Commander Dalgliesh has always been PD James’ most enigmatic hero. A contradictory blend of poet and policeman, loner and lonely, he always appears detached from the grisly events that unfold around him. In The Murder Room, James allows us to see what happens when that veneer cracks, revealing more about the man behind the Law.
The Dupayne Museum is owned by three siblings and visited by Dalgliesh on request from his friend, Conrad Ackroyd. Ackroyd is researching high-profile murders between the years 1918 to 1938, showcased in a section of the museum, known as ‘The Murder Room.’ He has formulated a theory that the styles of murder are indicative of the era in which they take place and wants his friend’s opinion. However, when one of the Dupayne siblings is murdered a week later, Dalgliesh has to visit the museum in his professional capacity.
During his investigations, read with complete conviction by Michael Jayston, Dalgliesh encounters something that he hasn’t experienced for a long time: a potential relationship. Until this audiobook for CD, James had kept the Commander away from romantic entanglements. However, on meeting Emma, we see another aspect to the character; one that he has tried to keep hidden from himself.
Available on CD and as an audiobook for MP3, The Murder Room is a fascinating combination of crime-novel and character exploration.