• Devices and Desires

  • An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery, Book 8
  • By: P. D. James
  • Narrated by: Penelope Dellaporta
  • Length: 18 hrs and 19 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (246 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $38.50

Buy for $38.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Featuring the famous Commander Adam Dalgliesh, Devices and Desires is a thrilling and insightfully crafted novel of fallible people caught in a net of secrets, ambitions, and schemes on a lonely stretch of Norfolk coastline.

Commander Dalgliesh of Scotland Yard has just published a new book of poems and has taken a brief respite from publicity on the remote Larksoken headland on the Norfolk coast in a converted windmill left to him by his aunt. But he cannot so easily escape murder.

A psychotic strangler of young women is at large in Norfolk, and getting nearer to Larksoken with every killing. And when Dalgliesh discovers the murdered body of the Acting Administrative Officer on the beach, he finds himself caught up in the passions and dangerous secrets of the headland community and in one of the most baffling murder cases of his career.

©2005 P. D. James (P)2012 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Taut.... Absorbing.... Better than her best." (The New York Times Book Review)

"I have often thought of mysteries as the sorbets of literature, something light and tangy to clear the palate between more serious courses. The books of P.D. James, however are more substantial fare, fulfilling as well as delicious, and Devices and Desires is no exception." (The Washington Post Book World)

"A masterful writer.... Devices and Desires seems to be that highly prized work - a terrific tale suspense and detection that also delivers the satisfaction of a mainstream novel." (The Wall Street Journal)
 

What listeners say about Devices and Desires

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    144
  • 4 Stars
    72
  • 3 Stars
    23
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    149
  • 4 Stars
    50
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    7
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    124
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    14
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Please bring back the Michael Jayston Narrations

I decided to try a P.D James narrated by Penelope Dellaporta. I love Adam Dalgliesh and have listened to three narrated by Michael Jayston. Since those are no longer available for whatever reason, I just gave in. This was almost unbearable. Her narration is dreadful. She manages to demean P.D. James’ incredible talent. Audible, please offer the other versions!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Another book ruined

Yet another book ruined by an ill-chosen narrator. I usually, always, listen to the preview of the book because the narrator can make or break the book for me. This time I realized instantly that I did not. While Ms. Dallaporta's normal voice can be characterized as 'fingernails on a chalkboard,' when the characters become emotional, she squawks like an hysterical myna bird. Ugh. I made it two-thirds of the way through before I concluded that the victim probably committed suicide to avoid listening to Ms. Dellaporta any longer. Listen only if you have an extremely insensitive ear to unattractive female voices.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great Interesting Read, Good Performance

I enjoy the English reader, she does a good job with this book. Nice change of pace. The story is the thinking kind of mystery with enough colorful characters and interesting English countryside to hold your interest through a relatively long book.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Devices and Desires

I have read 7 of Mrs. James novels and noticed the thread of feminism wound throughout the story lines, but never felt it too intrusive; however, this story is much different. The content was so offensive to me that I returned it without finishing the story. I read detective novels for pleasure and escape, not to become the captive of someone's ideology. If the author's point of view in life is subtly woven throughout the plotlines and characters, and the story is well written, then one can overlook some aspects that are contrary to one's beliefs. It's really too bad that she felt the need to hammer her POV of abortion and feminism throughout the story. I won't be reading anymore of her books. I like the narrator and thought she did a beautiful job.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

To me this is unrealistic, unreadable tripe

If I could find out how to return this book, I would do it in a heartbeat.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

As Always, Great Dalgliesh

This is one I’ve read several times and love. This is the first Audible version of it I’ve listened to and much prefer reading it. The narrator prefers to make the full cast of women sound as if they are all over 90 and sound very shrill. Someone new to this book would have a very difficult time trying to understand what age group each character falls into. I will be avoiding her narrations from here forward. The book is actually a very good outing for the author, however.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite

I usually love the details but this time it was too easy to get confused. Not sure if too many characters and subplots or if reader didn't help me tell them apart. I was losing track of a lot of it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Different than most

This book had multiple stories that eventually wove together, separate investigations, and some endings that only the reader knows about, but not the detectives it was a bit wordier than the other Dalgleish novels, which is saying alot since they are all pretty wordy The narration is good, although a bit dramatic. This was not one of my favorites, but worth a listen because a less than perfect P D James is still a reslly good book

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Devices and Desires

I enjoy P.D. James’s books, whether audio or reading. However, Ms. Dellaport’s histrionic screeching at every rise in tension. however small, ruined this audiobook for me. She sounds like she is about to break into sobs. Her voicing of the various characters was also weak and ineffective. She should stick to straightforward reading. And it went on for hours! I won’t suffer through another one of her narrations. If she were on stage, I would walk out. She ruined an otherwise good book for me.
The story, as always, is very good,,with excellent character development.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Immersion in misery

James is a skilled writer and plot builder. I've read two of her last books and they were excellent -- deep and somber and penetratingly thoughtful . . . also showing compassion! but NOT just scrutinizing and excruciatingly describing the dark mean and petty in every bloody character!! I kept listening to Devices and Desires, waiting for it to break out of this aspect of the setup -- but it didn't break out. Just kept on describing ugly meanness and misery -- with very little plot building! I couldn't take it. Gave up. I liked her later Dalgliesh books so much that I'm going to try one more novel