Monday, August 27, 2012

O is for Ordeal by Innocence by Agatha Christie



Jacko Argyle is convicted of having killed his foster-mother. Two years later, he dies in prison while serving his sentence. After his death, a stranger, Arthur Calagry, turns up at the Argyle household claiming that Jacko was innocent and that on the fateful night of the murder, he had taken lift from Arthur. He hopes that the others would be happy to hear his testimony, what he doesn't realise is that now that the old wound is re-opened, it would bleed the rest of the family, as secrets come out in the open and every member is suspicious of the other.


This is one Agatha Christie that I didn't particularly enjoy. Don't know what put me off since the plot is gripping but somehow or the other, it failed to impress.

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Entry for letter O in the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme.

16 comments:

  1. I found this book really interesting especially the ordeal innocents have to face until the suspect is caught. It was one of the earliests mysteries I read and I don't remember much but everytime there is some news about murder. Can't help thinking how easily we judge even the innocents.

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    1. You are right Srivalli, often it becomes difficult to differentiate b/w the innocent and the guilty.

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  2. Neer, what a coincidence. I re-read this recently - hadn't read it in years. Thwarted love and the suffering of the innocent - all handled very well. One of Christie's more thought-filled mysteries.

    I like stories where a past crime comes back to haunt the present.

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    1. It was supposedly one of Christie's favourites too. I too love stories where the past returns (often with a vengence) but somehow this...

      How do you get time to re-read?:)

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    2. Oh, I love to reread. Here's the problem, it takes time away from books I haven't read. But I don't really mind. Some books just need to be revisited over and over again over the years. :)

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    3. Yes some books can be read again. And Then There Were None for one.

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  3. I haven't come to this one yet considering I'm reading AC in order of publication. Those are terrific covers.

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    1. It'll take you some time to reach this one as this is one of her later books. Where have you reached? I love the Fontana covers of AC.

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  4. I haven't read this one in a loooong time. I didn't remember much about it, so it's probable that it didn't impress me much either.

    Here's my Letter O.

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    1. I too have forgotten much about it except the most vital - the identity of the murderer.:)

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  5. A Christie I haven't read! Am looking forward to it though.

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    1. I look forward to your views on it.

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  6. Interesting how we all react differently to different books. I liked this one although I grant you there are other Christies that I like better. But still, I enjoyed this one. I really did like the creeping paranoia as everyone realises that one of the people everyone thought was innocent.... isn't.

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    1. Yes, it's very interesting how we react so differently. I think I am in the minority, with perhaps only Bev sharing my view of it. :) I read it when in school and perhaps the idea of Jacko dying in jail didn't appeal to me.

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  7. This is definitely one of those books where I remember the theme and the atmosphere more than the characters. Of her non-series titles I would say I prefer CROOKED HOUSE and TOWARDS ZERO maybe though I do remember liking this one. The 80s movies version staring Donald Sutherland wasn't a different kind of ordeal though, despite an interesting music score by Dave Brubeck.

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    1. Guess I need to re-read the book. I was pretty young when I read it. Now perhaps I'd respond to it differently.

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