The Private Patient

The Private Patient
Genre : Fiction
Published : 4 Nov 2008 - Faber & Faber
When the notorious investigative journalist Rhoda Gradwyn booked into Mr Chandler-Powell’s private clinic in Dorset for the removal of a disfiguring and long-standing facial scar, she was expecting 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 was never to leave Cheverell Manor alive. Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate the murder and later a second death, which together raise more complicated problems than the question of innocence or guilt.

A new detective novel by P.D. James is always keenly awaited and THE PRIVATE PATIENT will undoubtedly equal the success of her worldwide bestseller, THE LIGHTHOUSE. It displays the qualities which P.D. James’s readers have come to expect: a masterly psychological and emotional richness of characterisation, a vivid evocation of place and a credible and exciting mystery. THE PRIVATE PATIENT is a powerful work of contemporary fiction.


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.


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.


P. D. James - in the eyes of many admirers the world's finest living crime novelist.

The Windsor Star