circle. The managing director of a publishing house dies under peculiar circumstances. Is it murder, accident, or suicide? Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team are summoned to investigate the matter. Dalgliesh believes that the motive for the crime is rooted in the past. When one by one more information comes to light, it appears that after all, Dalgliesh may be right. This is comparatively a better murder-mystery story in the series. From the very beginning, the tension is well built up. And when after the first death the investigation begins the suspense is slowly built up as Dalgliesh and his team meticulously collects evidence to unravel the cause of the mysterious death. As always, James penetrates deep into the lives and psychology of the characters giving us a clear picture and making us quite acquainted with them. Dalgliesh's appearance is less than usual, yet all through the story his presence and authority are felt. The plot was not altogether plausible, but quite imaginative which I liked. It wasn't difficult to figure who was behind the deaths, but the motive I confess was never within my reach until it slowly surfaced up. The ending was rather disappointing, but that didn't turn my heart against the book as a whole. There are, of course, the usual grievances of it taking a considerable time for the crime to be committed and Dalgliesh to appear, and that the story could have done less of one-fourth of its length. But somehow I could overlook them here. On the whole, I enjoyed this book better than some of the previous books of the series. The series certainly is getting better, and I'm happy that I continued despite the disappointment I felt over some in the series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Roman Clodia

    Oh dear, I'm beginning to think that I'm enjoying writing grumpy reviews of PDJ's 'middle period' books more than actually reading them! This one, like her Devices and Desires and A Taste for Death, is just so bloated: at 600 pages, probably about 350 of them could have been cut as they do nothing other than show off PDJ's unending and ponderous attention to the insignificant - even minor walk-on characters, their clothes and their environments along with their backstories are laid out before us Oh dear, I'm beginning to think that I'm enjoying writing grumpy reviews of PDJ's 'middle period' books more than actually reading them! This one, like her Devices and Desires and A Taste for Death, is just so bloated: at 600 pages, probably about 350 of them could have been cut as they do nothing other than show off PDJ's unending and ponderous attention to the insignificant - even minor walk-on characters, their clothes and their environments along with their backstories are laid out before us even though they are utterly peripheral to the story at hand and can be dispensed with without affecting the plot in the slightest. This seems to be standard James practice but what is especially noticeable about this book is that 90% of what happens is a red herring! Was that supposed to be subverting the traditional whodunnit? I don't know, but in my book it's frustrating and silly. My other major issue is that in this book PDJ seems to have discovered The Jew. Despite this having been published in 1994 and set in London, new addition to Dalgleish's team DI Daniel Aaron is portrayed like an exotic who PDJ has never spied before so that everything about him and his role in the book is inflected by his Jewishness: he's subjected to casual anti-Semitism, he has a 'Jewish Mother', his only non-work conversation he has with a colleague is all about how 'different' he is because he's Jewish and an atheist and he can't ask for time off to go to a Bar Mitzvah because it's not a recognised Christian occasion and should he go to the Bar Mitzvah anyway... (view spoiler)[Even introducing Daniel for the first and only time in this book is linked to his Jewishness: after much faffing around with motives for everyone to kill publisher Gerard Etienne, turns out it all goes back to the Holocaust - and that Daniel is ready to aid and abet the (Jewish) triple murderer because he's taking revenge for his family being turned over to the Nazis. Whether intentionally or not, the characterisation of Daniel plays on the stereotype of the perpetual 'outsider' Jew who will abandon his role as a Detective Inspector in the Metropolitan Police and all that goes with that in order to align himself with a multiple murderer because of their shared Jewishness - it's a version of the 'Jewish conspiracy' theory and it left such a nasty taste in my mouth that an already 3-star book dropped another star just for this covert form of anti-Semitism. Needless to say, Daniel, it is implied, will be off the team at the end, presumably his career in the police destroyed. Which will please his Jewish Mother. That the Jewish murderer is also shown to be in error so that his killing can't even be justified in his own head and he has to commit suicide just adds to the generally offensive subtext. (hide spoiler)] As usual, PDJ writes with great solemnity: words like 'painstaking', 'protracted' and 'verbose' were made to describe her later books. Her continued authorial fawning over Dalgleish just amuses me now and the PDJ Bingo Card contains the usual: the instance of other characters discussing what a fine poet Dalgleish is (tick!); the instance where he walks into a room and identifies an elusive painting and its painter at a glance (tick!); the instance where a bar of classical music is heard and he pins it straightaway (tick!); the instance where he takes time out from the terrible moral burden of his job to explore the peaceful interior of an old church (double tick!). PDJ draws on GA detective fiction but her abandonment of the deft writing, characterisation and fluid pace of the greats (Christie, Sayers, Tey, for me) is resulting, at this stage in her career, in huge slow-moving behemoths weighted down with laborious prose and plotting. Can she get back to the brisker pace of her earlier books? And tone down at least some of her ultra-conservative values? We'll see.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nandakishore Varma

