I consider P.D. James to be one of my favorite writers. I started reading her books back when I was in high school and since then I've always known I could depend on her for a quality story.
I bought this as soon as it was released and then set it aside, waiting until I had time to read it. These are the sort of books to which you want to devote solid, consecutive hours. There are lots of characters and lots of details.
Well, I started this book, and then set it aside because I wanted to read something that became available at the library, and then I was reading a book on my Kindle because I took a trip, and point being, it felt like it took me forever to get through this book. It's easy to put down because it seems to move fairly slow. Problem was, I found myself at times confused by all the characters and their connections to each other.
This wasn't one of my favorite books by James. I'm used to her writing and I like her writing style, so all the details and character background didn't bother me, but I wouldn't recommend this to someone who hasn't previously read her work. I tend to like the way she develops such a complex world for her characters. But this time, it felt like a little too much. Maybe because I was never able to devote large blocks of time to the book, it didn't flow all that well for me.
Some of the coincidences seemed a little ridiculous. There were too many side storylines. Just as I'd get interested in the case and it's progression, the next page would be a different place entirely, another character's dilemna. I started to find that bothersome. And as a long time admirer of Adam Dalgliesh, I suppose I should be happy for him now that he's in a relationship. But the more I learned about the relationship in this book, the more annoyed I became. It began to sound like he was marrying a naive little girl and that kind of creeped me out.
Also, the book tries to tie up all the loose ends for everyone in the story. By the end of the book, I was just thinking, "End already."
Overall though, I enjoyed the book, but I think it could have benefited from some heavy editing.
Finished reading June 18, 2011, 1 a.m.