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Though I had all along heard of Agatha Christie and even read a couple of her books when I was in school I never really paid much attention to it. Recently, blogger friend Bina wrote a long and interesting piece on Christie, which made me think about reading one soon. And of course, Thoughts had been recommending that I read for a long time. So I borrowed two books from her and I finished one for which I thought I will write a small review. There’s not much I can say that has not been said about Christie!
The Murder on the Links is a Hercule Poirot mystery and I must say I did enjoy this one a lot. Poirot and his friend Arthur Hastings are called away to France to solve the murder of Renauld a millionaire. Just when he thinks he has got a hold on the incident, there occurs another murder, which makes the whole case more perplexing.
I loved the way Christie created a lot of twists and turns in the plot to throw the reader off balance. Poirot of course hardly ever seemed off kilter! Being an ardent Sherlock Holmes fan, I couldn’t help comparisons. I felt Holmes’ cases don’t have as many twists or elements to them. They are a bit more simplistic. At least for me, I could usually guess the culprit, though I couldn’t find the evidence. Holmes had to help me in that. In Christie, I was clueless. I really didn’t know who had done what. Because the plot kept throwing up new turns. Holmes’ friend Watson is more of an admirer and follower of Holmes than an active participant. Usually, he is the sounding board. Holmes expounds his theories and thoughts on the present case and Watson listens. Here, in Christie, Hastings is more of a participant. He does deduce things at times, though the clairvoyant Poirot would usually have seen those points in his mind already. I also observed that Hastings’ character is given much importance too. He is not just there as a presence, but he is an entity by himself. We learn of his own feelings, his thoughts. In other words, he has a personality of his own. He is a bit similar to Watson in that both love beautiful women and appreciate their beauty. But with Watson, it stops there. We don’t go too deep into his inner thoughts. With Hastings, we see a few different facets to him.
Well, these are just my two pence. I will always remain a Holmes fan. Even when I went to London, I had made up my mind that I would go see Holmes’ house on Baker Street even if I had to miss out on something else for lack of time! And I am glad I did, I freaked out! As for Christie, I have only read one book so far. Too early for fan status, but yes I see potential :)
Oh and please feel welcome to add to my comparisons here, I would be most interested to know!