Book Review: Innocent Blood by P.D. James

14 Oct

Continuing Mystery & Crime Fiction Month

Innocent Blood by P.D. JamesInnocent Blood by P.D. James is not strictly a crime thriller – there is no detective putting together clues and evidence to get to the bottom of a mystery.

But there is crime, thrill, mystery, revenge and excitement enough for this to qualify. It is more a psychological thriller, keeping us wanting to know which way the protagonist will go – what choices she will make and how that will affect her life and the lives of the people around her…

Synopsis: Philippa Palfrey was adopted when she was eight years old into a wealthy family. Not knowing who her parents are, she fantasizes that she is the daughter of an aristocrat and a parlor maid. The truth is hardly that innocent or romantic.

When she finds out the truth about her parents and their involvement in the murder of a 12 year old girl, it is only the beginning of a series of unsavory truths that she uncovers. Philippa has opened the sluice gates and the waters are about to get very murky.

Review: The story doesn’t go by at breakneck speed, but I was turning the pages, wanting to know what happens to each of the characters.

Philippa is not a lovable character at all – dry and unemotional, but she is intriguing and eccentric, reason enough to root for her. The other characters are also not lovable. Philippa’s adoptive father, Maurice is cold and academic, but we learn the reason for him being closed off from all emotional contact. Hilda, her adoptive mother is the one that I really felt for, thrust into a position where she is not comfortable and surrounded by emotionally unavailable people.

The story is also a sort of comment on genetics versus environment and how that affects a child. Does knowing the truth about one’s family or parents affect the choices we make in life?

Verdict: One of P.D. James’ best known novels, this is worth a read. This is not a super quick read, though, and less patient readers might not care to wade through the detailed storytelling that James is well known for.

Related posts:

Mystery & Crime Fiction Month

Deception and Gone by Jonathan Kellerman – Alex Delaware novels

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7 Responses to “Book Review: Innocent Blood by P.D. James”

  1. Smitha October 14, 2010 at 5:36 pm #

    I have never tried a P D James yet. Have to give it a try. Am quite a patient reader, so hopefully, should be able to wade through it. Infact, it has been a while since I picked up a crime/psychological thriller.

    • stargazerpuj October 15, 2010 at 9:17 am #

      I enjoyed this one, but I prefer the Adam Dalgliesh mystery I read. Will have some more reviews of crime thrillers up this month. You can take your pick!

  2. Harini October 14, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    I have never read PD James before but have been wanting to lay my hands on one of his books. My friends who know that I more into crime novels and thrillers asked me to read him. Next time I m at the store will try to buy this book.

    • stargazerpuj October 15, 2010 at 9:20 am #

      Harini, thanks for stopping by. Rather than buy this one, I think you might enjoy one of the older Adam Dalgliesh mysteries to start with.
      I’ll be reviewing some more crime/mystery/thrillers this month – check back in for more recommendations!

      (Btw, PD James is a woman, and part of the reason these books have more attraction for me!)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Mystery & Crime Fiction Month « Stargazerpuj's Book Blog - October 18, 2010

    […] P.D. James – Innocent Blood – read my review. […]

  2. Book Review: Private Eyes by Jonathan Kellerman « Stargazerpuj's Book Blog - October 28, 2010

    […] Book Review: Innocent Blood by P.D. James […]

  3. P. D. James: Innocent Blood | Past Offences Classic Crime Fiction - January 5, 2016

    […] Stargazerpuj’s Book Blog: One of P. D. James’ best known novels, this is worth a read. This is not a super quick read, though, and less patient readers might not care to wade through the detailed storytelling that James is well known for. […]

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