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Summary

The fourteenth Adam Dalgliesh Mystery.

When the notorious investigative journalist, Rhoda Gradwyn, booked into Mr Chandler-Powell's private clinic in Dorset for the removal of a disfiguring and long-standing facial scar, she had every prospect of a successful operation by a distinguished surgeon, a week's peaceful convalescence in one of Dorset's most beautiful manor houses, and the beginning of a new life. She was never to leave Cheverell Manor alive.

Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate the murder, and later a second death, which are to raise even more complicated problems than the question of innocence or guilt.

©2008 P.D. James (P)2014 Faber Audio

Critic reviews

"Elegantly phrased, plot-driven, multi-layered and laced with menace." ( Observer)
" The Private Patient is classic James." (Allan Massie, Scotsman)

What listeners say about The Private Patient

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  • Overall
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent narration

I've started listening to P D james only recently. I have enjoyed the stories and the sharp observance of the author.
One of the most important aspects to audio books is the narrator and Daniel Weyman is excellent. He demonstrates a wide range of characterisation in his narration. I am looking forward to my next P D James listen.

11 people found this helpful

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An Unexpected Outcome

As always from this brilliant writer, the plot twists and turns before......, I'll not spoil the climax. I will say, listen carefully, don't miss any of the clues.

10 people found this helpful

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  • 23-11-17

The best yet!

I've been trying P D James out since a 2 for 1 offer and I'm hooked. I found a couple of the books a litle repetitive in places but still good detective stories (let's face it, Sherlock Holmes is REALLY repetitive and I still love Conan Doyle!). This was the best of the ones I'd heard lately and didn't have those little repetitive touches that had been my only criticism of the others.

Daniel Weyman can read to me all day, he is superb. Different voices and accents without sounding pantomime, a lovely cadence to his voice and the tempo is great. He has a real gift for reading - an absolute joy to listen to.

4 people found this helpful

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The Private Patient

I found it difficult to get into the story or engage with the characters. However, when the murder happened and Dalgleish and team arrived it became more interesting and intriguing. There were many threads and most of the characters had back stories that may or may not have been relevant and in the end this is what spoiled this book for me. I did not guess the murderer or the motive so that came as a surprise but after it had been solved all the other ends had to be tied up and I found it tedious. I have not read many works by the author so perhaps fans will be appalled that I could use such a description: it was very clever and intricate in the extreme but I felt that too many characters had been in PD James’s mind when she started and probably she hadn’t decided who the murderer would be so wove many possibilities until she could choose. I usually read and/or listen to my books several times but I shan’t revisit The Private Patient.

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointing.

This is the author's last book featuring Adam Dalgleish and, for me, the weakest. The romantic angle with Dalgleish and Emma Lavenham over the last few books adds nothing to the stories and doesn't ring true for the time the book was written. There's also a moralising angle from P.D. James which runs through her work and irritates. The working class characters are always very two-dimensional and stereotypical. It feels like the author is looking down her nose. Nevertheless these are gripping stories that pass the time nicely during lockdown.

2 people found this helpful

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A Private Patient

This is the 2nd pair of the book is it definitely is a fantastic book The twist are great. I've relistened to the last 3 chapters cause I was a bit confused at the end but I'd totally missed some of the key points when they were finishing the summary of the case . I totally stand by my comment about it been a fantastic story.

2 people found this helpful

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Puzzling ending (NO spoilers)

I've made my way through all the Adam Dalgliesh books now and this one sums up my thoughts on the whole series. The premise and overall set-up is great. Then somewhere around halfway through, it all starts to fall to pieces. This time, I was so bemused by the ending that I went online to find out what happened. I was quite relieved to discover that lots of other people were asking the same question!

I also both love and hate the fact that everyone is posh. Even the people who aren't posh, are posh. Also, even though the novels are set in contemporary times, they are, in fact, all set in the 1940s - the language, the food, the attitudes, the clothes, the turns of phrase, everything. Only Kate and Benton seem like modern characters. PD did manage to bring herself to mention mobile phones in this book, but it's the only nod to modernity - and they still use maps instead of sat-nav (in the previous book, Dalgliesh looks people up in 'Who's Who' rather than use that newfangled thing called the internet).

BUT. The one thing that has brought me back to book after book of this intriguing but unsatisfactory series is the sublime narration by Daniel Weyman. They've been a pleasure to listen to, just for him.

1 person found this helpful

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a bit unengaging

Parts of this story were exciting, but the characters are difficult to engage with. In particular each character's manner of speech feels unnatural and drawn out. The setting, a large manor house, feels a bit lazy, like a classic murder mystery, it's been done before.

1 person found this helpful

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excellent book

I loved it and was sorry when it finished. looking forward to the next one

1 person found this helpful

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A great listen

As with all P D James novels, this story was compelling. The characters come to life through the superb narration.

1 person found this helpful