    Having been brought up on a standard diet of Agatha Christie, I usually find all other crime novelists wanting as there is no "Aha!" at the end in most of them. The mystery may be well imagined and plotted, but Dame Agatha's trick of producing the rabbit out of the hat cannot be emulated by anyone else. That is why I was not a big fan of P. D. James initially. Over the years, however, I have come to value the literary quality of her novels. While the others are content to write competent English Having been brought up on a standard diet of Agatha Christie, I usually find all other crime novelists wanting as there is no "Aha!" at the end in most of them. The mystery may be well imagined and plotted, but Dame Agatha's trick of producing the rabbit out of the hat cannot be emulated by anyone else. That is why I was not a big fan of P. D. James initially. Over the years, however, I have come to value the literary quality of her novels. While the others are content to write competent English and leave the characterisation to a few deft sketches, James takes enormous care over both. Her English is a joy to read, and her characters, down to the most insignificant of them, are meticulously sketched. And in this particular novel, the way she has described the Thames and the life along it is so evocative as to take one's breath away. This is one mystery I read slowly, savouring the language all the way. Gerard Etienne, first among equals of the partners owning the Peverell Press is the murder victim - he's enough of a blackguard to qualify for the honour. (In fact, had this been a Christie novel, he wouldn't have gotten past page 20 alive.) Self-centered, ruthless and entirely lacking in any kind of sentiments, he has pissed off virtually everybody including the other partners, staff and clients. So it is no wonder that he winds up as a dead body in the small archives room, a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning in a carefully contrived accident. As Adam Dalgliesh and his able deputies, Kate Miskin and Daniel Aaron arrive on the scene, the plot thickens with red herrings, broken alibis, and more murders... ___ As mysteries go, this was a pretty decent one. The solution is entirely satisfying and believable, with a final twist which is impossible to see coming. I would say had I really racked my brains I could have solved it partway at least, but that does not take away from the cleverness of the plotting. However, two things dragged down this mystery from 4 to 3 stars for me: (1) a superfluity of characters whose lives are described at length, but who do not contribute much to the story and (2) the anticlimax of the denouement (no, that's not a spoiler!). I believe the author should have kept it tighter and worked more on her climax.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This is the ninth in the Adam Dalgliesh books and is one of my favourites, so far. This is probably helped by the fact it is set in a publishing firm – anything at all bookish and I am immediately on board. It also begins well, with young shorthand typist, Mandy Price, setting out for an interview at Peverell Press. The interview is interrupted by the discovery of a body, but, showing a degree of nonchalance which impressed me greatly, Mandy still agrees to take her typing test… Sadly, the discov This is the ninth in the Adam Dalgliesh books and is one of my favourites, so far. This is probably helped by the fact it is set in a publishing firm – anything at all bookish and I am immediately on board. It also begins well, with young shorthand typist, Mandy Price, setting out for an interview at Peverell Press. The interview is interrupted by the discovery of a body, but, showing a degree of nonchalance which impressed me greatly, Mandy still agrees to take her typing test… Sadly, the discovery of what appears to be a suicide, is only the beginning of the troubles for Peverell Press. There is dispute among the partners about the direction of the firm and the desire of Gerald Etienne, who has taken the senior role, to sell off the magnificent, riverside building, that the publisher’s inhabit. In addition, there is a mischief maker on the premises, who is causing trouble. Of course, the trouble soon involves murder and Dalgliesh is brought in to investigate. I enjoyed the setting, characters and the plot of this novel. As always, James was a little indulgent in exploring the back story of every character and tends to offer overly detailed descriptions of every scene. Still, mostly, this worked well and there was a good cast of characters and possible motives.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Obsidian

