Friday, 27 December 2013

''Taken at the Flood''- Book review

Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 1948

Genres: Mystery, Crime

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


This novel stars Hercule Poirot. It starts with a prologue, set in 1944, where Poirot is, along with a friend, at a club. Major Porter informs the people at the club that a man named Gordon Cloade was killed because of an air raid in his house. None, except the young wife of Cloade, and her brother, survived the blitz.

Two years later, in 1946, Poirot receives a visit from Katherine Cloade- sister-in-law of the late Gordon Cloade. Gordon Cloade's widow has come upon a huge fortune after Gordon Cloade's death. The widow, Rosaleen Cloade, had been married previously to a man named Robert Underhay, who is believed to be dead. However, Katherine has been ''informed'' by spirit that Robert Underhay is still alive... Poirot, however, declines to take any initiative regarding this.

There is a flashback. We learn more about the members of the Cloade family. Gordon Cloade had been childless, and had promised all his relatives that he would protect them, that they would always be financially secure. But, then he married young Rosaleen, and, having not made a will before his death, Rosaleen had inherited all his wealth. The Cloades thus bear a grudge against Rosaleen, and especially her brother, David Hunter, who apparently manipulates her and controls all her decisions. 

But then something unpredicted and puzzling happens... and Hercule Poirot is finally compelled to look into the matter...

This novel takes a lot of time to develop the characters and develop the atmosphere, to make us understand the condition of the Cloade family and it's members. I really liked this thing about this novel. After the prologue, the book is divided into two parts: in the first part, the Cloades, Rosaleen, and David Hunter are described with depth, and Hercule Poirot doesn't appear in this part. The second part deals with the investigation and has a lot of unexpected revelations.

I really enjoyed ''Taken at the Flood''. I didn't love it as much as to say that it's among the finest Agatha Christies I've read, but I'd really recommend this one. The character development is intense, the story is extremely engrossing, and the solution comes completely unexpected and unpredicted, with an (or several) unexpected twist. Hercule Poirot is amazing as always.

3.5 out of 5


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