Pale Horse Paperback – Nov 21 2002
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'Wholesale murder by black magic...highly ingenious, wholly enjoyable.' Evening Standard 'The acknowledged queen of detective fiction' Observer
From the Back Cover
When an elderly priest is murdered, the killer searches the victim so roughly that his already ragged cassock is torn in the process. What was the killer looking for? And what had a dying woman confided to the priest on her deathbed only hours earlier?
Mark Easterbrook and his sidekick Ginger Corrigan are determined to find out. Maybe the three women who run The Pale Horse public house, and who are rumored to practice the “Dark Arts,” can provide some answers?--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
In point of fact, whatever a great writer is, Agatha Christie was one. Some of her stories are forgettable, many formulaic: but she has written at least a dozen, probably more, that count as classics of the language. The fact is that her kind of excellence runs absolutely counter to modern concerns. She can write stylish prose if she really wants to; she can create vivid and fascinating characters if she really wants to; but most of the time she is not too concerned with either of these things. Her characters are simple and reducible to a few primary types - like those of Homer. Her plots are what she really lavishes attention on (this book has a wonderful vignette of an author singularly like Dame Agatha herself, cudgelling her brains in despair to make some sense of a character's silly but necessary actions), and they are superlative. Properly read, they both express human values and generate great emotion; her denouements are never purely revelations of past events, but always insights into the minds of murderers, accomplices, and victims, into the logic of their situations, into the pressures that drive human beings. It has been said that her stories exist only for the sake of the denouement; if this is true at all, it is meaningless, since denouements do not exist by themselves but are a function of everything that has gone on before, and only work if the whole work has been carefully crafted.Read more ›
"The Pale Horse" retains many of the characteristics of Agatha Christie's earliest cozy mysteries - country fêtes and bazaars, afternoon tea, parish vicars and their long-suffering wives and the obligatory parlour room confrontation with the suspects. Agatha Christie even allows herself a cameo appearance in the novel in the person of twittering author Ariadne Oliver. But "The Pale Horse" also has a much more modern flavour as an aging Dame Christie brings her craft into London of the early sixties - Soho, Chelsea coffee bars, discussions of avant garde productions of Shakespearean plays in ways the bard would never have imagined, a more graphic approach to violence and brutality and a somewhat grudging if critical acceptance of the popular culture of London's younger people.
But the ending, whether you think of it as vintage mystery or new age police procedural, is classic Agatha Christie - a beautiful blind-side twist that no reader will see coming until it's right on top of you!
Highly recommended and thoroughly entertaining!
The story is told by Mark Easterbrook, a writer who had taken up residence in the Chelsea district of London while working on his latest book on Mogul culture. He stopped into a coffee shop for a quick meal and witnessed an argument between two young women that ended with one pulling out a handful of hair from the other. The unfortunate woman's unusual name - Thomasina Tuckerton - stuck with Easterbrook. He was surprised when he saw it a week later, in the obituaries.
Easterbrook went on about his life, meeting with his friend, Ariadne Oliver, traveling to the country to visit his cousin, and going out with his long-time girlfriend Hermia Redcliffe. Meanwhile the police begin to investigate the murder of a priest who was killed on his way home from hearing a last confession. They found a list of names stuffed into the priest's shoe, including the name of the police inspector. The two threads of the story meet and continue to weave throughout London, out to the country, on to Birmingham and returning to London. On the way the path leads to witchcraft, deathrays, and murder for hire.
The mystery here appears to be more a how-it-was-done than a who- done-it although Christie has once again lead us down the garden path to a surprise finish.
Most recent customer reviews
This is a late Agatha Christie. It's one of her mysteries that doesn't have Poirot, Miss Marple or Tommy and Tuppence. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Vince Marinelli
I have been a Christie fan for over two years, since I was twelve, and I found this to be a nice little diversion from Hercule Poirot's little gray cells and Miss Marple's village... Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2004 by Lisa
This is another stellar effort from ms Christie. A great puzzle. it is very different - certainly at first glane - to the basis of most of her novels, and is very original. Read morePublished on June 28 2002 by RachelWalker
A priest is murdered immediately after hearing a dying woman's confession--and investigators soon discover a list of names concealed in his shoe. Read morePublished on Dec 5 2001 by Gary F. Taylor
The Pale Horse is the name of an organization whose business is murder, akin to the Mafia or other nefarious gangster-style groups. Read morePublished on June 13 2001 by Antoinette Klein
i am a great agatha christie fan and have read quite a lot of her mysteries. and i daresay this is one of her finest, true Agatha-style pieces. Read morePublished on Feb. 23 2001
First of all, I have to say that this was not like Agatha Christie's usual writing style, but, never the less, it was fantastic!! Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2001
I wish there were more Ariadne Oliver books. There are many plot twists and the murderer is difficult to figure out. A great book.Published on Aug. 9 2000 by Moe811