    Since I liked the collection of short stories by PD James the other day, I thought I pick up a big starring Adam Dalgliesh. Big mistake. Huge. I don't know if I should have read this in order (this is the 9th book in the series) but I just could not get past the 25 percent mark. I was so bored reading about the murder and what was going on. Life is too short to keep reading a book that is boring you to tears. I don't see this character becoming a favorite with me like Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple Since I liked the collection of short stories by PD James the other day, I thought I pick up a big starring Adam Dalgliesh. Big mistake. Huge. I don't know if I should have read this in order (this is the 9th book in the series) but I just could not get past the 25 percent mark. I was so bored reading about the murder and what was going on. Life is too short to keep reading a book that is boring you to tears. I don't see this character becoming a favorite with me like Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    This was another well written Dalgliesh story. I wanted to finish it in one sitting, but alas work happened. Yes, I did see the film about this one, but it didn’t play through my head while I was reading the book. Maybe the film wasn’t very memorable. One of the big plot devices James used in this story, and which I throughly enjoy, is how the character’s religions often tie into the story. The characters often have to make moral choices based upon the religious upbringing. So it is often between This was another well written Dalgliesh story. I wanted to finish it in one sitting, but alas work happened. Yes, I did see the film about this one, but it didn’t play through my head while I was reading the book. Maybe the film wasn’t very memorable. One of the big plot devices James used in this story, and which I throughly enjoy, is how the character’s religions often tie into the story. The characters often have to make moral choices based upon the religious upbringing. So it is often between the choice of what is right and good or what the justice code demands. This series just keeps getting better and better.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    A murder has taken place in the offices of the Peverell Press, a venerable London publishing house located in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames. The victim is Gerard Etienne, the brilliant but ruthless new managing director, who had vowed to restore the firm's fortunes. Etienne was clearly a man with enemies—a discarded mistress, a rejected and humiliated author, and rebellious colleagues, one of who apparently killed herself a short time earlier. Yet Etienne's death, which occurred A murder has taken place in the offices of the Peverell Press, a venerable London publishing house located in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames. The victim is Gerard Etienne, the brilliant but ruthless new managing director, who had vowed to restore the firm's fortunes. Etienne was clearly a man with enemies—a discarded mistress, a rejected and humiliated author, and rebellious colleagues, one of who apparently killed herself a short time earlier. Yet Etienne's death, which occurred under bizarre circumstances, is for Dalgliesh only the beginning of the mystery, as he desperately pursues the search for a killer prepared to strike and strike again. 4* An Unsuitable Job for a Woman (Cordelia Gray, #1) 4* The Skull Beneath The Skin (Cordelia Gray, #2) 4* Innocent Blood 3* The Children of Men TR Death in Pemberley Adam Dalgliesh series: 4* Cover Her Face (Adam Dalgliesh, #1) 4* A Mind to Murder (Adam Dalgliesh, #2) 4* Unnatural Causes (Adam Dalgliesh, #3) 5* Shroud for a Nightingale (Adam Dalgliesh, #4) 5* The Black Tower (Adam Dalgliesh, #5) 5* Death of an Expert Witness (Adam Dalgliesh, #6) 5* A Taste for Death (Adam Dalgliesh, #7) 3* Devices and Desires (Adam Dalgliesh, #8) 3* Original Sin (Adam Dalgliesh, #9) 5* A Certain Justice (Adam Dalgliesh, #10) 4* Death in Holy Orders (Adam Dalgliesh, #11) 4* The Murder Room (Adam Dalgliesh, #12) 3* The Lighthouse (Adam Dalgliesh, #13) 3* The Private Patient (Adam Dalgliesh, #14)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Barbara K

