Title: The Black Tower
Author(s): P.D. James
No. of pages: 352
Genre: Murder mystery
Publication date: 1975
Date read: January 2nd 2019
Commander Dalgliesh is recuperating from a life-threatening illness when he receives a call for advice from an elderly friend who works as a chaplain in a home for the disabled on the Dorset coast. Dalgliesh arrives to discover that Father Baddeley has recently and mysteriously died, as has one of the patients at Toynton Grange. Evidently the home is not quite the caring community it purports to be. Dalgliesh is determined to discover the truth of his friend’s death, but further fatalities follow and his own life is in danger as he unmasks the evil at the heart of Toynton Grange.
I remember watching the TV series adaptation of this book when I was younger and I found it quite … mysterious and dark. It wasn’t like any other detective series I’d seen and it stuck with me ever since. I took some of the mysterious feelings with me when I started reading The Black Tower and soon I discovered that it also read differently from any other murder mysteries I’ve read so far. P.D. James goes deeper than, for instance, Agatha Christie does: Dalgliesh is much more of a round character than Poirot. The Black Tower starts off with a lot of descriptions of Dalgliesh’s thoughts and these descriptions stay throughout the whole book. I really liked this! The solution to the mystery wasn’t that original, though, and I soon knew who the killer was. It just couldn’t have been anyone else, really!
This is now the fourth murder mystery by P.D. James, with Dalgliesh as the main character, I’ve read, but The Black Tower stood out more than the other three. However, I think that’s mainly because of the nostalgic feelings, of watching the adaptation, I link to it.