- Author: Sophie Hannah
- Series: New Hercule Poirot Mysteries #1
- Genre: Murder Mystery
- No. of pages: 388
- Date Read: 12.02.19 – 15.02.19
- Rating: 3.5 stars
This was a book I was really excited for. I was really interested to see what my opinions would be on Hannah’s version of Poirot. I have only read 4 Poirot books but I have watched multiple episodes of the TV show starring David Suchet. I feel that Suchet’s portrayal is the most accurate portrayal of Poirot so I went in with that performance in mind.
PLOT: Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done. Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at a fashionable London hotel have been murdered and a cufflink has been placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim. In the hands of internationally bestselling author Sophie Hannah, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London – a diabolically clever puzzle that can only be solved by the talented Belgian detective and his ‘little grey cells’. (Synopsis from Goodreads)
The plot was really interesting. I really enjoy serial killers stories and when I read the synopsis of this story I had to just pick it up. What I loved about the plot is how intricate it was. I can’t say too much as I am trying to keep this spoiler free and with murder mysteries, you can’t say too much or it will ruin the novel. Let’s just say its a very detailed plot with a lot of interestings factors raised.
The big reveal at the end was really satisfying. This is probably the first murder mystery where I had no idea who it could be. Normally, I would think as I read about who it could be but with this book I consumed it so fast I didn’t have to think about who the murderer could be. When I found out the who, how, why I thought it was done really well. All I will say is it was a very Agatha Christie ending, so if you love her kind of reveals you will love this one.
I loved the variety of female characters in this story. All the women in this story vary in some way or another. I never felt I was reading a carbon-copy of your basic 1930’s woman. They were all interesting and, like with all mysteries, had something to hide. I really enjoyed reading about incredibly layered female characters, I would have to say my favourite character was Margarent Ernst.
I enjoyed the POV of Edward Catchpool, I think he was a good choice as the main character. As someone who likes to try and figure out who the murderer could be it is advantageous to have someone straight-forward thinking like Catchpool explaining the story rather than Poirot so you can think of all the ways the murders could have happened. If you read the story through Poirot’s mind it’s not just as fun becasue you would already know the awnsers.
To be honest, I didn’t particularly care for Hannah’s version of Poirot sadly I found him to be rude and unlikable which was disappointing. Sadly, I found him to be condescending and lacking the warmth I am so used to. Overall, the portrayal was fine it was similar to Christie’s version but there were just certain elements that put me off him.
Hannah gave some unnecessary backstory to Catchpool that, if removed from the story, wouldn’t affect the progression of the plot. I didn’t really see the point in adding this character points in. They weren’t expanded enough in the story to really warrant being used at all. This may come into play for later novels as a recurring theme we see with this character but I am not so sure. It came across as points that were meant to be important for the characters development but just weren’t explained or given any detail. It just seems unnecessary.
As mentioned before, I really like the intricate and detailed plot but when it came to the big reveal at the end, it felt like there was a lack of structure in how Hannah was going to explain the motive and how the victims were killed. The explanation was a bit all over the place which led to alot of confusion.
The next book I will be reviewing is The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. The highly awaited sequel that has me feeling all the feelings.