Friday, March 6, 2009

Towards Zero by Agatha Christie

I got so bogged down in the damn Twilight series, that I needed a breather-read. Enter Agatha Christie, my main go-to author for those times when I just don't know what to pick up next.

I was originally going to read After the Funeral, which was the third novel in the omnibus after Death on the Nile (read it fairly recently) and Towards Zero, which I hadn't read for some time, so I started there.

It has the usual Christie mystery elements: a group of people at an isolated country house; underlying tensions and out-and-out arguments before one of them is murdered.

There's quite a bit more set up than usual in Towards Zero, but it adds nicely to the atmosphere of fear and menace that permates the whole story.

Towards Zero isn't a Poirot, or Miss Marple mystery, but it does feature Poirot stalwart Superintendent Battle, on holiday in the area of the murder.

That's all very vague, isn't it? Sigh. An old woman is brutally murdered during a visit from various friends and family members. There's Nevile Strange, and his second wife, Kay. Nevile's first wife, Audrey, is also visiting; leading to some natural tension. Thomas Royde, a family friend, is also staying at the house. At the hotel across the river from the house _ Gull's Point _ is Ted Latimer; a friend of Kay Strange.

There are Signs and Portends and Undercurrents before the murder and even after the tension is still ratcheted up nicely.

And yes, I was surprised all over again by whodunit. I love it when that happens.


Staci said...

You know what's sad? I've never read an Agatha christie book!!! Which one do you suggest I start with?

Maree said...

You can pretty much start anywhere, but her first novel _ and the first Hercule Poirot novel _ is The Mysterious Affair at Styles.
I hope you enjoy! :)

Ana S. said...

I'm afraid I'm in the same sad situation as Staci :(

But I love being surprised by whodunit too. And "a breather-read" - I love that expression!