Tuesday, 11 February 2014

''The Pale Horse''- Book review

 Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 1961

Genres: Novel, Mystery, Crime

Rating: 4 out of 5


''The Pale Horse'' is not a great mystery novel, but the concept, the narration, and atm0sphere are so good that the book is hard to put down! I really enjoyed this novel. It had such a wonderful atmosphere and the narration by Mark Easterbrook is very engrossing.

''The Pale Horse'' is mostly narrated by Mark Easterbrook. He is a historian. Well, I guess this story will be a bit difficult to summarize. But the main thing about the story is, Father Gorman was recently found murdered, and a paper was found in his shoe, and it seems that the murderer wanted this paper. There are names of some people written in this paper--- and the people whose names are written have all died recently, of natural causes. Detective Inspector Lejune is puzzled.

Mark Easterbrook comes to know about the case from Dr Corrigan, who had been his friend at university. Mark is visiting a village, Much Deeping, where his cousin, Rhoda, and her husband, resides. Rhoda takes Mark and some other visitors to a pub, The Pale Horse, run by three strange women: Thyrza, Sybil and Bella. These three women are said to practice black magic. Most residents of the village think that it's nothing serious. 

Thyrza takes Mark to the library of the pub, and tells him about a strange and mysterious way of death--- that she can send death rays that can eventually kill a person from natural causes. Mark is puzzled, and several incidences lead him to think about the connection of Pale Horse and case about which he heard from Corrigan. Something wicked and mysterious is certainly going on, and Mark teams up with Ginger, a woman who was also a guest in Rhoda's house, to solve the case.

It was a very puzzling novel, and it kept me guessing. Especially from the time Mark and Ginger take the initiative to solve the case, to know what is actually going on, the novel really gets exciting. It's not that it's a very great mystery novel, but it was really a puzzling, entertaining read, and I really liked the clever Ginger who comes up with such clever plans. Some of the things were a bit predictable but still this novel was absolutely entertaining and engrossing.

There are quite a lot of characters present in this novel. Ariadne Oliver, the famous novelist, appears in this one. I first read about Ariadne Oliver in the Hercule Poirot novel, ''Cards on the Table''. Though Mrs Oliver is a minor supporting character in ''The Pale Horse'', her appearances were still very memorable.

Overall, I really, really, really liked this book. It was very entertaining and very enjoyable. It's a good mystery novel, cleverly written and a smooth read.

P.S: The cover of this book is beautiful! 

4 out of 5

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