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A Talent for Murder by Andrew Wilson

A Talent for Murder

by Andrew Wilson

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312357,052 (3.42)5



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To be clear: This is not a mystery story, but it is a romance, a story told from different perspectives and a fictional history - purporting to be the tale of what transpired when Agatha Christie disappeared prior to her marrying a second time. It is very cinematic - I can imagine a BBC mini series. It also has a sympathetic heroine (Christie) and a cast of bumbling investigators, and people who get in over their heads trying to outwit a particularly dastardly villain. Rather resembles Collins'_The Woman in White_ in tone and fever-pitched action; and even has a scene resembling the one in _The Princess Bride_. The device of splitting perspectives serves to enhance suspense. This is a fast-paced, atmospheric and engaging book that may incite me to read _The Murder of Roger Ackroyd_ again due to the multiple references - while having read it will definitely enhance a reading, it is not a prerequisite. ( )
  dbsovereign | Sep 24, 2017 |
Agatha Christie went missing for 11 days in December 1926 and her disappearance has never been explained. She was going through a marriage breakdown at the time and some blame that for the disappearance. Another explanation is that she suffered an amnesia attack. Christie never acknowledged the event in her autobiography or discussed it publicly. The result is plenty of speculation about what happened.

Author Andrew Wilson has created a scenario which has Christie falling into the clutches of a particularly nasty villain, the doctor of her husband’s mistress. Through blackmail (reflecting the then current perceptions of scandal) and extortion, the doctor orders Christie to murder his wife such that he cannot be blamed. He wants her family fortune for himself. He suggests that Christie use her knowledge of poisons to do the deed. He is thoroughly evil. (Also he has a terrible case of halitosis, the cause of which is never revealed to the reader). The story is told from several points of view: Christie’s, a police inspector’s and a young fledgling journalist and so on. There’s even an appearance by the British secret service.

It is a suspenseful and atmospheric novel with a satisfying conclusion. There’s a sequel due to be released next year and I’m looking forward to reading it. ( )
1 vote BrianEWilliams | Aug 25, 2017 |
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