2013 Book Report 15: The Secret Adversary – Agatha Christie.

Agatha Christie is best known for her murder mysteries starring characters such as Miss Marple and Poirot. The Secret Adversary feels therefore like a change of direction and of form. The story revolves around a young man and woman who, suddenly unemployed after the war set up a venture offering themselves up for any job required of them.

They are contacted and soon find themselves involved in international espionage including Bolsheviks and spies.

The story twists and turns, with frequent ‘aha’ moments, liberal red herrings and intrigue, all handled with supreme skill by the author.

I won’t try and distil the story here. My memory of the events of the narrative would not do it justice, and I would be unable to avoid spoilers which would be a shame. I recommend this book heartily. It is a real page turner, with twists which avoid feeling contrived or engineered.

In an ideal world Dan Brown would be kept away from a word processor until he had read this book several times and could indicate the lessons that he had learned from doing so.

Clue: ‘With a single bound Jack was free’ is not a plot device worthy of the reading public!

If you are in the market for reading this on your Kindle then head over to Project Gutenberg where they have it available free. My favourite price for a classic.


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