Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Review: Evil under the Sun

Hard to believe, with all the books I read, that I've never read an Agatha Christie before, but indeed, I have not. This was my first, and I can certainly see why Christie is the world's most-published novelist. If there's one thing Christie can do, it's tell a good story. And that's precisely what she does in Evil under the Sun. I can see why readers find Christie's work compelling; she draws her readers in quickly, with a large cast of thickly-described characters and a vivid sense of surroundings. Evil under the Sun brings us to a seaside resort, where a group of holiday-makers, including Christie's famous Inspector Poirot, find themselves attempting to deal with a broad range of personalities. Likely the most abrasive of all is the beautiful and capricious socialite Arlena Marshall. When she turns up dead in a remote part of the beach, it becomes Poirot's calling to determine her murderer. The resort's island location makes it unlikely that anyone outside the hotel could be responsible. Thus, Poirot must discover the murderer in his midst. Everyone, it seems, had a motive. Yet everyone too had an alibi. The answer turns out to be far more complicated than anyone had anticipated. Christie's gift is clearly to tell a gripping story. While there are no great lessons on morality or statements on the human condition within this it is certainly entertaining, enjoyable, and just a bit scary.

Agatha Christie, Evil under the Sun (Black Dog and Leventhal, 2006) ISBN: 1579126286

Also reviewed by Kate of What Kate's Reading. See the review here.


Kate said...

Hi Laurie!

I reviewed this one over at mine last year (, and really thought that it wasn't nearly as good as some of her best. If you're new to her works, I'd definitely recommend Murder on the Orient Express, The ABC Murders, or And Then There Were None (my favorite).

Great review! I love the RIP challenge, don't you?

Laurie said...

Thanks so much for stopping by! I'm thrilled to have discovered the RIP challenge- it's perfect for this time of year. I'm very, very quickly becoming addicted to reading challenges.

Framed said...

I read my first Christie this year (actually it was an audio book) and have since read (listened to) three more. I love her stories. Great characters and interesting mysteries. I have two books by her on the sheves and am hopeful that someday I may actually "read" one of her books.