A Certain Justice
|Author||P. D. James|
|Series||Adam Dalgliesh #10|
|Publisher||Faber & Faber|
|1 October 1997|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Pages||400 pp (first edition, hardback)|
|ISBN||0-571-19164-9 (first edition, hardback)|
|LC Class||PR6060.A467 C45 1997c|
|Preceded by||Original Sin|
|Followed by||Death in Holy Orders|
Venetia Aldridge is a brilliant criminal lawyer who is set to take over as the Head of Chambers in Pawlet Court, London. She successfully defends Garry Ashe against the charge of the murder of his aunt but is unprepared when her daughter flaunts her emotional involvement with him. Venetia is murdered in her office soon after her trial. Adam Dalgliesh investigates what appears to be an inside job. Things are not as simple as they seem as all the suspects appear to have unbreakable alibis. A second murder occurs later in the narrative and there is a tantalising ending when one of the "murderers" appears to confess with the knowledge that the case could never come to trial because of a lack of evidence.
The book also explores the psyche of a pathological criminal, the moral dilemmas of the defence lawyer and the repercussions of a successful defence of a murderer on those who are alive, including the victim's survivors and the defence lawyer herself. It is also a comment on the limitations of the criminal justice system.
In a 1997 book review for The New York Times, Ben Mcintyre called the book "vintage James" and summarized it as "a book in which revenge is not quite sated and deserts are not always just. That may not be the most satisfying conclusion, but it contains a certain truth."
- 1997, UK, Faber & Faber (ISBN 0-571-19164-9), Pub date 1 October 1997, hardback (First edition)
- 1997, Canada, Alfred A. Knopf (ISBN 0-676-97086-9), Pub date 21 October 1997, hardback
- 1999, USA, Ballantine Books (ISBN 0-345-43057-3), Pub date ? January 1999, paperback
- 1999, UK, Penguin Books (ISBN 0-14-027468-5), Pub date 14 January 1999, paperback
- 1999, Canada, Vintage Books (ISBN 0-676-97168-7), Pub date 15 June 1999, paperback
- Macintyre, Ben (December 7, 1997). "Going Postal". New York Times. New York. Retrieved April 2, 2017.