Set on a fictitious island Coombe off the coast off Cornwall in idyllic but rough surroundings, the island is a haven for those in industry or politics who seek a quiet place of serenity and solitude to relax sans the fear of terrorism or security or the day to day humdrum calls of their lives. It is run with clockwork efficiency by a very efficient staff and the whole place runs like a well oiled machine.
Enter Nathan Oliver a not very nice man, famous author who uses people and brings out the worst in them so that his stories could be so authentic as he is able to get into the head of the character so to speak. Nathan Oliver upsets the smooth functioning of the Island. He also finds himself murdered and so enters the enigmatic Adam Dalgleish. (I never fail to be impressed by him as well!)
Unusual settings are James's forte and here there is no exception. This remote island with its lighthouse and its separate cottages cut off from the mainland, no visitors allowed other than by permission are so beautifully described that you never want to leave. Add to this mix the gorgeous Inspector with his poetry and music, and a mix of characters and you have a best seller on your hands.
Just waiting to get to the next P D James's book. Absolutely riveting.