Customer Reviews for

The Private Patient (Adam Dalgliesh Series #14)

Average Rating 3.5
( 106 )
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(30)

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(19)

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(11)

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(7)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

A highly recommended read!

Beyond the well developed characters and the interesting plot line of this book, P.D. James is a truly talented writer and a joy to read. The book was mentally comfortable from page one to completion and I, personally, intend to begin a collection of her writings. I'm...
Beyond the well developed characters and the interesting plot line of this book, P.D. James is a truly talented writer and a joy to read. The book was mentally comfortable from page one to completion and I, personally, intend to begin a collection of her writings. I'm sorry it's taken so long for us to become acquainted. The "Private Patient" had its delightful share of twists and turns, but none so outrageous that the story didn't have a natural flow that allowed me to personally assist Commander Adam Dalgliesh throughout his investigation. Once begun...I found it difficult to put this down...and found myself rushing to complete my daily chores so I could rejoin the investigation.

posted by Nutmeg-Anne on March 9, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Not the best of P.D. James

I love P.D James. I love the way she transforms mystery into a literary experience, but having said that, this latest book is not her best. It is still a wonderful read, but the plot is not as compelling as her other books. I found that I quickly forgot the book after r...
I love P.D James. I love the way she transforms mystery into a literary experience, but having said that, this latest book is not her best. It is still a wonderful read, but the plot is not as compelling as her other books. I found that I quickly forgot the book after reading it.

posted by 1025131 on February 23, 2009

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    The title is appropriate & the cover picture is exactly how I pictured the "scene of the crime".

    I re-discovered PD James with this novel. Had read 1 of her novels years ago & remembered I had enjoyed it. All characters are well developed & the "mystery" involved always holds your attention. Her central character, Detective Adam Dalgliesh, is superb. Went out & bought 2 more books from this series. Also feel her use of language is part of the overall appeal of her books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    P.D. James in Top Form

    I was sorry that some reviewers had trouble with the wordiness of the book, but this is characteristic of the author. If you're looking for a cozy village mystery to be finished in an afternoon, her books are not for you! This novel, like her others, unfolds slowly, with plenty of character development and setting detail. I gave this four stars instead of five only because I found the resolution of the mystery a bit murky. But the journey through the book was still worth the read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2009

    One of the better PD James stories

    Typical PD James style and substance. Similar to The Lighthouse in feel and overall a good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    The Private Patient

    PD James remains in fine form in this murder mystery. As usual, in her books the interior life is every bit as important as the exterior one and while I did not find the "who done it" too much of a challenge, I appreciated the leisurely pace of the book. (I only wish she had turned more of an eye to countryside descriptions of the beautiful Dorset area)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A PRECISE, MODULATED READING

    London born actress Rosalyn Landor is the perfect choice to read a P. D. James mystery. The daughter of an actor/broadcaster Landor grew up with reading aloud, story telling, and that love for the spoken word is reflected in her voice performances. Her readings are well modulated, precise as she carries listeners along to what is in this case a surprising denouement.<BR/><BR/> What lover of mysteries has not read or at least heard of P.D. James? The author of 19 books she spent some 30 years in the British Civil Service and recently celebrated her 88th birthday. One of her many gifts to readers is the creation of Commander Adam Dalgliesh, a consummate investigator who is often given to Holmesian discussions as he presents his thoughts to various characters and suspects.<BR/><BR/> With The Private Patient we visit an impressive old house, Cheverell Manor in Dorset. Once a family home it was sold of necessity to an eminent plastic surgeon, George H. Chandler-Powell, who now operates it as a clinic for the privileged. Rhoda Gradwyn comes to him for the removal of a disfiguring facial scar. She's an investigative journalist (her work is similar to that of a reporter for a supermarket tabloid in the USA). She's with us only briefly as she's soon dead of strangulation, a murder committed by an unknown person wearing latex gloves.<BR/><BR/> While the crime most definitely has affected Rhoda, it also affects the good doctor as who would want to come to a clinic where a murder has just occurred? Commander Dalgliesh is summoned to investigate. He has a great deal to look into considering the clinic staff, the departed's boyfriend, and others who were a part of her life for good or ill.<BR/><BR/> Once again James treats us to her vivid descriptions of setting and extensive vocabulary - the perfect word for every thought and situation. A pleasure to read - do so slowly and savor this author's unique style.<BR/><BR/> - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2014

