Commander Adam Dalgliesh and his team are confronted with a puzzle of baffling complexity. A murder has taken place in the offices of the Peverell Press, a venerable London publishing house located in a dramatic mock-Venetian palace on the Thames. The victim is Gerard Etienne, the brilliant but ruthless new managing director, who had vowed to restore the firm's fortunes. Etienne was clearly a man with enemies - a discarded mistress, a rejected and humiliated author, and rebellious colleagues, one of whom apparently killed herself a short time before. Yet Etienne's death, which occurred under bizarre circumstances, is for Dalgliesh only the beginning of the mystery, as he desperately pursues the search for a killer prepared to strike and strike again. Original Sin is a detective thriller in the grand manner, profoundly enriched by P. D. James's ability to evoke an atmosphere of suspense and to create characters whose psychology is plausible and gripping. Nothing is simple about it - the mystery, the haunting symbolism of death and the river, even the interaction between Dalgliesh and his subordinates, Kate Miskin and Daniel Aaron. P. D. James has written her most accomplished novel yet.