Sunday, April 17, 2011

Towards Zero

It's been a while since I have read any Agatha Christie books. I pretty much grew up with them (for some reason the Miss Marple books are usually found in the children's section of German libraries) and thanks to selective amnesia, I can read the books more than once. I used to think that I had read pretty much everything she has written, until I started reading "The Life and Crimes of Agatha Christie". I was so wrong.

So when I found "Towards Zero" in the library, I checked it out - definitely a book I hadn't read before. I have never managed to guess the murderer in one of Christie's books and Towards Zero was no different, although all the clues are there. There are a ton of red herrings, twists and turns in the story and very convincing characters. The murder takes a while to happen and the victim is a surprising one, but you know form the start that something awful will happen (even if you didn't know already, given the author). The atmosphere is very tense and it stays that way until the very end. I think it's one of the best Christie books I have read.

Apart from the mystery, it's also a beautifully done portrait of a society that no longer exists, it's something I always enjoy when I read her books. You can learn a lot by reading the books carefully about daily life in pre-WWII Britain, at least the upper class-part of it.

The edition I have has the most awful cover I have ever seen for an Agatha Christie novel. Who thought that this would be a good idea?
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20th book for the Library Challenge

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