It has been quite some time since I have read an edge-of-seat thriller novel. And this weekend I accidentally stumbled upon one, P.D. James’ ‘The Lighthouse’.
Set in a secluded island off the Cornish coast, Combe Island is a place where the rich and the famous of the society come for what it provides the best – solitude. But when one among the distinguished visitors is found hanging on the top of a lighthouse (and hence the title of the novel), things start falling out of place. Commander Adam Dalgliesh and two of his colleagues arrive on the island to investigate the death. What is initially suspected as a suicide is ruled out by the experts and thus begins the investigation. With no access from outside and a limited number of suspects, the case does not seem a very difficult nut to crack at the outset. But as it progresses they realize things are more complicated than what they seem to be. The deceased Mr Nathan Oliver is a world famous writer and even though he is not very popular among the other inhabitants of the island, no one in particular can be suspected for the murder. With one more murder and an outbreak of SARS on the island, P.D. James takes you to a thrilling climax.
The writing is wonderful with details on each and every character including a brief about their past. The island is also described in a manner that may leave you with a wish to visit it sans all the drama. But that might not be possible as it is just a fictional setting created for the novel. I would give a 4/5 rating for this thriller. It’s definitely enjoyable.