First edition (UK)
|Author||P. D. James|
|Series||Adam Dalgliesh #3|
|Publisher||Faber and Faber|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Preceded by||A Mind to Murder|
|Followed by||Shroud for a Nightingale|
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While staying with his Aunt Jane in Suffolk, Adam Dalgliesh stumbles across a most bizarre and frightening murder. A local detective novelist, Maurice Seton, becomes himself the subject of investigation when his boat washes ashore with his body inside, with both his hands cut off, seemingly with a meat cleaver. Strangely, the scene of his death is mirrored in a manuscript for the new thriller he was writing...
Literary significance and criticism
Something of a letdown. The country-house setting and the characterization of the unfortunate criminal are excellently handled, and the powerful ending under rushing waters is both credible and mysterious, but the method of murder as well as its cause is farfetched. Dalgleish has had a tiff with his lover and lets her go out of his life in a psychologically odd instance of inaction. What next? - Catalogue of Crime
- Barzun, Jacques and Taylor, Wendell Hertig. A Catalogue of Crime. New York: Harper & Row. 1971, revised and enlarged edition 1989. ISBN 0-06-015796-8
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