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The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie
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The Pale Horse (1961)

by Agatha Christie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Ariadne Oliver (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,916395,298 (3.61)102
  1. 30
    The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie (Porua)
    Porua: The narrator of The Pale Horse, Mark Easterbrook, reminds me of the narrator of another Agatha Christie book. Jerry Barton from The Moving Finger. In both of these stories the urban hero goes to a small town and gets entangled in a spine chilling mystery. Another thing that these two books have in common is an unconventional old lady named Mrs. Dane Calthrop, one of the more unique creations of Christie.… (more)
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English (35)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (39)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
This is one of Christie's stand alone stories - so it isn't Hercule Poriot or Jane Marple. A man, Mark Easterbrook, happens on a murder for hire organization. A Catholic priest visits a dying woman who apparently knew something about the organization. She died and then he was killed on his way home carrying a list of people, all of whom have died. If you want someone to die sooner rather than later, you go to a disbarred lawyer who makes a bet with you. He bets this person will die sooner than you think and you bet the opposite. You then go to a séance at a neighbor's home. One of the women involved makes a big deal out of believing she could wish people dead. He and a girlfriend, Ginger, after talking to the police, set her up as a victim. She starts to get sick and they can't figure out how it is being done. Easterbrook figures it out before it is too late.
  taurus27 | Feb 20, 2019 |
In which two deaths bury a gruesome secret – but not forever…

The cover of "The Pale Horse" always scared me as a child. That’s the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this novel. It’s a story in which threats of the supernatural merge with both the detective and the thriller genre. Nowhere else has Christie combined all three of these so well and – while it isn’t as tightly constructed as her earlier novels – "The Pale Horse" is pretty damn adept. This really isn’t a Poirot or a Marple; in fact, it’s a Tommy and Tuppence novel, if anything. Instead, the investigation is led by a young historian, Mark Easterbrook, who makes for a forthright and surprisingly invigorating lead. Amongst the supporting characters is one of Christie’s most sublime creations, Ariadne Oliver (not all that surprising ,given that she’s an echo of the author herself). Oliver, too, enlivens the story. Both the puzzle and the investigation are sound.

From an historical standpoint, "The Pale Horse" is a precursor of the two classic 1960s novels – one of which features Mrs. Oliver, and the other uses a supernatural undertone in a similar manner. Most of Christie’s ’60s and ’70s output would be forgettable, but when she tried to experiment, the Dame could still do quite well. ( )
  therebelprince | Oct 30, 2018 |
Nice and creepy. As usual, Christie had me fooled right until the end. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
An excellent mystery. Most of the book is Mark Easterbrook's narration, but some sections are told in 3rd person. Mrs. Oliver appears briefly and provides key information. The twist at the end was unexpected and really good. ( )
  nx74defiant | Sep 20, 2017 |
Agatha Christie understands people, and their motivations, better than most. One of my favorites of hers. ( )
  afclark | Mar 18, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (21 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Christie, Agathaprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nuuttila, AnttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dedication
To
John and Helen Mildmay White
with many thanks for the opportunity
given me to see justice done
First words
There are two methods, it seems to me, of approaching this strange business of the Pale Horse.
Quotations
Your criminal is someone who wants to be important, but who will never be important, because he’ll always be less than a man.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
    "WICKEDNESS ... SUCH WICKEDNESS ..."

The dying woman turned to Father Gorman with agony in her eyes, "Stopped ... It must be stopped ... You will ... "
The priest spoke with reassuring authority. "I will do what is necessary. You can trust me."
Father Gorman tucked the list of names she had given him into his shoe. It was a meaningless list: the names were of people who had nothing in common.
On his way home, Father Gorman was murdered. But the police found the list, and when Mark Easterbrook came to inquire into the circumstances of the people listed, he began to discover a connection between them, and an ominous pattern:

EVERY PERSON ON THAT LIST WAS EITHER ALREADY DEAD - OR, HE SUSPECTED, MARKED FOR MURDER!
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312981716, Mass Market Paperback)

Was it really the Thomasina Tuckerton--dropout heiress turned bohemian beat girl--seen in a cafe brawl with another woman? Her obituary confirms it. Thomasina's unfortunate demise would have passed unnoticed if it hadn't been for the priest who suffered a fatal blow at the hand of a stranger only days later. What's the connection? A list of names hidden in father Gorman's shoes--among them, Miss Tuckerton's. It leads to a former country inn, now a house called, The Pale Horse, and a sinister pattern woven by three unusual ladies--a psychic, a medium, and a witch--each with a secret of her own.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:49 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Relates the story of a Catholic priest who is murdered after hearing a dying woman's confession. The police find list of names on his body, and Mark Easterbrook comes to discover a connection upon investigation.

» see all 14 descriptions

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