    While reading the The Cuckoo's Calling recently I noted that the opening reminded me of a P D James novel in that it introduced the story by tracking a capable young secretary/admin as she began her first day at a job that would prove to have momentous consequences. Since James has always ranked high in my personal pantheon of crime novelists, I decided to give Original Sin a re-read/listen. I'm so glad that I did, since the book remains as compelling as I found it many years ago. The setting, a While reading the The Cuckoo's Calling recently I noted that the opening reminded me of a P D James novel in that it introduced the story by tracking a capable young secretary/admin as she began her first day at a job that would prove to have momentous consequences. Since James has always ranked high in my personal pantheon of crime novelists, I decided to give Original Sin a re-read/listen. I'm so glad that I did, since the book remains as compelling as I found it many years ago. The setting, a spectacular re-creation of a Venetian palace, located on the banks of the Thames, is lovingly described and the characters are intriguing. As always with James, nothing is rushed, but nothing is unnecessary or wasted. The plot could have gone in many directions based on the personalities and experiences of those characters, and the conclusion came off well. Of course, it's always good to reconnect with Adam Dalgleish and Kate Miskin. I couldn't help thinking about my first P D James, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, which I read simply because the title caught my eye on a library bookshelf during the feminist fervor of the 70’s. A story about a woman detective! How cool is that? It certainly proved to be a super selection, since reading P D James has given me so many hours of pleasure over the years. One more thing - while reading a section about Greenwich I remembered our commitment to spend more time there should the pandemic ever lift and we have a chance to visit London again. And within minutes, on Facebook an "event invitation" to a short course in astronomy arrived from the Royal Observatory. My first ever from them. Mysterious how these things work out.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Alaska)

    I'm going to have a hard time reviewing this - mostly a hard time deciding how to rate it. This kindle edition is a smidgen over 600 pages. For 575 of them, I thought this is probably the best of the series, or at the very least a close second to A Taste for Death. And then I was outraged at those last 25 pages. I could put my reason behind spoiler tags but my thoughts are more involved than I think appropriate. The beginning introduces us to a temp shorthand typist employed by Peverell Press. O I'm going to have a hard time reviewing this - mostly a hard time deciding how to rate it. This kindle edition is a smidgen over 600 pages. For 575 of them, I thought this is probably the best of the series, or at the very least a close second to A Taste for Death. And then I was outraged at those last 25 pages. I could put my reason behind spoiler tags but my thoughts are more involved than I think appropriate. The beginning introduces us to a temp shorthand typist employed by Peverell Press. On young Mandy Price's first day she discovers the body of a woman employee who has committed suicide. A very few chapters later we are told there are three murders within the month that Mandy is employed. The firm is not a large one but there are still enough characters to keep track of. Just enough and certainly distinct enough, in my opinion, that there was never a chance of getting them confused. It is pretty easy to turn the pages in this one. Mysteries are usually more about plot than characterization. What I have liked about this series so far is both the writing and the characterization. I like the characterizations of Dalgliesh and his team, and the supporting characters of the publishing company were also well drawn. In this, there was also a pretty good plot. I was convinced I knew who the perpetrator was, and once I knew that was wrong, I realized I probably should have been more discerning. So. Here I am still unsure what to do about that ending. This was never going to be 5-stars, but I did think it was likely a strong 4-stars. I think it comes down to the fact that I liked it so well for nearly all of it, that I can bring myself to only say the ending weakened it mightily for me, but I cannot downgrade it to 3-stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deb Jones

