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PD James

Innocent Blood

Faber 1980
Jacket design Stephen Moreton Prichard

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PD James

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The social worker was older than she had expected; perhaps the nameless official who arranged these matters thought that greying hair and menopausal plumpness might induce confidence in the adopted adults who came for their compulsory counselling. After all, they must be in need of reassurance of some kind, these displaced persons whose umbilical cord was a court order, or why had they troubled to travel this bureaucratic road to identity? The social worker smiled her encouraging professional smile. She said, holding out her hand: "My name is Naomi Henderson and you're Miss Philippa Rose Palfrey. I'm afraid I have to begin by asking you for some proof of identity." Philippa nearly replied: "Philippa Rose Palfrey is what I'm called, I'm here to find out who I am," but checked herself in time, sensing that such an affectation would be an unpropitious beginning to the interview.

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