The first Poirot book that I am going to review today is Evil Under The Sun. As the title of the book suggests, the book highlights different dimensions of evil. According to Christie, this so-called evil can be found almost everywhere. Its disturbing presence can even be found at those places where it ought not to be. This novel does not start either with a murder or the discovery of a dead body, a general trend in a number of Christie’s novels. On the other hand, the novel begins by establishing the setting and different characters. The subtlety of characterization and a setting which gradually comes alive for the readers provide an intriguing and mysterious plot. This plot is well-worked out and credible.
The plot takes you to a secluded seaside resort in England. We find a number of people on summer holiday at this place. One of these gets murdered and every other character present at the resort seemed to have a motive for this murder. These characters are typical of Christie-land. These include flirtatious women, envious wives, negligent husbands and a tormented teen. The assembly of people at the resort also includes our beloved Hercule Poirot and thus begins an investigation. The book moves at a faster pace and readers take comfort from Hercule Poirot’s grey cells and his enigmatic comments on the crime. The twists and turns keep readers guessing till the end and, as usual with Poirot’s mysteries, the book finally concludes with satisfactory solution in the final chapter. Christie left an impressive legacy as a novelist and books like Evil Under The Sun are a testimony of that. I give four out of five stars to this book. Go for it. You will not get disappointed. The book will certainly give you a reassuring relief from the tensions of your daily life.
The second book that is the focus of today’s post is Murder in Mesopotamia, another typical Christie mystery. The mystery in this book is set in Mesopotamia. A group of people are excavating an archaeological site in Iraq and one among them gets murdered. This murder is followed by another murder. And, as we generally find in Christie’s books, there is a close circle of suspects (each having a different motive), Hercule Poirot to solve the crime and a grand disclosure at the end. Of course, there is also an asset of leaving the readers to know what happens next as they turn each page. While the book has its strengths, it has weaknesses too. For example, while I liked both the setting and the theme, there were too many characters for my liking. The story revolves around these characters and too many of them make it really difficult to keep track of each and every one of them.
The perfect descriptions of the processes of digging in the book tell us that Agatha was well acquainted with archaeological excavations. This should come as no surprise as Christie was married to an archaeologist and accompanied him on many excavations around the world. In fact, it will not be wrong to say her – ‘an amateur archaeologist’. The book is set in Iraq but we do not find any serious descriptions of this place. Iraqi characters, except a few minor ones in the form of servants and labours, also do not find place in the book. Inclusion of these could have added a different charm. And, lastly but most importantly, the first murder described in this book looked almost implausible. Is it really possible to kill a person like this? To me, it is unbelievable. Read the book and let me know your views on the same. I give three out of five stars to this book.