27/05/2006

There is a Tide (by Agatha Christie)

I don't generally like crime fiction much, but I do enjoy the occasional Agatha Christie. This one, 'There is a Tide', revolves around a family who had hoped to inherit a significant amount of money. However deceased the wealthy relative married shortly before dying, so his new wife gets everything. Then, not surprisingly (given the author) a murder or two happens, and Hercule Poirot gets involved.

I found it quite hard to get into this book at first, since the cast is rather large and everyone needed to be introduced in the early chapters. There's a lot of hearsay too, and it was difficult to grasp who was who, particularly since so many belong to one family, so they all share a surname. However by about a quarter of the way through, it began to get interesting, and by the time I was in the last few chapters I could barely put it down.

It's a clever plot, relying on the understanding of human nature more than anything, although I'm not sure if I could ever have guessed the ending. There weren't the usual clues, or not any that I could spot, and I didn't feel the climax was quite realistic. I thought the final chapter rather bizarre, too. But all in all, quite an enjoyable light read.

You can also read my review of this book, when I read it under the more common title of 'Taken at the Flood', seven years later, with no recollection at all of having read it before! 

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