- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 327 KB
- Print Length: 320 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062073621
- Publisher: Harper; Masterpiece ed edition (October 14, 2010)
- Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0046H95SG
- Source: I bought it
- (aka THE CASE OF THE MOVING FINGER)
Lymstock is much like any other English village. Those that live there enjoy the peace of rural life until a series of poison pen letters destroy the safety they took for granted. When one villager commits suicide and another is murdered, the village is plunged into suspicion and terror. Once a village of trust, now all inhabitants are full of accusations. Who could be writing the letters and why? Perhaps Miss Marple might be of help...
Christie considered The Moving Finger to be one of her best novels. ‘It is a great test,’ she added, ‘to re-read what one has written some seventeen or eighteen years later. One’s view changes. Some do not stand the test of time, others do.’
We see events unfold from the view of Jerry Burton who is recuperating whilst recovering from an accident. Christie has been praised by critics for her believable male narrators and arguably Jerry is one of the best.
THE MOVING FINGER was written in 1942 and considered by Agatha Christie to be in her top 10 novels.
The narrator is Jerry Burton, and while for some of the narration we feel as if the events are occurring simultaneously with the narration, much of the style is retrospective.
This allows Christie to create "hanging endings" to chapters or parts of chapters. This is really the first time I have noticed her attempts at this style.
Here is the end of Chapter 3.
- 'We have come down here,' I said sternly, 'for peace and quiet, and I mean to see we get it.'
- But peace and quiet were the last things we were to have.
- She paused lost in thought, her eyes screwed up. Then she said slowly, as one who solves a problem, 'Blind hatred... yes, blind hatred. But even a blind man may stab to the heart by pure chance... And what would happen then, Mr Burton?'
- We were to know that before another day had passed.
- The Dane Calthrops had a guest staying with them, an amiable elderly lady who was knitting something with white fleecy wool. We had very good hot scones for tea, the vicar came in, and beamed placidly on us whilst he pursued his gentle erudite conversation. It was very pleasant.
- I don’t mean that we got away from the topic of the murder, because we didn’t. Miss Marple, the guest, was naturally thrilled by the subject. As she said apologetically: ‘We have so little to talk about in the country!’
- She had made up her mind that the dead girl must have been just like her Edith.
The climax of the novel is a very interesting one as it uses a honey trap but those who set it up, Miss Marple and the police, don't tell Jerry what they are doing, and he independently becomes convinced that the woman he wants to marry is in great danger.
A very satisfying read. My rating: 4.4