Combe Island off the Cornish coast offers rest and seclusion to over-stressed professionals who have paid the price of getting to the top. But when one of these distinguished visitors is found hanging from the top of the island's lighthouse, murder - not suicide - is suspected.
Notorious investigative journalist Rhoda Gradwyn books into a private clinic in Dorset for the removal of a disfiguring facial scar. She was never to leave there alive. Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate the murder, and later a second death, which are to raise even more complicated problems than the question of innocence or guilt.
When the notorious investigative journalist Rhoda Gradwyn booked into Mr Chandler-Powell's private clinic in Dorset for the removal of a disfiguring and long-standing facial scar, she had every prospect of a successful operation by a distinguished surgeon, a week's peaceful convalescence in one of Dorset's most beautiful manor houses and the beginning of a new life. She was never to leave Cheverell Manor alive. Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate the murder, and later a second death, which are to raise even more complicated problems than the question of innocence or guilt.
A new detective novel by P. D. James is always keenly awaited and The Private Patient will undoubtedly equal the success of her worldwide bestseller The Lighthouse. It displays the qualities which P. D. James's readers have come to expect: a masterly psychological and emotional richness of characterisation, a vivid evocation of place and a credible and exciting mystery. The Private Patient is a powerful work of contemporary fiction
Commander Dalgliesh investigates a horrible death at the Dupayne, a private museum on the edge of Hampstead Heath, dedicated to the years 1919-1939. One of the museum galleries displays exhibits from the most notorious murder cases of those inter-war years, and now a modern killer is at work, the crimes uncannily echoing the cases on display. All the people at the Dupayne - the trustees, the staff and the volunteers - have the means and the opportunity for murder. One of them has the ruthlessness to kill and kill again.'A totally absorbing read . . . A detective thriller of superb quality, with a strong, compelling plot and characters who would be interesting even if they were not involved in murder.' Maggie Pringle, Daily Express