Towards Zero

Towards Zero Brilliant Elegant and spare like The Body in the Library No Poirot or Marple, and I did slightly miss them Superintendent Battle doesn t work as well for me but is still one of Agatha s best, most well plotted stories. I m breaking all the rules here I had been reading my way through the Agatha Christie canon book by book in chronological order Generally I was managing to get through a couple, or , books per year Suddenly and very generously my parents bought me a copy of Towards Zero for Christmas As the fifth of the Superintendent Battle books and the thirty fourth published Christie novel it was going to take me a while to get to In fact, based on my current reading pace somewhere between 10 and 15 years When I pointed this out my parents suggested that they couldn t really guarantee to be around to hear what I thought of it by then so, seeing as most Christie novels aren t really interlinked as a series, it seemed fairer to bend the rules slightly and read this one out of orderThe story itself jumps straight into classic Christie fare a large number of people read suspects are gathered together for an unimportant to us reason Some of them obviously have pre existing histories with each other some of them we believe are meeting for the first time and, of course, not everybody is necessarily who they claim to be The zero of the title, it is explained, is the time of the murder we are moving towards The murder itself is the time zero, the events and reasons that lead up to this point are as important as the murder itself.However, this is a book that could have been so much better It has all the teasers and all the fantastic suspects we love all the twists and turns all the suspects briefly in the spotlight of suspicion before the story moves on But, ultimately, Battle is a non detective in this He barely influences the resolution at all The crime is actually wrapped up by some random passer by who happens to be in the area for a totally unconnected reason With this being Christie s last outing for Battle maybe she just wasn t feeling the love anyUp until the unsatisfactory ending though, it was thoroughly enjoyable. An Elderly Widow Is Murdered At A Clifftop Seaside HouseWhat Is The Connection Between A Failed Suicide Attempt, A Wrongful Accusation Of Theft Against A Schoolgirl, And The Romantic Life Of A Famous Tennis Player To The Casual Observer, Apparently Nothing But When A Houseparty Gathers At Gull S Point, The Seaside Home Of An Elderly Widow, Earlier Events Come To A Dramatic Head It S All Part Of A Carefully Paid Plan For Murder It s been some time since a murder mystery has imposed on my mind so heavily Even when this mystery had all its clothes on, you could guess the promise it contained I kept thinking, and the question and the curiosity, the suspense and the wonder, they kept occupying my mind As the pages flew by, the time to say goodbye to Inspector Battle came too soon At least Miss Marple starred in 13 of her books Poor Battle was shunted aside in the public s stampede for Poirot I guessed wrongly regarding the culprit I fell for one of the many false trails painted by Mrs Christie I react strongly to the narration of life and how it s being wasted, inways than one, by this great author The main characters here are Nevile, Audrey, Kay, Ted, and Mary The most mysterious of them was Audrey, whose secret feeling was not anger, love, or sadness, but fear I never thought that she was the culprit, and I could have guessed rightly who was, but then I got waylaid I was amused by the inimitable Mr Treves When an author like Christie has a limited number of brushstrokes at her disposal for painting a character, then one like Treves often walks a fine line between brilliance and parody I was very entertained by this situation, and Mr Treves played like a retarded and oblivious person who thinks he s being very observative Finally after being slightly disappointed by the real solution, I was cheered by the downright creepy lovey dovey ending Agatha Christie must generate a happy ending, no matter what But then she probably knew her audience too well Nevertheless this book has secured its perfect score, and time has come for me to escape, even if some people in the book don t want to Even though most mysteries start with a murder, actually it is the end culmination of a lot of events at a common point Or so says one of the characters in this novel.This is the theme of this book events moving towards a murder towards zero.That it starts with a murder is of no matter By the time one finishes the book, one will understand the appropriateness of the title.This book features my favourite Christie policeman, Superintendent Battle. Another blockbuster from Christie, featuring Superintendent Battle An interesting aspect of the novel is that Battle solves the case thinking of Poirot s obsession with symmetry The beginning is great and sets the tone for a great mystery As a reader you keep reading anxiously for the crime to be committed and when it finally happens, you sit back and relax for Battle to resolve it A very different technique but interesting Great read. , , , , , , , , , , , , No Wasted Movement No Wasted information , , , , As far as Christie mysteries go somewhat forgettable Heck, I don t even remember when I started this It was only due to an unexpected road trip and many hours in a car that resulted in this book getting completed It has all the hallmarks of a classic Christie mystery colorful characters, mysterious murders, secret pasts, and so on and so forth But no aspect of it really stood out, especially compared to all of Christie s other, better mysteries It may be because Superintendent Brattle just isn t as interesting as Poirot or Marple and no one character really stole the story It was a perfectly serviceable story but not one of Christie s highlights.Oh, and if you can get a version of this story or really any Christie mystery voiced by Hugh Fraser do it The man does a fantastic job with all the different British accents and voices, makes even a middling book enjoyable to listen to. I like a good detective story, he said But, you know, they begin in the wrong place They begin with the murder But the murder is the end The story begins long before that years before sometimes with all the causes and events that bring certain people to a certain place at a certain time on a certain day.What makes a good detective story Suspense Atmosphere An outrageous plot Memorable characters Twists As with many others of Christie s stories, Towards Zero relies on a set of characters, the type of which is already familiar to Christie s readers The setting a version of country house and plot errm.murder , is also in line with the expectation of the typical Christie novel What I had not expected was for Christie to actually question the whole setup of her typical story by proclaiming that the story cannot stop with the detection of the murderer but that it needs to reveal the background in order for the story of the murder to be understood.It s almost like Christie used this story to prove that the police investigation needs to include an understanding of the psychology of the characters involved in order to successfully solve the crime.But did she need to do this Surely, the fact that her Marple and Poirot act as the psychologists to aid the inspectors in her other books is proof enough that there is a partnership between the two Towards Zero does not feature Marple or Poirot but instead has Inspector Battle, who takes on the role of the enlightened policeman We learn early on that he has little time for amateur psychology, and later we learn that he is also capable of trickery although, Christie stays away from implying that there is a member of the police who would use trickery to get a murderer to confess No, she added a different character to do this.Which brings me to one of the few complaints I have about the story the multitude of characters There are so many of them that it is hard to keep track of Some are mentioned, but then disappear in almost the next scene with no relevance to the story.Were they included to merely bulk out the pages I mean, I really enjoyed the main plot and characters, but I wish she had spenttime fleshing them out, rather than just throwing new characters in the mix Maybe getting to learnabout the characters would have also helped the ending, which reminded me of the somewhat creepy relationship in Du Maurier s Rebecca view spoiler You needn t, said Audrey softly, look so stern He said gently as he came towards her Last time I had my hands on you, you felt like a bird struggling to escape You ll never escape now She said I shall never want to escape hide spoiler This is a very good murder plot with many victems and just as many suspects The author cleverly took each suspect out one by one until we are left with the killer.Enjoy and Be BlessedSteven

Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name

❴BOOKS❵ ✯ Towards Zero  Author Agatha Christie –
  • Paperback
  • 301 pages
  • Towards Zero
  • Agatha Christie
  • English
  • 12 May 2017

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