Wednesday, November 27, 2013

#BookReview--> Hercule Poirot #19- Appointment With Death by Agatha Christie



"You do see, don't you, that she's got to be killed?"
The question floated out into the still night air, seemed to hang there a moment and then drift away down into the darkness towards the Dead Sea.

With this startling statement starts this great adventure, first published in 1938, which takes us on a ride that shows the reader the ugly and manipulative side of human nature. A psychological mystery from the Queen of Crime
who shows us a yet another talent of hers. Her in depth knowledge of human nature. Appointment with Deathis an excellent novel that provides a perfect atmosphere to study the psychology of human behavior.

Mrs. Boynton, although an invalid, is a controlling type of woman. She has such a hold over her family that if she tells them to do something, they do it with no questions asked. Her family comprises of her son Lennox, his wife Nadine, the twins Carol and Raymond and finally their smallest sibling Ginny. Only Ginny is her real daughter while Lennox, Carol and Raymond are her step children.

On a trip to the middle east, the family is anything but enjoying. The Boyntons are on edge and nervous with their mother controlling them like puppets.

" What a horror of a woman!" Old, swollen, bloated, sitting there immovable in the midsts of them - a distorted old Buddha - a gross spider in the center of a web!

Financially dependent on their mother and socially secluded, the Boyntons have no choice but to obey her and although they are free, are still forced to live in captivity where their each movement and every aspect of life is controlled by her!

So when one day in Petra, Mrs Boynton is found dead with a mysterious puncture mark on her wrist, everyone feels relieved with no sorrow in their hearts. A known heart patient, her death is attributed to her weak heart with no suspicion of any foul play.

Nevertheless, Hercule Poirot who is visiting Colonel Carbury is asked to investigate the death as he feels that the family is hiding something! Thus, Hercule Poirot with "the egg-shaped head, the gigantic moustaches, the dandyfied appearance and the suspicious blackness of his hair" starts on the quest of a murderer (if there has been a murder) who is sure of getting away and solve the mystery of the guilty looks and almost too clean witness descriptions of the time leading up to her death.

But has there been a murder or is it true that Mrs Boynton died a natural death?
To find the answer to the above question Poirot must first understand the psychology of each person involved who all have every reason to wish Mrs Boynton dead but no hint of having a hand in her murder?
Will Poirot succeed or is Colonel Carbury right that there is no chance of success even when Poirot is sure of it?

"I am gifted.... I know my own ability."

A mystery unlike any other, Appointment with Deathwill keep you super excited, quickly turning pages all the while giving the reader a new perspective to human nature. Another gem from the Queen of Crime, I give it a 4.5 out of 5 and highly recommend that you read it.  A book that will take you to the temples of Solomon and the ruins of Petra, provide you an adventure worth going on and with expertly sketched characters with many facets to their nature, it is not to be missed. :)

  

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