    To say that P.D. James' Inspector Adam Dalgliesh series of stories are crime novels, mysteries or police procedurals is to do her work a disservice. Yes, the books in the series are all of those three, whodunits of the Golden Age of mystery, but James' product is so much more. The stories provide, along with suspense, in-depth character studies of many of the main characters in each book. The studies provide interest and insight to the reader while helping to build up the suspense as to who the l To say that P.D. James' Inspector Adam Dalgliesh series of stories are crime novels, mysteries or police procedurals is to do her work a disservice. Yes, the books in the series are all of those three, whodunits of the Golden Age of mystery, but James' product is so much more. The stories provide, along with suspense, in-depth character studies of many of the main characters in each book. The studies provide interest and insight to the reader while helping to build up the suspense as to who the likely perpetrator(s) is. These are not quick reads, but stories to savor. The individual titles can be read as standalones.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lea

    It's very boring and slow. The author describes everything in minute detail quite unnecessarily, and every time a character is introduced (no matter how unimportant to the plot), the story stops and we're treated to what basically amounts to their whole biography. I did discover who the murderer was (at first I thought, "it can't be that easy", and kept looking for clues, but by the 75% mark there was absolutely no doubt about it). That's not fun. And honestly, I had no sense of who the Inspector It's very boring and slow. The author describes everything in minute detail quite unnecessarily, and every time a character is introduced (no matter how unimportant to the plot), the story stops and we're treated to what basically amounts to their whole biography. I did discover who the murderer was (at first I thought, "it can't be that easy", and kept looking for clues, but by the 75% mark there was absolutely no doubt about it). That's not fun. And honestly, I had no sense of who the Inspector Adam Dalgliesh was. He was a blank to me. Ok, this is book #9 in the series, but this is a detective novel. You're supposed to be able to read it out of order and still "know" who the main detective is as a character. You could pick up any Agatha Christie book in the Poirot series and find out everything you needed to know about Poirot, from his appearance to his personality. But here? I got nothing. Finally, I was very uncomfortable with the ending. (view spoiler)[The detective Daniel Aaron finally figures out who's been killing people, but decides that rather than doing his job and arresting a double murderer, he'd rather warn the murderer that the police have figured out whodunnit - because Aaron is Jewish, and the murderer's motive was getting "revenge" for the betrayal of his Jewish family to the Nazis during WWII (by killing people who had absolutely nothing to do with it). WHAT. THAT'S NONSENSE. I don't see any possibility of a real-life detective even considering such a course of action, it's a stunning (and criminal) dereliction of duty. I thought it was very suspicious that PD James wrote about a Jewish detective deciding to put his Jewish identity above his very clear duty as a policeman, especially when the case was far from being a straight revenge (you betray my family, I kill you). It does remind one of antisemitic notions that Jews are perpetual outsiders and will always put themselves as a group above national institutions, etc. It was not at all well done. Side note, but it also didn't make sense that the killer would wait so freaking long to get his "revenge". From the moment he discovers who actually betrayed his family to when he begins to carry out the murders, MANY MANY YEARS elapse. He says he had to kill Gerard Etienne because Gerard got engaged and "there might be children", which he didn't want to happen. Which is nonsense because Etienne was not exactly a virgin before getting engaged??? He was a total womanizer for years! Does the murderer know how babies are made? Or does he think children are only born from married couples?? (hide spoiler)]

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    An entertaining and absorbing cosy murder mystery

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    This is the ninth in the Adam Dalgliesh books and is one of my favourites, so far. This is probably helped by the fact it is set in a publishing firm – anything at all bookish and I am immediately on board. It also begins well, with young shorthand typist, Mandy Price, setting out for an interview at Peverell Press. The interview is interrupted by the discovery of a body, but, showing a degree of nonchalance which impressed me greatly, Mandy still agrees to take her typing test… Sadly, the discov This is the ninth in the Adam Dalgliesh books and is one of my favourites, so far. This is probably helped by the fact it is set in a publishing firm – anything at all bookish and I am immediately on board. It also begins well, with young shorthand typist, Mandy Price, setting out for an interview at Peverell Press. The interview is interrupted by the discovery of a body, but, showing a degree of nonchalance which impressed me greatly, Mandy still agrees to take her typing test… Sadly, the discovery of what appears to be a suicide, is only the beginning of the troubles for Peverell Press. There is dispute among the partners about the direction of the firm and the desire of Gerald Etienne, who has taken the senior role, to sell off the magnificent, riverside building, that the publisher’s inhabit. In addition, there is a mischief maker on the premises, who is causing trouble. Of course, the trouble soon involves murder and Dalgliesh is brought in to investigate. I enjoyed the setting, characters and the plot of this novel. As always, James was a little indulgent in exploring the back story of every character and tends to offer overly detailed descriptions of every scene. Still, mostly, this worked well and there was a good cast of characters and possible motives.

