A small island in front of the Cornish coast, a murder, a lighthouse. Nice plot, well written. Nothing extraordinary, just what you would expect from a classic thriller.
The book is ok...it catches your attention at the beginning but i must say the ending is a little bit "fantastic" suddenly they know who the killer is after questioning many suspects who wait them sut in their windsor and victorian chairs next to their chimney....Continua
When I finished the book, I didn't want to begin another book for a while because I didn't want to break the spell the book had me under. The entire book just made me feel comfortable, cozy . . . I can't quite find the word I want, but I liked the feeling. P.D. James creates a world of her own, and whatever it is that she does, I really like it. Murder mystery rises to a whole new level in her books....Continua
There are several amazing things in P. D. James's books:
i) People - even police officers - don't swear. When in trouble, they make tea. "Hey, there's a dead man over there! / Oh dear, I'm shocked... let's have tea, shall we?"
ii) Building architecture and room furniture are always described to a boring level of detail. Moreover, there's always a fireplace with people sitting on high-backed chairs before/beside the fire. Can you imagine something more uncomfy? Before a fire, I'd rather sprawl on a sofa.
iii) Apart from a more or less casual partner, all people seem to live in isolation (hey! is there something like a close friend out there?). Even colleagues do not know anything about each other.
iv) In "The Lighthouse", toward the end, there's a bit of action, but P. D. James makes it unlikely.
I saw this book three or four times during my rounds to the local library but never borrowed it til now. I didn't realize it was a mystery until I was in the middle of the prologue, and the only reason I finally decided to take it home was because PD James was also the author of Children of Men and Orignial Sin, two books I really want to read and which had been made into movies. AND I love mysteries. Especially those classical ones by Christie where your suspects are always limited to a number of people that were around when the crime took place, and all it takes is some meticulous observation and insight into humanity and rational thinking and Voila you would have your answer. There is something very comforting about it, the fact that you can untie impossible knots just by applying pure brain power.
So now, what about the Lighthouse? Did i enjoy it? Well I can say that I was predisposed to enjoy but the final answer is...no. No I didn't enjoy it as much as I had expected. Of course it's a good book, with solid characters. The literature is good, there are lots of paragraphs that surpasses what one normally sees in mystery novels. The writing is pretty solid, words are probably chosen with more than usual care. There are paragraphs of character insight where one would get to know more of their inner toil and it really was good there. BUT. and this is a bigger than little BUT. As I progressed to the middle and latter part of the story, I gradually lost interest. I don't care any more who the muderer was. Normally with a say, Poirot case, it would keep me guessing to the end, and I would want to guess, because with each revelation, new motives or new lies would surface to keep me going. Or if not, at least there's funny conversation between Hastings and Poirot to keep me going. Here in Lighthouse there's none of that, and there's even a change of the detective in the middle of the story. Okay, I can get that this is a more seriously written novel (and certainly thicker too) but that is something I don't really understand...to what purpose was it supposed to serve? Perhaps it's a series and I should get another one before I make any more judgements.
In a word, it was a good novel,you get character developments, you get mystery, you get murder. What more can one ask? But somehow this one just failed to spark that flame, somehow I just didn't really care if the mystery was solved or not. I was more concerned with finishing the book I suppose and with getting to the end. There is a general gloominess overcasting all the characters and make them lose energy, like waifs floating through the stage.
I should try to get my hands on Children of Men and see if I would like it better....Continua