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The Hollow [Hardcover]

Agatha Christie
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 2007 Hercule Poirot Mysteries
Lucy Angkatell invites Hercule Poirot to lunch. To tease the great detective, her guests stage a mock murder beside the pool. Unfortunately, the victim plays the scene for real.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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“A strange, poignant book; these are deep waters, with powerful undercurrents.” (Michel Houellebecq, award-winning international author)

“A grade-A plot—the best Christie in years.” (San Francisco Chronicle) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

A far-from-warm welcome greets Hercule Poirotas he arrives for lunch at Lucy Angkatell’s countryhouse. A man lies dying by the swimming pool, hisblood dripping into the water. His wife stands overhim, holding a revolver.

As Poirot investigates, he begins to realize that beneaththe respectable surface lies a tangle of familysecrets and everyone becomes a suspect.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
At 6:13 A.M. on a Friday morning Lucy Angkatell's big blue eyes opened upon another day, and as always, she was at once wide awake and began immediately to deal with the problems conjured up by her incredibly active mind. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Mass Market Paperback
arrives in time to solve a murder.
Hercule Poirot has taken a weekend cottage in the country. Naturally his new neighbors, the Angkatells, Lucy and Henry, invite him to join their houseparty for luncheon. The other guests include Dr. John Christow, his adoring and boring wife Gerda, his mistress Henrietta Savernake, the renowned sculptor as well as Midge Hardcastle, a distant cousin, David Angkatell another distant cousin currently at Cambridge and Edward Angkatell, the current occupant of the family estate, Ainswick.
We are given background information on these characters and their relationships to one another in the opening chapters of the novel. By the time Poirot arrives on the scene the tension is so thick that it is almost a relief when the murder is committed! The story progresses in typical Christie fashion, all the clues are fairly laid out leaving the reader to sort through the red herrings to solve the crime.
This 1946 novel has worn well, it could be filmed today as either a period piece or updated and be enjoyed either way. Christie herself has questioned the appearance of Poirot in this story, Hercule is not pivotal to this one, although he does not detract from the book either. This is one of those books that could be enjoyed by non Christie detective fans as well as her devotees. In fact this one could even be enjoyed by those who are not particularly murder mystery fans.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Review Dec 5 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mrs. Christie set out to write a novel-and she succeeded. The characters who populate the typical country-house 'The Hollow' are vivid and believable, motivated by love, jealousy, hatred or despair-but handled in a unique manner. The most important character is the victim, Dr. John Christow, whose death is the centre point of the romantic triangles amongst the eccentric Angkatell family, and who is linked with three women, all in love with him, but in very different ways: his wife, Gerda; his mistress, Henrietta Savernake; and his former fiancée, Veronica Cray. Naturally, the motive is jealousy, but the themes of love and jealousy are superbly handled.
The detective story elements are not, however, Christie's best. The murder is quite simple-the murderer is obvious, but the circumstances, involving several guns and a painting of Ygdrasil, are inexplicable-and the entire thing is a reworking of LORD EDGWARE DIES. Poirot is very much in the background, acting only as a deus ex machina at the end-it was a mistake, Christie later felt, to have him in the book.
The result: a beautiful yet somewhat flawed masterpiece.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Christie Dec 5 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Christie is often accused of being a very pragmatic writer whose work seldom contains atmosphere, three-dimensional characters, or complex emotions. There is more than a little truth to this criticism--but when dealing with a plotline that actually relies on these more literary effects Christie is more than able to meet the challenge.
Such is the case with THE HOLLOW, a strange and moody mystery in which both setting and the emotional complexity of the various characters are central to both story and solution. When a woman is founding standing with gun in hand over the freshly-killed body of her husband, the solution would seem obvious--but there is a great deal more going on at the house known as "The Hollow" than meets the eye, and most of it is bound in the victim's questionable love life. Although the solution to the mystery is not quite as disconcerting as one normally expects of Christie, the novel is a joy, and its characters will remain in mind long after the book is put aside.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Agatha Christie again does what she does best: gathers a group of diverse characters at a country estate, provides motive and opportunity for each of them to commit a murder, and then allows a murder to occur.
The setting for "The Hollow" (also published as "Murder After Hours") is the home of Sir Henry Angkatell and his fascinating wife Lady Lucy Angkatell. A weekend houseparty launches the mystery to which Hercule Poirot, a neighbor who has a weekend cottage nearby, has been invited. Also present are: Henrietta Savage, talented young sculptress; Midge Hardcastle, poor relation who works in a dress shop; Edward Angkatell, shy bookworm in love with Henrietta; David Angkatell, a university student; Dr. John Christow, long-time friend of the Angkatells and lover of Henrietta, and Gerda Christow, John's wife.
When Poirot arrives for the weekend, he first enters the swimming pool area where a body lays. Nearby is a person holding a revolver. Sounds simple, but appearances are often deceiving.
Christie once again gives us another variation on the most likely person being guilty in the brilliant fashion that only she can. She never runs out of surprise endings, and this is one of her finest.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A very eerie, atmospheric mystery Sept. 3 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I love this mystery--I'm not certain why. Normally I would hate it, but there's something in the strange eeriness of it all that really made me read.
Determined scientist John Christow is dissatisfied with his life--he has a rather stupid, insecure but sweet-natured wife and two brainy kids, and an artist lover named Henrietta Savernake, whose first love is her sculptures, much to his chagrin. He wants sometimes to break away from his family and the sick people that he must deal with.
When they go to an old mansion for the weekend, the coolly passionate Henrietta is not the only lover there--John's old actress girlfriend who wants him as a boy-toy is present, and she doesn't want to take "no" for an answer. Then John turns up dead.
Hercule Poirot and Henrietta seek to unravel the mystery of John's death, with totally unexpected results. What's really special about this mystery is that the emotions of the characters carry it along, rather than simply following clues and giving Poirot insights. It's rather unusual for Christie to write a novel/mystery rather than a straight mystery, but it's not unenjoyable.
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Most recent customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but....
OOh, this is actually a very good book to read. I have to agree with some other readers that the book started off very slow. Read more
Published on July 8 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars typical agatha christie's book
it seems that this mystery got a necessary flavour to become a good movie ever...full of melodramatic elements entangles with murder and the characters are all believable.... Read more
Published on May 4 2004 by ainil
4.0 out of 5 stars Grows on you
I enjoyed it much more on the second reading. Poirot does fit into the story, as a perceptive and benevolent presence on the sidelines. Read more
Published on May 6 2003 by Lucy Fisher
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hollow
A group of friends meet at the Hollow for a weekend vacation. The expected victim is killed and Poirot is on the scene as a neighbor of the Angatells. Read more
Published on Dec 9 2002 by K. Hill
5.0 out of 5 stars really fine writing
One of the best books of Christie's long and varied career has perhaps as well one of her most heartbreaking resolutions. Read more
Published on Nov. 12 2002 by JR
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books ever written
This book was beautiful. The characters are incredibly compelling and the relationship between them and their own inner-personality is so inspiring... you must read it... Read more
Published on June 29 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Another delightful mystery by Christie
"The Hollow" is certainly one of Agatha Christie's more enjoyable books. Agatha Christie has created several extremely fascinating characters in this novel. Read more
Published on Aug. 19 2001 by "auorchid"
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly disappointing Poirot mystery
Poirot suspects that someone has staged a murder for him, until he discovers that he has walked in on the real thing. Read more
Published on June 26 2001 by W. O'NEILL
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