    This is one of the shorter novels and my favorite

    Because it is also has the most humor! For p j james that is. Very few mystery writers can add humor into a mystery unless it is with a standard secondary cast member. Crispen can be very funny and often the humor is from an animal

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Great read! 4 stars

    I have always enjoyed books by this author. I thought this

    was a good read. Fans will not be diappointed.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    Well written mystery

    Very well detailed mystery with enough characters and surprises to keep you guessing. Enjoyable reading.

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  • Posted January 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Love her style.

    As with another British writer, John le Carre, readers must be patient and let the story come to them. Her descriptions not only set the stage but give readers a glimpse into life in another country. How things are done or in some cases simply NOT done. Commander Dalgliesh is his normal brilliant self and is moving into another phase of his life. This is a very satisfying read...just sit back and enjoy settings, characters and mystery.

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  • Posted January 9, 2010

    P. D. James is a good writer.

    This book lives up to her reputation. As always, her characters are interesting and the plot keeps you guessing.

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  • Posted March 8, 2009

    ADAM DALGLEISH SOLVES ANOTHER MYSTERY

    THE PRIVATE PATIENT by P. D. JAMES, (eighty-eight year old Baroness James of Holland Park,) features Commander Adam Dalgleish of the Special Investigations Squad and his team: Detective Inspector Kate Miskin and Detective Sergeant Francis Benton-Smith. In this, the fourteenth book starring Dalgleish, James continues to produce both a well-plotted mystery and a group of interesting, well-limned characters . any of which could be the murderer.The private patient of the title is Rhoda Gradwyn, an investigative tabloid reporter best known for her mud-slinging articles and secretiveness, perhaps the result of an old, unforgettable trauma. When she was a child, her father slashed her face with a broken liquor bottle, which left her scarred and disfigured. As THE PRIVATE PATIENT opens she is "celebrating" her forty- seventh birthday with a trip to Harley Street to keep an appointment with one of the best plastic surgeons in England. After Dr. George Chandler-Powell asks her why she waited so long to have this work done. Her enigmatic response is: "Because I no longer have need of it." None of the players in the plot learn any more and readers are also left to ponder her words.Gradwyn is obsessive about her privacy and chooses the manor house, hidden in the country. She wants to have the operation and recover in seclusion. When she arrives, Gradwyn removes herself to the bed-sit that has been reserved for her and here she intends to remain.The place itself is old and not particularly welcoming but is run by a very competent staff. Beyond tending to the patients this crew takes no particular interest in them. But over the years, they have developed love-hate relationships with each other.Rhoda Gradwyn is murdered almost immediately after her successful surgery. She is killed in her bed while she slept. Who and why she was slain remains a secret almost to the end of the novel. This conundrum heightens the suspense and moves the plot along in a timely fashion. With no shortage of suspects, Dalgleish, Miskin and Benton-Smith have their work cut out for them, especially since at a glance it seems that no one present has a motive. Before they can really get going they have to determine if the murder could be an inside job or did some outsider do the deed? Once this dilemma is solved, the interviews with the presumed suspects can move on. Readers now have an opportunity to see just who these people are, how they each operate and what their place is in the clinic's day-to-day functioning.
    Each staff member and guest have their dirty little secrets that emerge as the body count rises.
    REVIEWER BARBARA LIPKIEN GERSHENBAUM

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2009

    Not Her Best, But Pretty Good

    I'm a big fan of P.D. James, so saying "not her best" still keeps it better than most of other novels in the genre. Fine writing and good characters --maybe a not-so-interesting plot.

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