December 2008 Indie Next List
“The scorpion tail of P.D. James' prose has lost none of its sting in this, her 17th novel. The setting is a lovely English manor in Dorset that has been converted to a surgical clinic, and the victim is a well-known investigative journalist who has come to the clinic. The suspects are as deeply complex as any characters James has created, and Commander Dalgleish exposes their motives with a surgical finesse. The Private Patient is intricate, novelistic, and engrossing.”
— Betsy Burton, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
With all the qualities that P. D. James's readers have come to expect: a masterly psychological and emotional richness of characterization, a vivid evocation of place and a credible and exciting mystery.
When the notorious investigative journalist, Rhoda Gradwyn, books into Mr. Chandler-Powell's private clinic in Dorset for the removal of a disfiguring, long-standing facial scar, she has 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 will never leave Cheverell Manor alive. When Adam Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate the murder and a second death occurs even more complicated problems than the question of innocence or guilt arise.
About the Author
P. D. James, English crime writer, is the author of numerous detective novels, many of which were "New York Times "bestsellers. She spent thirty years in various departments of the British civil service, including the Police and Criminal Law Departments of the Home Office. She has served as a magistrate and as a governor of the BBC. In 2000 she celebrated her eightieth birthday and published her autobiography, "Time to Be in Earnest". The recipient of many prizes and honors, she was named Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991. She lives in London and Oxford.
"Brilliant. . . . A jewel in [James's] crown." —Pittsburg-Post Gazette
"No one is better than James at maintaining this tension between the cozy and the frightful." —The Washington Post
"[James is] a master. . . . Nothing is as it first appears." —The Boston Globe
"[I]intricately plotted and suspenseful.... James' clear-eyed, often sardonic prose describes rooms and people exactly as she sees them." —Providence Journal
"Elegant . . . compelling. . . . Continues the James tradition. . . . She comfortably tackles timeless concerns." —Chicago Tribune
"The ghost of literature past haunts P.D. James' newest novel. . . . The novel's pointed descriptions, its gothic settings, and its theme exploring the insidious legacies of family and class violence suggest Charles Dickens may have rested a hand on James' shoulder while she wrote this terrific literary mystery." —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"James is a wonderful writer." —Chicago Sun-Times
"James is in excellent form. . . . [She] offers her readers intelligence, wisdom, dry humor, knowledge both deep and wide-ranging, humanity, compassion, understanding and a wonderful way with words. . . . James is one of Britain's greatest living writers." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch