9 November 2017

Review: A TALENT FOR MURDER, Andrew Wilson

  • This edition published by Simon & Schuster 2017
  • ISBN 978-1-4711-4822-4
  • 403 Pages
  • Source: my local library
Synopsis (Fantastic Fiction)

`I wouldn't scream if I were you. Unless you want the whole world to learn about your husband and his mistress.' 

Agatha Christie, in London to visit her literary agent, boards a train, preoccupied and flustered in the knowledge that her husband Archie is having an affair. She feels a light touch on her back, causing her to lose her balance, then a sense of someone pulling her to safety from the rush of the incoming train.

So begins a terrifying sequence of events. Her rescuer is no guardian angel; rather, he is a blackmailer of the most insidious, manipulative kind. Agatha must use every ounce of her cleverness and resourcefulness to thwart an adversary determined to exploit her genius for murder to kill on his behalf.

My Take

In the past I have written about what I call "coat-tails" books, those that attach themselves to the success of others. I think this is one such book. To be honest, I wouldn't have read it if it wasn't for the reference to Agatha Christie in the blurb. And yet the allure is very strong. I'm not sure there is even a grain of truth in its explanation of what happened to Agatha Christie in those days in which she disappeared in 1926. And yet the book is very persuasive.

This novel opens with an "Editor's Note", from someone called John Davison. He tells readers that the novel is the result of an agreement between himself and Mrs Christie.

When I first mentioned the idea of this book to her, she was understandably reluctant. However, she agreed to be interviewed on condition that the resulting volume should not be published until at least forty years after her death. I too served my solicitors with notice to the same effect.

So here is the first of the puzzles this novel, mainly using Agatha Christie as narrator. It is indeed 41 years since the death of Agatha Christie.

This work of fiction presents a story of what caused her disappearance in 1926. The author says that he tried to "make sure the facts surrounding Agatha's disappearance in 1926 were as accurate as possible." He has even included real characters from the time, including Archie Christie, and the police detective William Kenward.

So, read it for yourself, and judge how successful you think it is in presenting a plausible story.

The final chapter in the book is the first chapter of A DIFFERENT KIND OF EVIL, Andrew Wilson's next Agatha Christie adventure.

My rating: 4.4

Find out more about The Agatha Christie Reading Challenge

Here is a list of Agatha Christie novels, and Agatha Christie related books, that I have read.

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