Devices and Desires : Adam Dalgliesh

  • by P. D. James
  • Narrated by Penelope Dellaporta
  • Series: Adam Dalgliesh
  • 18 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Featuring the famous Commander Adam Dalgliesh, Devices and Desires is a thrilling and insightfully crafted novel of fallible people caught in a net of secrets, ambitions, and schemes on a lonely stretch of Norfolk coastline.
Commander Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard has just published a new book of poems and has taken a brief respite from publicity on the remote Larksoken headland on the Norfolk coast in a converted windmill left to him by his aunt. But he cannot so easily escape murder.
A psychotic strangler of young women is at large in Norfolk, and getting nearer to Larksoken with every killing. And when Dalgliesh discovers the murdered body of the Acting Administrative Officer on the beach, he finds himself caught up in the passions and dangerous secrets of the headland community and in one of the most baffling murder cases of his career.


What the Critics Say

"Taut.... Absorbing.... Better than her best." (New York Times Book Review)
"I have often thought of mysteries as the sorbets of literature, something light and tangy to clear the palate between more serious courses. The books of P.D. James, however, are more substantial fare, fulfilling as well as delicious, and Devices and Desires is no exception." (Washington Post Book World)
"A masterful writer.... Devices and Desires seems to be that highly prized work - a terrific tale of suspense and detection that also delivers the satisfaction of a mainstream novel." (Wall Street Journal)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Another book ruined

Yet another book ruined by an ill-chosen narrator. I usually, always, listen to the preview of the book because the narrator can make or break the book for me. This time I realized instantly that I did not. While Ms. Dallaporta's normal voice can be characterized as 'fingernails on a chalkboard,' when the characters become emotional, she squawks like an hysterical myna bird. Ugh. I made it two-thirds of the way through before I concluded that the victim probably committed suicide to avoid listening to Ms. Dellaporta any longer. Listen only if you have an extremely insensitive ear to unattractive female voices.
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- Sherri

A well wrought mystery

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Possibly, but only after warning said friend of the sub-optimal sound quality and the old-lady narrator, both of which made me give up listening several times before I finally got deep enough into the mystery that I really cared whodunnit.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Adam Dalgleish....and the motherless child, Teresa Blaney.

What aspect of Penelope Dellaporta’s performance would you have changed?

I would have chosen a younger (or at least less old-lady-sounding, less stuffy-sounding) narrator.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Murder on the Headlands

Any additional comments?

The narrator did have good vocal inflection and prosody/expression, which ultimately made the listening experience superior to reading the print version alone (I did both).

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- Gretchen SLP "Avid listener on my daily commute!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-01-2012
  • Publisher: Random House Audio