I have been a fan of P D James and her detective Adam Dalgleish for years. This book is one of her stand alone novels and is slightly different.
Phillipa Palfrey adopted at the age of eight imagines herself to be the daughter of aristocracy and a parlour maid. Despite being brought up in very comfortable circumstances with all advantages Phillipa hankers to know more about her past and at the age of eighteen applies and obtains the information re her parents. The startling truth is bizarre. Her father and mother are criminals - the father guilty of rape of a twelve year old girl, and the mother guilty of the actual murder of the child.
The story evolves from this base and involves the murdered girl's parents who have vowed to seek vengeance on the murderess of their only daughter. The mother of this child dies but the father plods on towards this goal, just marking time for the ten years to pass when Mrs Ducton is released from prison.
The storyline though different to her other books was for me not as tantalizing as the usual P D James's stories. Maybe I was disappointed not to find Dalgleish part of the scene and this for me "let the side down". The book was dull though the story was both complicated, and the people who filled the story ideally suited to their characters.
The ending of the story is fairly predictable and one does know where you are going, but in typical James's fashion the author has a twist in the tale and it is not quite as one would have imagined. Despite this the book for me was not as enjoyable as her other books.
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