When a mysterious young woman at Frankfurt Airport asks for his assistance, Sir Stafford Nye works--with little concern for his own safety--to uncover a conspiracy for global domination. Reprint.
Sir Stafford Nye's flight home from Malaya takes an unprecedented twist when a young woman confides in him that someone is trying to kill her. In a moment of weakness, he agrees to lend her his passport. Unwittingly, the diplomat has put his own life on the line. When he meets the mystery woman again, she is a different person, and he finds himself drawn into a battle against an invisible—and altogether more dangerous—enemy. . . .--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
However, this rather fantastical effort is a departure from her usual murder mysteries into the murky world of espionage and the discovery of an anarchistic conspiracy run by neo-Nazis. The net effect is an amateurish and boring plot burdened by superfluous characters and a lack of exposition.
The main character seems to be likable Sir Stafford Nye, who is actually quite an interesting persona, until he is inexplicably dumped halfway through the book in favour of a fly-on-the-wall observation of various Cabinet meetings that are essentially redundant in telling the reader that the danger faced is very serious and mysterious. There are also long, abstract and irrelevant dialogues between mono-dimensional characters that make Agatha Christie seem at sea with a genre that is apparently too big for her.
When the mastermind behind the conspiracy is uncovered, we see a brief flash of the old Christie, as the culprit is someone whom the reader never suspects. However, the epilogue, instead of explaining the culprit's motives or the fates of the various conspirators is instead a humorous yet unsatisfactory marriage between Sir Stafford and another character.
Several times during the narrative, I found the courage and fortitude to continue only by telling myself that the ending would be as brilliant and fulfilling as all her previous novels, yet once again, I was thoroughly disappointed with this sad excuse for a novel