The Black Tower (Adam Dalgliesh Series #5)

The Black Tower (Adam Dalgliesh Series #5)

by P. D. James


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Scotland Yard Inspector Adam Dalgliesh races to solve a twisted murder in bestselling author P.D. James’ classic mystery The Black Tower, hailed as “splendid, macabre” by the London Sunday Telegraph and “a masterpiece,” by the London Sunday Times.

Just recovered from a grave illness, Commander Adam Dalgliesh receives a call for advice from the elderly chaplain at Toynton Grange, an isolated nursing home on the coast of England. But by the time Dalgliesh arrives, Father Baddeley has mysteriously died, as has one of his patients.

When the bodies begin to pile up, Dalgliesh once again finds his own life at risk as he determines to get to the truth behind his friend’s death and unmask the terrible evil t the heart of Toynton Grange.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780743219617
Publisher: Scribner
Publication date: 09/18/2001
Series: Adam Dalgliesh Series , #5
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 152,642
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

P.D. James is the author of twenty previous books, most of which have been filmed and broadcast on television in the United States and other countries. She spent thirty years in various departments of the British Civil Service, including the Police and Criminal Law Departments of Great Britain's 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 created Baroness James of Holland Park in 1991 and was inducted into the International Crime Writing Hall of Fame in 2008. She lives in London and Oxford.


London, England

Date of Birth:

August 3, 1920

Place of Birth:

Oxford, England


Attended the Cambridge High School for Girls from 1931 to 1937 and later took evening classes in hospital administration

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The Black Tower (Adam Dalgliesh Series #5) 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
WintersRose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While not as good as her Innocent Blood (1980) or the fantastic Children of Men (2006), The Black Tower is a page-turner with complex, fascinating characters. A slew of murders, all of which appear to be natural deaths, almost defeat the recuperating Adam Dalgliesh, who has determined to give up criminal justice following a life-threatening illness. The parallels between Dalgliesh's recovery and the lives of the patients at the nursing home that the detective is visiting in response to a request from an old friend put The Black Tower beyond the typical whodonit. The wrap-up at the end is a little quick, however, with too much explanation from both Dalgliesh and the murdered.
NellieMc on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I decided to read all of the Adam Daigliesh mysteries in one fell swoop and am glad I did. First, they are classic British mysteries all well-deserving of the respect P.D. James has earned for them and all are a good read. However, what is interesting is to watch the author develop her style from the early ones to the later ones. And, in fact, A Shroud for a Nightingale and The Black Tower (the fourth and fifth in the series) is where she crosses the divide. The later books have much more character development -- both for the players and the detectives -- make Dalgleish more rounded and are generally much more than a good mystery yarn -- they're fine novels that happen to be mysteries. The first three books (Cover Her Face, A Mind to Murder, Unnatural Causes) are just that much more simplistic. But read any or all -- she's a great writer and they are definitely worth the time.
benfulton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book may have been entirely too English for me to follow. The setup was really good - Dalgliesh receives a letter from his old prelate asking him to visit, then finds him dead when he does - and then come a series of really inexplicable scenes and characters. One character whom is described on the back as a vamp seems to be not particularly sexy, and it's never quite clear to me why many of the characters are living near this asylum, or why anyone would build a black tower out on the headland in the first place. What it came down to is that I never had any clue of what was going on until the end, which was funny, because the ending really wraps everything up neatly. All is explained, all is clear, and it all makes sense.Maybe it's just that the middle part of the book goes so over-the-top on English eccentricism that an American thirty years later can't make sense of it. I would love to see how James would handle writing the same book again today.
jrtanworth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book starts slowly and it was difficult for me (as it was for Dalgliesh) to figure out if there was really a mystery worth worrying about. Evil doings pick up in the second half and the ending is terrific.
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