The Private Patient

Publisher: Seal Books
With all the qualities that P. D. James’s readers have come to expect: a masterly psychological and emotional richness of characterization, a vivid evocation of place and a credible and exciting mystery.

When the notorious investigative journalist, Rhoda Gradwyn, books into Mr. Chandler-Powell’s private clinic in Dorset for the removal of a disfiguring, long-standing facial scar, she has 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 will never leave Cheverell Manor alive. When Adam Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate the murder – and a second death occurs – even more complicated problems than the question of innocence or guilt arise.

From the Hardcover edition.


Book One

21 November—14 December
London, Dorset


On November the 21st, the day of her forty-seventh birthday, and three weeks and two days before she was murdered, Rhoda Gradwyn went to Harley Street to keep a first appointment with her plastic surgeon, and there in a consulting room...
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“Although she tackles contemporary social issues with relish, James will still use old-fashioned narrative devices dating back to the golden age of crime fiction. That’s because they still work.” –Calgary Herald

“Her skill and vitality are not diminished . . . The Private Patient is classic James.” –Scotsman

“This is a book about the way we live now . . . James brings a stinging clarity to the complicated goings-on in the Dorset countryside” –The Sunday Times

“Elegantly phrased, plot-driven, multi-layered and laced with menace.” –Observer

“P. D. James — in the eyes of many admirers the world’s finest living crime novelist.” –The Windsor Star

From the Hardcover edition.