***MILD SPOILERS AHEAD***
The Murder on The Links by Agatha Christie is the second novel in line featuring the famous Hercule Poirot and his close friend Captain Hastings. I bought the ebook some time ago but only came round to reading it now, when I had a gap of a few months since I last read Miss Christie. I must say, there is some charm in her stories despite following a similar pattern that keeps drawing me to them. Maybe it is the non-violent nature of her writing that makes me go back to her each time I want to read a mystery, but what can I say. Good reading is the best reading.
Poirot receives a letter one morning, urging him to come to Merlinville as soon as possible. The writer, Monsieur Paul Renauld fears his life is in danger and requires the assistance of the private services of the detective. Bored of the petty criminals that are thronging the streets of London and farther in England, Poirot jumps to this case and starts on his journey immediately with Hasting in tow.
Reaching Merlinville, they are in for the shock of their lives. M. Renauld has been found murdered in the under-construction golf links behind his villa, stabbed in the back, and face down in a grave. Intrigued, Poirot and Hastings team up with the case in charge, and what follows is a series of past revelations, present mishaps, and future at stake.
Well, it is difficult to review works that are as famous as the origin of the universe. LOL. Anyway, like always, I will try.
With her second novel, Christie takes Poirot out of England and into France, so a lot of new characters are introduced and a lot of local French is spoken which I didn’t understand at all. And frankly, I didn’t make the effort to Google either. I feel doing so would have broken the rhythm in which I had fallen while chasing on the heels of Poirot as he chased the murderer. Miss Christie’s writing is no more alien to me. Having read a few books by her this year, I have begun to follow the trail of her character of Poirot. Using my grey cells, I pick out and remember the points which would definitely be a point of interest later when the entire mystery is unraveled. The plot is rather simple. A murdered millionaire, a murderer at loose and a group of suspects. Amongst the needle in a haystack of evidence, Poirot and his Parisian counterpart M.Girauld work relentlessly to drive the culprit to the guillotine.
Despite a rather straight-forward plot, the mystery is quite twisted. Miss Christie has a habit of revealing the information on a need-to-know basis and I think this puts the reader off from the scent of the culprit, because, duh-huh, information is barred. It is like the reader is treated as Hastings, with Poirot, but always behind. And not to forget, there is always the last twist that no one but the detective with the egg-shaped head knew.
Needless to say, Poirot and Hastings are at their usual best, Hastings a tad bit desperate single English man, falling in love at the blink of an eye with beautiful Madamoiselles. I found it rather annoying and degrading for his character. What I also didn’t enjoy much was the cliche true love angle, it was funny as well as stupid. Who wants a “Will you be mine forever” in a murder mystery!? I’d rather have my dish served hot, and revenge, frozen cold. Haha.