Saturday, January 7, 2012

'The Pale Horse' by Agatha Christie

Publisher: Fontana Books

ISBN: Unfortunately the edition that I have doesn't seem to have an ISBN number.

Length: 191 Page

What the 'blurb' says:

As the priest ended his ministry, the dying woman spoke again.

"Stopped...It must be stopped...You will see...?"
The priest spoke with reassuring authority.
"I will do what is necessary..You can trust me..."

A doctor and an ambulance arrived a little later.
The landlady received them with gloomy triumph.
"Too late as usual!" she said......'

Opening line: 'The Espresso machine behind my shoulder hissed like an angry snake.'

What's good about this novel?

Not being a fan of traditional murder mysteries, I was a little unsure whether I was going to enjoy this novel. However I thought that this was very well written and I was easily absorbed in the story.

Whilst I had the impression that Christie's novel focus on one main detective, for example Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple, 'The Pale Horse' was a little different. It had not one, but two central characters, Mark Easterbrook and Detective-Inspector Lejeune. I found both characters to work well within the story and I didn't feel a conflict of attention within Christie's writing. In general, I thought that the characters were fully constructed and mostly realistic.

At first, I felt that the storyline was a little too far fetched and silly. However, I was relieved to find that the conclusion to the story was logical. I also enjoyed the fact that at no point during the story, was I able to guess 'whodunnit'.

What's wrong with this novel?

Possibly because I am not familiar with the genre, I felt that even though I enjoyed reading the novel, it didn't grab me. That's not to say that there is anything wrong with the book, it's just that maybe this isn't my preferred genre. I would read more of Christie's novels in future though.

Is this worth a read?

If you are looking for some escapist reading, then you may enjoy this. I thought that 'The Pale Horse' was a fun read.


  1. "I also enjoyed the fact that at no point during the story, was I able to guess 'whodunnit'."

    That will change once you get used to Agatha Christie's work, but her books do remain a pleasant read, even if they don't grab you.

  2. I love Agatha Christie, but some of her works can be a little slow to read. Thanks for this review. A friend from BookBlogs.ning.

  3. Love the review ... and the landlady's comment. I can just imagine her. I haven't read any Agatha Christie for years, but perhaps I should revisit them .... well one or two.

  4. Found you on the Blogaholic site. I've been browsing your blog and I love it. Especially enjoy your list of things you love (dogs, Doctor Who, chocolate, cherry cola, and books! Whoo-hoo!) and the things you hate (totally agree!). You have a new follower!

  5. Thanks for the comments! I think that I will explore the Crime/Mystery genre in future. So any title/author recommendations would be welcome.

    Oh and thanks to my new followers for stopping by the blog!

  6. It's been a long time since I read an Agatha Christie, but I remember enjoying them when I did. I think pace has become more important in this genre than it used to be, a bit like life in general.