  15. 4 out of 5

    First Second Books

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. As usual, another excellently-written multifaceted murder mystery by P.D. James. It’s interesting to imagine James pitching this to her publisher. ‘Dear Publisher, I’d like to write a murder mystery set in a publishing house where the editor did it. Who does the editor kill? Why, the publisher! And then one of the authors! That’s not a problematic scenario for you at all, is it? Also, can I come in and lurk around your office for a few weeks to get a sense of how a publishing house really works?’ P As usual, another excellently-written multifaceted murder mystery by P.D. James. It’s interesting to imagine James pitching this to her publisher. ‘Dear Publisher, I’d like to write a murder mystery set in a publishing house where the editor did it. Who does the editor kill? Why, the publisher! And then one of the authors! That’s not a problematic scenario for you at all, is it? Also, can I come in and lurk around your office for a few weeks to get a sense of how a publishing house really works?’ Publishers: ‘Dear PD James, we can’t see why we’d have a problem with one of our best-selling authors coming into the office and seeing how author treatment, office politics, contracts, payments, etc. typically work. We’re a publisher, therefore completely transparent! Really! Now excuse us while we hide all the confidential papers, alcohol, and instruct our staff to be on their very best behavior.’

  16. 4 out of 5

    Doctor

    In this voluminous thriller i found the first many pages unattractive. Interest picked up only after Gerard's death. A lot is devoted to the characters' wear and even more to the architecture of the structures they inhabited. The old fashioned English and sentence structures may not attract those who read for the thrill of a detective novel; though I enjoyed it thoroughly.Though only one death turned out to be a genuine instance of suicide, the other four deaths were discovered to be cold-bloode In this voluminous thriller i found the first many pages unattractive. Interest picked up only after Gerard's death. A lot is devoted to the characters' wear and even more to the architecture of the structures they inhabited. The old fashioned English and sentence structures may not attract those who read for the thrill of a detective novel; though I enjoyed it thoroughly.Though only one death turned out to be a genuine instance of suicide, the other four deaths were discovered to be cold-blooded murders. The motif of the murders, at the end, raises the eternal issue of 'justice' vs 'revenge'.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This is the James book that I came closest to disliking. It really is okay. The reason why is because the ending does not make sense; it isn't fully believable in the terms of one character, a character that James, for once, did not do a good job on. If you have never read P. D. James before, don't start with this one. Start with The Murder Room or A Certain Justice. This is the James book that I came closest to disliking. It really is okay. The reason why is because the ending does not make sense; it isn't fully believable in the terms of one character, a character that James, for once, did not do a good job on. If you have never read P. D. James before, don't start with this one. Start with The Murder Room or A Certain Justice.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    Having read James' The Murder Room before this one, the two novels sadly ran together in my mind, both plot wise, setting-wise and character-wise. And I really don't think that there are any characters in James' world who aren't depressive, agnostic/atheistic and sexually active. Anyone?? Hello??? Not my favorite P.D. James, but still fairly entertaining. Having read James' The Murder Room before this one, the two novels sadly ran together in my mind, both plot wise, setting-wise and character-wise. And I really don't think that there are any characters in James' world who aren't depressive, agnostic/atheistic and sexually active. Anyone?? Hello??? Not my favorite P.D. James, but still fairly entertaining.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marjorie

    This one was so slow, plodding. Alot of character description. The plot, the who done it got pushed off to the end. Nearly all the clues came together near the end. 75% covered all the different characters being clueless as to who, what did the deeds. Suspense was weak.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Owens

