The Big Four Review

  • Author: Agatha Christie
  • Series: Hercule Poirot #5
  • Genre: Murder Mystery
  • No of pages: 272
  • Year Published: 1927
  • Dates read: 31.07.19 – 07.08.19
  • Rating: 3 stars

Mon ami, he overlooked the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot!

~ Hercule Poirot (Page 130)

So this book was a funny one for me and I will go into a bit more detail further down the post but despite the book containing loads of things I love; cat and mouse chase, settings all over the world, political intrigue, numerous murders. This book just didn’t resonate with me as much as I had hoped hence the average rating.

Plot: Framed in the doorway of Poirot’s bedroom stood an uninvited guest, coated from head to foot in dust. The man’s gaunt face stared for a moment, then he swayed and fell. Who was he? Was he suffering from shock or just exhaustion? Above all, what was the significance of the figure 4, scribbled over and over again on a sheet of paper? Poirot finds himself plunged into a world of international intrigue, risking his life to uncover the truth about ‘Number Four’.

This book gave me very strong James Bond vibes of all things. We have an international organisation, stakes so high they will affect the entire world, espionage of all the varying degrees it felt very much unlike a Poirot book. If you had swapped Poirot with James Bond, to be honest, I would have been none the wiser.

This book was really fun. I loved the cat and mouse chase with the Big Four always being a step or two in front of Poirot. I loved how you think Poirot has finally got them but they master him again. This is something that never normally happens, Poirot always has the upper-hand against the criminals, so it was a good change.

I loved how this story went on for months and there were smaller cases intertwined within the bigger case. It felt really fresh compared to all the other mysteries I have read this year which were very straight-forward and only really lasting a couple of weeks to maybe a couple of days.

I loved Hastings in this book. Normally, I don’t mind his POV but he is never a stand out character to me. Most of the time I can find him a tad infuriating but this time I really enjoyed his commentary and I really understood and felt for him.

Again, because of the time it is written, there were some xenophobic comments and racists comments made towards Chinese people within this story. I had to put the book down a couple of time because the comments were not great. Even if they complimented a Chinese character in the book, it was more or less always a back-handed one. Not great.

The ending was incredibly lacklustre to me. It just didn’t match my expectations at all, I didn’t really understand what happened. I felt that with all this time built up to taking the Big Four down what we get was a rushed ending and an unsatisfying conclusion. This is the first time I have not enjoyed a Christie ending.

Like I had mentioned in my opening point, I also found that I had little to no desire to pick it up and keep reading despite it including many features that I love from my mystery novels. It felt like a slog getting through this book and I can’t really pinpoint why that was. Maybe because I enjoyed The Final Empire so much nothing was really going to match my feelings towards that book. I am not entirely sure. I do hope its not a slump coming on.

Hercule Poirot might be crushed out of existence – a terrible calamity for the world. And you too, mon ami – though that would not be such a national catastrophe.

~ Hercule Poirot (Page 56)

The next book I will be reading is The Two Towers by J.R.R Tolkien. I am excited to pick this book up as, despite not loving The Fellowship of the Ring as much as I had hoped, I have heard loads of people say that this book is way better than the first. Less walking around and more action which I am super pumped for.

5 thoughts on “The Big Four Review

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