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Publisher's Summary

Amy Leatheran had never felt the lure of the mysterious East, but when she travels to an ancient site deep in the Iraqi desert to nurse the wife of a celebrated archaeologist, events prove stranger than she could ever have imagined. Her patient's bizarre visions and nervous terror seem unfounded, but as the oppressive tension in the air thickens, events come to a terrible climax in murder. With one spot of blood as his only clue, Hercule Poirot must embark on a journey across the desert to unravel a mystery which taxes even his remarkable powers.
©1936 Agatha Christie Mallowan; (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, London UK

Critic Reviews

"Smooth, highly original, and completely absorbing." (New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
  • Dawn
  • 09-15-12

brilliant story - disappointing narration

I was really looking forward to this version as I thought Anna Massey was a good choice of narrator. However, her Poirot is really far off the mark - too gruff, rugged and garbled, and I'm afraid to say the accent is absolutely atrocious.



It quite simply doesn't match the adorably fastidious, self-important and precise character of Poirot that Christie created, and as such I found it an unwelcome distraction to the otherwise superbly-plotted and intriguing story.



Also, the tone of her voice is too strident. You either have to turn the volume down low, or risk getting a headache after half an hour's listening. And if I'm being honest I didn't take to her pronunciation of Hercule as 'Er-Cool' instead of 'Er-Kewel' - but I expect I'm just being really picky!



I'd suggest looking for this title with another narrator, or try the excellent dramatised version with John Moffatt.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Michael A
  • 01-20-18

Agatha done it.

Once again, Christie has shown her skill of the whodunits.
Once again, Hercule solves it.

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  • Helen
  • 08-21-17

Poor narration

One of the few Christie books I've been unable to finish - Anna Massey's narration just didn't suit the book, and her voice for Poirot was dreadful. Give me Hugh Fraser any day, his are a joy to listen to.

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  • KI Girl
  • 08-05-17

I understand why this title is read by a female, but....

This Poirot story is told from the perspective of one of the female characters. It makes perfect sense that the story is read on audible by a female.

Anna Massey does a good job of all the characters with one exception - Poirot himself. The wonderful portrails of the little Belgian detective by Hugh Fraser and David Suchet are sorely missed here. He doesn't appear in the story till perhaps halfway thru but I did find Massey's Poirot slightly off putting.


Having said that it is another of Christie's wonderful whodunnits and well worth a listen.


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  • David Meadows
  • 07-28-17

Excellent book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The actual book is fantastic.

Would you be willing to try another one of Anna Massey’s performances?

No

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

As always AC book was amazing, the narrator really spoilt it.

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  • Susan Royse
  • 12-25-16

Difficult to listen to.

I have many Agatha Christie books downloaded and thoroughly enjoy listening to them before bed. I am aware of the story already but found it very difficult to listen and follow this narration. I'm afraid that Anna Massey's accents are just awful. Half the time when it was supposed to be Poirot I thought it it was some German character. A waste of money as I will not be listening again.

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  • rachel
  • 12-05-16

Usual brilliance from Agatha

Really enjoyed the plot twists, Anna Massey does the different characters well, although sometimes her accent for Hercule is a little strange

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  • Miss
  • 12-04-16

Horrible french accent!

Would you listen to another book narrated by Anna Massey?

Only if she didn't have to do any accents! She has a lovely voice when just reading straight though!

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  • MRS B
  • 07-13-16

Good story but painful narration at times!

The story is great and I enjoyed it, but the narrator's Poirot voice is not good - it made me cringe at times.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-07-16

A captivating English story...

A wonderfully read English story read in a proper English voice by the superb spine-tingling Anna Massey. Perfect !!

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  • Judith
  • 06-18-17

The narration detracts from the story

While I like Anna Massey as an actress, her narration of this book detracts and distracts from the story. For example, at times, Poirot sounds German. And the character who narrates the story sounds much older than the age she is given.
I can't recommend this audio book.

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  • K.
  • 03-19-15

Not her best

Unfortunately the narrator of this novel had the most annoyingly high-pitched voice - it grated badly. And the story dragged.