Friday, March 2, 2012
209. DEATH on the NILE
Agatha Christie 1937
The Book Blurb:
Linnet Ridgeway has almost everything: youth, beauty, style, and wealth. What she doesn't have, she takes. For instance, her best friend Jackie de Bellefort's fiance. Unfortunately, forgiveness is not a jilted bride's privilege. And when the deliriously happy newlyweds embark on their honeymoon cruise along the Nile, nothing can keep Jackie from their shadows. And no one -- not even detective Hercule Poirot -- can prevent a crime of passion. But faced with the suspect's airtight alibi can he even prove who did it?
What Hooked Me:
You maybe able to guess WHO did the crime, but Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot will impress you with his ways of investigating and brilliant deduction of HOW meticulously the crime was done. This novel is no exception.
"That's her! said Mr. Barnaby, the landlord of the Three Crowns."(opening lines)
'How absurd to call youth the time of happiness -- youth, the time of greatest vulnerability!'(15)
'The combined effect of money and charm. Everything goes down before you. What you can't buy with cash you buy with a smile. Result: Linnet Ridgeway, the Girl Who Has Everything.'(18)
'I mean that all is not gold that glitters. I mean that, although this lady is rich and beautiful and beloved, there is all the same something that is not right.'(43)
'You cannot go back over the past. One must accept things as they are. And sometimes, Madame, that is all one can do -- accept the consequences of one's past deeds.'(60)
'Do not open your heart to evil. ... Poirot went on gravely: "Because -- if you do -- evil will come.... Yes, very surely evil will come.... It will enter in and make its home within you, and after a little while it will no longer be possible to drive it out."'(66)
'You see a man doesn't want to feel that a woman cares more for him than he does for her." His voice grew warm as he went on. "He doesn't want to feel owned, body and soul. It's that damned possessive attitude! This man is mine -- he belongs to me! That's the sort of thing I can't stick -- no man could stick! He wants to get away -- to get free. He wants to own his woman; he doesn't want her to own him."(71-72)
"Motives for murder are sometimes very trivial, Madame."
"What are the most usual motives, Monsiuer Poirot?"
"Most frequent -- money. That is to say, gain in its various ramifications. Then there is revenge -- and love, and fear, and pure hate, and beneficence --"(83)
'Race looked at him curiously. "You know," he said, "I've got an idea you're trying to tell me something -- but I haven't the faintest idea what it is.'(195)
'"But yes -- but yes. You are seeing only half the truth. And remember this -- we must start again from the beginning, since our first conception was entirely wrong."
Race made a slight grimace.
"I'm used to that. It often seems to me that's all detective work is wiping out your false starts and beginning again."
"Yes, it is very true, that. And it is just what some people will not do. They conceive a certain theory, and everything has to fit into that theory. If one little fact will not fit it, they throw it aside. But it is always the facts that will not fit in that are significant."'(239)
'This is a crime that needed audacity, swift and faultless execution, courage, indifference to danger, and a resourceful, calculating brain.'(269)
'You think that I am just amusing myself with side issues? And it annoys you? But it is not that. Once I went professionally to an archaeological expedition -- and I learnt something there. In the course of an excavation, when something comes up out of the ground, everything is cleared away very carefully all around it. You take away the loose earth, and you scrape here and there with a knife until finally your object is there, all alone, ready to be drawn and photographed with no extraneous matter confusing it. That is what I have been seeking to do -- clear away the extraneous matter so that we can see the truth -- the naked shining truth.'(281)
"Mais oui," he said. "I like an audience, I must confess. I am vain, you see. I am puffed up with conceit. I like to say, 'See how clever is Hercule Poirot!'"(284)
a Berkley paperback book edition