Framed in the doorway of Hercule Poirot's bedroom stands an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man stares for a moment, then he sways and falls.
Who is he? Is he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what is the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life - and that of his twin brother - to uncover the truth.
©1927 Agatha Christie Limited (P)2002 HarperCollins Publishers
Just too incredible to satisfy. More like an absurd B-movie than the complex measured tales of her later years.
Yes. This book was one odd failure in the Christie collection.
I thought the reviewers who made bad comments about this book must have been mistaken. Not so. Hugh Fraser's performance was excellent, but even the best reader couldn't make the ridiculous plot less ridiculous. It was a James Bond fantasy starring Hercule Poirot, a character that doesn't fit at all. The whole thing was silly without humor. This was my ninth Christie listen, all the rest very good to excellent stories. I still want to hear more Poirot mysteries, and will bet on the fact that Christie didn't repeat the mistake she made with this one.
This was not like any of the other Poirot books - no real mystery to solve, just running from place to place encountering "villains" that are more ridiculous than any Batman or Bond flick. I can't believe anyone who liked the earlier books - or mysteries in general - would like this.
Hastings is back, but this is less of a mystery and more a disjointed spy thriller that appears as if Christie is trying to create Poirot's version of Moriarty, while channeling Fu Manchu and early science fiction. Overall, it was a failure as a novel and the Belgian investigator felt out of place in this attempt at grand international intrigue.
Poirot retires at then end of the story and I wonder if it should have been set before "The Murder of Roger Ackroyd?"
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