If any author deserves the title Queen of Crime, I’d say it’s Agatha Christie. I’ve grown up reading her books, and some of them, even years after the first read, still hold that interest, to travel the well worn paths knowing where it’s headed yet curious jut the same. This book though was one that I had not read before. In retrospect, looking at a list of her novels, the ones I have read are far less in comparison to what I am yet to read. Thankfully, they are on my shelf.
Love. Love is something that, if true, can last forever. And if not, can change at the drop of a hat. Death on the Nile is a crime story that begins and holds on that note perhaps. Jacqueline de Bellefort visits her friend and wealthy heiress Linnet Ridgeway hoping that Linnet can set her boyfriend Simon up with a job. But to her shock, just a few months later, Simon breaks off the engagement and marries Linnet instead. Revenge on the cards! Jacqueline is determined to make the couple’s life miserable, and follows them everywhere, and even on the boat on the Nile when Simon and Linnet tried to shake her off. When that trip ended up as Linnet’s last, having been found shot, the first suspect is Jacqueline. But she has a rock solid alibi. On the same trip is Poirot, who is later, joined by Colonel Race, and they try to make sense of the mystery.
Poirot is at his brilliant best in the novel, I feel, observing people (the suspects), recollecting incidents where he saw some of the suspects and overheard a conversation between Simon and Jacqueline. What he makes of each character, and how he makes his conclusions based on small clues is interesting. It’s what helps the story to move further. He’s the supremely confident detective I first read through Christie’s short stories, and I enjoyed reading his character again. Linnet, as first of three victims, makes sense. It immediately puts an idea of Jacqueline as the killer in the reader’s mind. And Christie cleverly puts in a twist later. Motive… I’m not quite sure of that, whether the whole thing could have been avoided by a simple talk between Linnet and Jacqueline, but if that were the case, there’d be no mystery, no crime to solve. The motive, I feel, is greed and ego. And it works well in this case. Did I have a feeling that the book might end the way it did? Sure. It did cross my mind. But I do not think it hampered the read or the satisfied feeling that I had after I had finished reading.
A book that held my attention from start to finish and one that I feel, will do so again when I choose to re-read it. This is a book that is worth every penny.
|Title: Death on the Nile||Series: Poirot #17|
|Author(s): Agatha Christie||Genre: Crime Fiction|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9780007282616||Publisher: Harper Collins|
|No. of Pages: 416||Price: Rs. 199|
(© 22nd June 2015)