This is the second Adam Dalgleish mystery by James I’ve read now, and I do enjoy the set-up. Essentially, it’s a closed box mystery, a la Agatha Christie, where you know that the perpetrator is one of a certain set of suspects, and the fun is figuring out who. The Commander in charge, Dalgleish, has a couple of subordinates as his team, and they are called in only for high profile hush-hush cases. Nothing happens overnight, for they are dealing with wealthy and powerful individuals. And they have a set protocol of gathering together at night to go over what they uncovered that day, and plan for the next. How civilized, and how ingenious in letting the reader put pieces into place in orderly manner. No rush to judgment here.
The closed box in this case is a private medical facility, located in an historic old home in Dorset, the ultimate setting for those who wish a discreet medical treatment. The renowned plastic surgeon who operates this facility spends part of his time here, and the rest in London. And the eponymous patient is Rhoda Gradwyn, a prominent investigative journalist. Her face has been disfigured, since she was a child, by a disfiguring slash scar given to her by her drunken father while in a rage. She has deliberately not had it treated (her father commits suicide when she becomes an adult) but uses it as a shield. But now she has made the decision to ride herself of it. And the morning after the successful operation, she is throttled to death in her bed in the illustrious Cheverell Manor. And she isn’t the only one to meet her fate here.
Who? Why? Dalgleish and team are here to sort it out for you.