Commander Adam Dalgliesh is already acquainted with the Dupayne Museum in Hampstead, and with its sinister murder room celebrating notorious crimes committed in the interwar years, when he is called to investigate the killing of one of the trustees. He soon discovers that the victim was seeking to close the museum against the wishes of both staff and fellow trustees. Everyone, it seems, has something to gain from the crime. When it becomes clear that the killer is prepared to kill again, inspired by the real-life crimes from the murder room, Dalgliesh knows that to solve this case he has to get into the mind of a ruthless killer.
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Commander Adam Dalgliesh, P. D. James?s formidable and fascinating detective, returns to find himself enmeshed in a terrifying story of passion and mystery -- and in love.
The Dupayne, a small private museum in London devoted to the interwar years 1919 -- 1939, is in turmoil. As its trustees argue over whether it should be closed, one of them is brutally and mysteriously murdered. Yet even as Commander Dalgliesh and his team proceed with their investigation, a second corpse is discovered. Someone in the Dupayne is prepared to kill and kill again. Still more sinister, the murders appear to echo the notorious crimes of the past featured in one of the museum?s galleries: the Murder Room.
The case is fraught with danger and complications from the outset, but for Dalgliesh the complications are unexpectedly profound. His new relationship with Emma Lavenham -- introduced in the last Dalgliesh novel, Death in Holy Orders -- is at a critical stage. Now, as he moves closer and closer to a solution to the puzzle, he finds himself driven further and further from commitment to the woman he loves.
The Murder Room is a powerful work of mystery and psychological intricacy from a master of the modern novel.
?You can?t possibly know him.?
?I can know enough,? Emma said. ?I can?t know everything, no one can. Loving him doesn?t give me the right to walk in and out of his mind as if it were my room at college. He?s the most private person I?ve ever met. But I know the things about him that matter.?
But did she? Emma asked herself. Adam Dalgleish was intimate with those dark crevices of the human mind where horrors lurked which she couldn?t begin to comprehend. Not even that appalling scene in the church at St. Anselm?s had shown her the worst that human beings could do to each other. She knew about those horrors from literature; he explored them daily in his work. Sometimes, waking from sleep in the early hours, the vision she had of him was of the dark face masked, the hands smooth and impersonal in the sleek latex gloves. What hadn?t those hands touched? She rehearsed the questions she wondered if she would ever be able to ask. Why do you do it? Is it necessary to your poetry? Why did you choose this job? Or did it choose you?
-- from The Murder Room
From the Hardcover edition.
Praise for Death in Holy Orders, The National Bestseller
“Baroness James of Holland Park has lost none of her power as a storyteller. Death in Holy Orders is a great novel about Heaven, Hell, death and judgment.” -- The Globe and Mail
“James is a delight to read, a writer in love with the language as much as her characters and her detailed plots.... This is an exquisite book, perfect in its details.” -- Winnipeg Free Press
“P. D. James’s latest mystery novel, Death in Holy Orders, reconfirms her place high in the panoply of contemporary crime writers.... This is a book to be savoured.” -- National Post
From the Hardcover edition.
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0141015535