Friday, October 29, 2010
Innocent Blood by P.D. James
I would have thought I had read all of P.D. James' books but I spotted this paperback at a book sale and realized it was new to me. I have never, ever disliked a P.D. James book and this one is just as good as all the others.
The wonderful characters and the setting are what make her stories come alive. The reader feels like a mouse in the woodwork watching every move and somehow privy to every thought. The heroine in this one is Philippa Palfrey who lives in style in London with her adoptive parents, Maurice and Hilda Palfrey. Maurice is not affectionate and Philippa believes he has used her as a sort of experiment, making her a posh sort of girl despite her background. She thinks she was the daughter of a maid on an estate and the aristocrat who lived there. She thinks her mother is dead. By law, on her eighteenth birthday she is allowed to request a copy of her birth certificate and learn how to contact a surviving parent.
What Philippa learns on that birthday astounds her. Her actual birth parents were exactly the opposite of what she thought and it is her mother who survives. She determines to get to know her mother in order to know who she herself really is. This sets her on a journey of discovery that will change her life forever.
Many other secrets are revealed in the course of the story as well, some of which greatly surprised me, and there is a final secret at the end which may or may not surprise you as much as it did me. Yet when I gave it some thought, it was inevitable.
I really can't tell much more without ruining the story, but I must recommend this one for anyone who loves a good character-driven mystery. Be warned that once you get into it, you won't be able to put it down.
I am an Amazon Associate if you decide to buy it.