Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Big Four

The Big Four. Agatha Christie. 1927/2001. Penguin. 208 pages.

I have met people who enjoy a channel crossing; men who can sit calmly in their deck-chairs and, on arrival, wait until the boat is moored, then gather their belongings together without fuss and disembark.

Captain Hastings narrates this Hercule Poirot novel. First, I must say that it was GREAT to have him back as narrator. I'd missed him lately. Second, I must say that this Hercule Poirot is very different from others I've read. There is a big mystery to be solved. And there are plenty of little mysteries to be solved. The motives for these crimes are very different. More political, more conspiracy theory, more intellectual intrigue than the traditional murder mystery.

Who are the Big Four? Well, Poirot believes them to be a secret organization running the world behind the scenes. The masterminds behind several political upheavals. One from China. One from France. One from the United States. And the fourth, well, that's the mystery. For this "destroyer" is the most elusive of them all. An expert at disguise he certainly must be. For Hastings and Poirot believe they've encountered him at many, many of their recent crime scenes. But no matter how many times they catch a glimpse, they're never able to describe him.

At the beginning, they've only got a lead on the identity of one of the members. But they're hoping to find all four so they can be brought to justice. For the bodies do begin to pile up in this one--and each one gives them a little clue. It won't be an easy case to solve--for it's all a game with traps hidden within traps within traps. But if anyone can solve it, Poirot's the man for the job.

I liked this one. I didn't love it exactly. But it was a good read, a compelling one!

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Marce said...

Hmmm, this is another bloggers favourite but now that you have said political, ugggh, not sure its for me.

cleemckenzie said...

I've always loved the fussy, fastidious Poirot, so I probably will give The Big Four a shot. thanks.