Book: The Black Tower
Author: PD James
Read: July 2009
Rated: 3½ out of 5
Intelligently written mystery. The Black Tower is the most like your traditional mysteries which I have read from PD James.
The storyline is that Adam Dalgliesh is recuperating after an illness. His old priest, from when Dalgliesh was a child, writes to him to come down and give some advice. The priest dies of a heart attack.
The priest lived adjacent to a small nursing home for young invalids. The founder of the rest home has received a miraculous cure when he visited Lourdes—sort of. Dalgliesh has arrived after the priest dies, but with no instructions on what the priest asked him to look at. So Dalgliesh is left with trying to figure out the what, and then to figure out if three natural looking deaths are in some way connected.
The story line is entertaining. After a slow start, you are brought into Dalgliesh’s world and want to finish the read. It is an enjoyable summer read.
- While Dagliesh is recovering, he observes that he realized the he had been foregoing his life’s pleasures and preoccupations for lesser things, probably his job. He resolves to change that. To put himself in front of things such as his work, the demands on his life. (pg 7)
o Interesting. We think about hard work and not wasting a moment of time as Christian. Yet if CS Lewis is right, God is a hedonist, then we should at least count pleasure, true pleasure, at least as important as our work.
- Death as replaced sex as unmentionable. Not original. But still a good observation. (pg 7)
- Accidie: from acedia-- apathy, boredom
- Dilatoriness: The state or being late or tardy
- Ectoplasm: a substance or spiritual energy exterized by physical mediums. Ie ghosts
- Theurgy: The practice of rituals, sometimes seen as magical, performed with the action of making an action of the gods.
- Verisimilitude: he appearance of being true or real; likeness or resemblance of the truth, reality or a fact's probability. Verisimilitude comes from Latin verum meaning truth and similis meaning simila
- In the last fifteen years he hadn’t deliberately hurt a single human being. It struck him now that nothing more damning could be said about anyone. Pg 8
- There is a small reference to Cordelia Gray from Jame’s Unsuitable for a Women mystery,