The Hollow Hardcover – Sep 2007
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"A grade-A plot - the best Christie in years" San Francisco Chronicle --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover 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. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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 morePublished on July 8 2004
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 morePublished on May 4 2004 by ainil
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 morePublished on May 6 2003 by Lucy Fisher
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 morePublished on Dec 9 2002 by K. Hill
One of the best books of Christie's long and varied career has perhaps as well one of her most heartbreaking resolutions. Read morePublished on Nov. 12 2002 by JR
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 morePublished on June 29 2002
"The Hollow" is certainly one of Agatha Christie's more enjoyable books. Agatha Christie has created several extremely fascinating characters in this novel. Read morePublished on Aug. 19 2001