Agatha Christie does it again. In her book entitled The Murder on the Links, she once again brings readers an intriguing murder mystery that leaves them on the edge of their seats. The book grabs you from page one and refuses to let go. The book requires careful attention and challenges the readers to deduce from the clues given in the book. However, as is generally seen in Christie’s novels, character development takes a back seat here as well, and the plot is elevated above all other considerations. The book features our dearly loved detective Hercule Poirot and you get to read about his egg-shaped head, his outrageous moustaches and his domineering self-importance. The book also has Captain Hastings, the war hero who was sent home from the war-front after getting wounded in World War I. As was the case with The Mysterious Affairs at Styles, Captain Hastings acts as a narrator in this book too.
The book starts off brilliantly. The Belgian detective receives a letter from some famed millionaire from France asking Poirot’s assistance. This millionaire imagines that his life is in grave danger. Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings rush to France as quickly as possible. However, this surging did not bring any productive result as the millionaire had already kicked the bucket by the time they reached there. The victim was discovered killed, lying on a shallow grave on a golf course, supposedly by the hands of some bearded foreign brutes. His wife was also found in a gagged condition in a room. His wife was not only gagged, but also tied up by the same foreign thugs. Then there is a mystery of a dark-haired woman who visited the millionaire at night. What follows next is the usual investigation of murder. The book keeps throwing a variety of twists and turns, and these twisty-turns make this book a perfectly written murder-mystery.
Agatha throws another ‘star-detective’ named Giraud in this novel. This Giraud has been entrusted with the duty to solve the crime by the local administration, and readers get to see ‘a little competition’ between Poirot and Giraud. Scenes featuring both of them were really fun to read. Both of these try to show superiority over other and use different methods to solve the crime. Poirot with his ‘little grey cells’ and Giraud with his modern scientific methods make this book a delightful read. In fact, this book is a worth-read for this little competition alone. It is really rare that you get a chance to see a contest between our beloved Poirot and another detective. Then you get to know a lot about Hastings. His exceedingly vulnerability to female beauty comes out in this book. He doubts Poirot’s methods at the one hand, and goes into raptures over the methods adopted by Giraud on the other. This shows that he sometimes get annoyed at his detective friend.
Though I will not rate this book as one of her best works, the book is richly plotted and certainly an entertaining read. Do not miss it if you are a Poirot fan.