The lease on the Dupayne Museum is almost up and under the terms of their father's will, all three of the Dupayne children must agree to continue or the museum is to close. Neville Dupayne ... See full summary »
The lease on the Dupayne Museum is almost up and under the terms of their father's will, all three of the Dupayne children must agree to continue or the museum is to close. Neville Dupayne is dead set against continuing the museum when the money could be used for a much better purpose. One of the museum's key attractions is the Murder Room, displaying information on a series of notorious murders from between the two World Wars. When Neville dies in a way reminiscent of one of the murders on display in the Murder Room, Commander Adam Dalgleish is asked to investigate. There are any number of suspects: his siblings, several museum employees who will lose their job, his secretary with whom he once had an affair and his daughter who felt he was an absentee father. A second murder reveals some of the activities of the upper classes and the solution lies in a long-ago wrong that someone is seeking to right. Written by
An excellent adaptation of the book - and a more human Dalgliesh than Roy Marsden's portrayal
As always, P D James has written a very good and intriguing story. The adaptation is faithful to the book: nothing much is added or taken out. However maybe the explanation of the murderer's motives was glossed over a little.
I actually prefer Martin Shaw rather than Roy Marsden as Adam Dalgliesh. Martin Shaw's portrayal is arguably less faithful to the character as P D James writes it, but portrays him as a more human, likable character. I always found Roy Marsden's portrayal (and his description in P D James's books) to be stern, humourless, aloof, distant and with no likable qualities or little human failings that I could identify with.
I liked the subplot about his girlfriend. It showed his vulnerability and his awkwardness with women; the letter that he wrote to her at the end (I won't spoil it by mentioning the subject) was very moving.
I agree that characters of Dalgliesh's two inspectors weren't really developed properly (they aren't in the book either). One of the slight failings of the Dalgliesh books and TV series are that the relationship between Dalgliesh and his sidekicks isn't strong enough that they can confide in each other, in the way that Morse and Lewis or Wexford and Burden do. The acid test of a "good" TV detective, aside from their deductive qualities, is whether you like them as a person and could imagine yourself discussing a case with them over a pint. With Morse, Frost or Wexford, this is easy to imagine; with Dalgliesh, especially as portrayed by Roy Marsden, I suspect that the conversation would be a bit tense and there would be lots of long silences! At least it is easier to imagine having a drink and a chat with Martin Shaw's version of Dalgliesh.
16 of 25 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?