Devices and Desires By Devon O’Connor
Devices and Desires by P D James is a classic detective novel set in England in the late eighteenth century. It was first published in 1988.
Devices and Desires are the second of the Dalgliesh novels in the Adam Dalgliesh trilogy. It takes place in Larksoken, an island off the coast of Norfolk, where the title character lives. The name comes from a service of Morning Prayer on the 16th of August, 1560 of the Book of Common Prayer. The priest says, “With all our hearts we have followed the desires, devices, and imaginations of our hearts”.
After the priest’s sermon, Mary, the sister of St. Nicholas, asks a friend to find out more about Larksoken and what the people on it do. So Mary sets out to look into Larksoken with her friend.
They arrive at a secluded beach on Larksoken. There they meet a man called Richard. He is called the Lark’s Head because he wears a horned hat. He tells them that Lark’s Head’s were always his friends and he has lived there his entire life. Richard reveals that he has been called upon to help the police to solve murders in Larksoken.
With Richard’s help, they learn about the crimes in Larksoken and how the victims were killed. They also find out about a secret society called Lark’s Heads, who are after some mysterious treasure that belongs to one of their members. The head of the society tells them about the treasure hidden beneath the sea and they are told that it contains a very powerful item.
Once they know about Lark’s Heads they find out that they need to get to the location where the treasure is hidden to find out if it is really there. They head for Lark’s Head Island and Mary finds out that the secret society has placed a curse on the island. so she has to find the curse’s source, using devices and desires to do it. She uses all of her abilities to solve the mystery.
In order to solve the mystery of the island, they must use more than just devices and desires. They are required to work together to solve the mysteries as well. Devices and Desires also have a lot of action. and there is plenty of mystery involved, the book also ends with Mary and Richard heading off to find the mystery that has been plaguing the group for a long time.
I have always enjoyed Devices and Desires, as I am fond of the detective fiction genre. This is the third Dalgliesh novel in the Adam Dalglish series. It is my favorite by him.
There are quite a few elements in this book that remind me of Larksoken. I especially liked the use of devices and desires in this book. For instance, when Mary and Richard first arrive at the beach the men in the beachwear hats that have little bells attached to them, and when they enter the water the boats are accompanied by creatures called ‘Mulligans’.
Devices and Desires also remind me of another Dalglish novel called The Road, it also has a lot of mystery and a lot of action, however, I think this book is more like the first Dalglish novel. It also has great dialogue. and a lot of suspenseful moments. It also has a story that is very interesting. It is set around the seaside.
This is a great read and you will enjoy it. I recommend it to those who like to read about the supernatural and who like to read about a murder mystery. Devices and Desires are good to read.
I give it four out of five stars. I would recommend it to fans of mystery, who like to read about a mystery, and also fans of books like Larksoken and also like to read about some of the older Dalglish’s work.