Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Lighthouse

Another fantastic PD James, in other setting that, sadly, doesn't really exist. I'd really like to go to some of the places in these books, they're so remote and evocative. Of course, that may just be the writing.

I was rather concerned by the cavalier mention of SARS in this book, without much explanation. I know what it is and contemporary readers will have known what it is, but will readers in ten years time know what it is? I was particularly concerned by Emma's premonition that 'something bad' would happen to Dalgliesh. I'm sure things like that really do happen sometimes, but it really doesn't make me think that a particular piece of fiction is realistic. Unsurprisingly, it makes me think just the opposite. And that the author in question isn't very good at foreshadowing, which is not the case with James.

The mystery itself is very good and there are no shortage of suspects, despite the restrictions imposed by the location. The beginning was very good, and though you don't learn who the victim is until the murder happens (unless the back-of-book synopsis is very different on your copy than mine), it was rather obvious who it would be and I was very pleased as the person was shown to be a most unlikable character. The solution is not immediately obvious, though there are hints (and, obviously, clues) to the solution throughout.

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