    Terrible. Just awful. I thought I liked PD James but this was barley readable. About once every 80 pages there'd be a nice passage but otherwise just boring with too strange an ending that came out of nowhere. Bleh. Terrible. Just awful. I thought I liked PD James but this was barley readable. About once every 80 pages there'd be a nice passage but otherwise just boring with too strange an ending that came out of nowhere. Bleh.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    Having read and enjoyed other books by this author, especially children of men, I was disappointed by this one. Although I'd found a similar problem with A Certain Justice, the issue of too many characters really became a problem in Original Sin. When the eventual murderer was revealed I couldn't remember who they were or how they fitted in with the plot. All the excitement or dare I say even relevance came in the last 2 chapters which is disappointing to say the least. It's readable but I don't Having read and enjoyed other books by this author, especially children of men, I was disappointed by this one. Although I'd found a similar problem with A Certain Justice, the issue of too many characters really became a problem in Original Sin. When the eventual murderer was revealed I couldn't remember who they were or how they fitted in with the plot. All the excitement or dare I say even relevance came in the last 2 chapters which is disappointing to say the least. It's readable but I don't think it's James' best.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I was really disappointed in this book. I was bored the entire time, and never got invested in any of the characters. I remember very little about this book other than constantly checking the number of pages left, and wishing it would be over faster. I rarely ever skim books, but I just couldn't handle much of this one, so I would skim pages at a time. I tried one other book by P.D. James too, and felt the same way. Ugh. I was really disappointed in this book. I was bored the entire time, and never got invested in any of the characters. I remember very little about this book other than constantly checking the number of pages left, and wishing it would be over faster. I rarely ever skim books, but I just couldn't handle much of this one, so I would skim pages at a time. I tried one other book by P.D. James too, and felt the same way. Ugh.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Naomi

    This book was probably one of my favorite by PD James...Jame writing can sometimes drag on, but this one was constant action and getting to know very quirky characters.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Em*bedded-in-books*

    Typical P D James with equal importance to lives of characters as well as the mystery . A well known publishing house which experiences a spate of misfortune in the form of board members and authors conking off .. initially thought to be suicide , later foul play subjected. As usual , Adam Dalgleish team is drawn into the investigation. Was great going till 60 percent , the final pages fell flat. The past story was not very convincing ..

  25. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Such awesome mysteries with interesting characters. It's too bad Ms. James felt she needed to give too much background on secondary characters. Such awesome mysteries with interesting characters. It's too bad Ms. James felt she needed to give too much background on secondary characters.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Janet Brown

    I was given a bag of books from a local swapping group, and in amongst the modern crime thrillers were a stack of PD James’ Dalgliesh novels. They make good lockdown reading - undemanding, well written, not too tense or high octane - and I’m enjoying her approach to plotting, which apparently involves some sort of madlibs process where she pulls a vaguely archaic setting out of a hat (struggling publishing firm; private museum; monastery) and then inserts her stock characters (spinster who is ov I was given a bag of books from a local swapping group, and in amongst the modern crime thrillers were a stack of PD James’ Dalgliesh novels. They make good lockdown reading - undemanding, well written, not too tense or high octane - and I’m enjoying her approach to plotting, which apparently involves some sort of madlibs process where she pulls a vaguely archaic setting out of a hat (struggling publishing firm; private museum; monastery) and then inserts her stock characters (spinster who is overly dedicated to her job; unpleasant man trying to bring about change to setting; token working class character). It’s like Midsomer Murders, if it was set in London and we had to constantly hear about how Barnaby is an intellectual as well as a police officer. All of which makes it sound like I dislike the series but I really don’t! They’re very readable and this is a particularly good one.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nick Davies

    I knew P.D. James was a little old-fashioned in her writing, and more slow of pace than most of the crime novelists I more frequently read, but this was an incredibly long slog, and ultimately very disappointing. The story focusses on several deaths (murders and apparent suicides) within the staff and associates of a London publishing house. There were over a hundred pages of description and over-wordy slow exposition at the start of the novel before anything actually happens and Dalgliesh become I knew P.D. James was a little old-fashioned in her writing, and more slow of pace than most of the crime novelists I more frequently read, but this was an incredibly long slog, and ultimately very disappointing. The story focusses on several deaths (murders and apparent suicides) within the staff and associates of a London publishing house. There were over a hundred pages of description and over-wordy slow exposition at the start of the novel before anything actually happens and Dalgliesh becomes involved. The police procedural side of the novel is plodding and linear - merely a series of long interviews with dull over-described prissy women and pompous men. I lost track of what was happening as I lost interest in what was happening, and the denouement - with an underdeveloped character key and some historical grievances which didn't ring true for me - was just chucked at the final few chapters (by which point I had lost the will to live myself, so had some sympathy with the suicides within the plot!)”

  28. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Clark

    I am giving this book 4 stars primarily because we don't do halves (and maybe it should be 3 1/2) but on the other hand, I have a feeling that I'll be thinking about this book for awhile. I'm not sure where James is going with this; I'm not sure I trust her completely, which makes the murderer and the response of one of the Murder Squad, suspect, even outside of the story. Isn't that interesting? I was surprised to discover that I had not read this one before. I had a beautiful "new" copy of it I am giving this book 4 stars primarily because we don't do halves (and maybe it should be 3 1/2) but on the other hand, I have a feeling that I'll be thinking about this book for awhile. I'm not sure where James is going with this; I'm not sure I trust her completely, which makes the murderer and the response of one of the Murder Squad, suspect, even outside of the story. Isn't that interesting? I was surprised to discover that I had not read this one before. I had a beautiful "new" copy of it on my shelf, and as I am now reading James in order, it was a pleasant surprise to have a virgin reading. Other than the difficulties I mention above, I think it might be my favorite thus far. She definitely is a writer that improves with each book. Her comments on the publishing industry, and how agents and authors work, were quite interesting and I kept thinking I ought to quote her in my monograph if I ever get the thing written. Anyway, I think, if I have time, I will look for some criticism of this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    It's been awhile since I've read an Inspector Dalgleish mystery, probably 4 or 5 years and this book has been on my shelf for awhile. I'm glad I dusted it off. I enjoy P.D. James' writing style very much, very intelligent writing. The story was interesting and well-crafted. The book doesn't focus on any one character and Dalgleish's team of Kate Miskin and Daniel Aaron are as important to the plot as is Dalgliesh. In fact, I felt that often Dalgliesh was in the background and even more so when w It's been awhile since I've read an Inspector Dalgleish mystery, probably 4 or 5 years and this book has been on my shelf for awhile. I'm glad I dusted it off. I enjoy P.D. James' writing style very much, very intelligent writing. The story was interesting and well-crafted. The book doesn't focus on any one character and Dalgleish's team of Kate Miskin and Daniel Aaron are as important to the plot as is Dalgliesh. In fact, I felt that often Dalgliesh was in the background and even more so when we come to the final chapters. The plot moves along sedately, but holds your interest and James takes her time to develop characters and the story. The ending was somewhat abrupt and left me feeling kind of angry; you'll have to read to see how it ends but suffice it to say I agreed with Kate's opinion. I will read more of James' mysteries now that I've read this one..

  30. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    I liked other books by P.D. James but this one disappointed me: was it perhaps just a draft? did she run out of time to revise it? The characters aren't developed fully, there are too many loose ends, and the reader doesn't get a chance to solve the puzzle because s/he isn't able to discover the facts on his/her own. Worst of all: there is a not-so-subtle anti-Semitic undercurrent to the novel. Yikes. I liked other books by P.D. James but this one disappointed me: was it perhaps just a draft? did she run out of time to revise it? The characters aren't developed fully, there are too many loose ends, and the reader doesn't get a chance to solve the puzzle because s/he isn't able to discover the facts on his/her own. Worst of all: there is a not-so-subtle anti-Semitic undercurrent to the novel. Yikes.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.