Andrew Wilson has decided to give an account of the still-unsolved mystery of Agatha Christie’s ten day disappearance over the pre-Christmas period of 1926. He weaves several subplots together and has intertwined fact and fiction to produce a light, easy-to-read story with enough disturbing elements to keep the reader turning the pages.
Each subplot, with characters that are integral to the whole story, are given detail and depth and, in the end, have their own resolutions either given as the story is brought to a conclusion or listed in ‘The Facts’ chapter. The book itself flows in a rather stop/start fashion as it deals with the sets of characters and changes from narrative to first person as needed. This choice takes a little getting used to at first while the reader works out who, in fact, is telling what part of the story.
The storyline asserts the influence of an evil individual who torments and manipulates Mrs Christie into first disappearing, and then being involved in the murder of a young woman. It is simply sinister. The other tragedies that arise, including other deaths and the details of a marriage disintegrating, combine with the implied impending doom of the Police Officer involved, to build the page-turning nature of the tale.
The structure of the book, starting with a note from the editor and concluding with a Fact and Acknowledge chapter, is a little quirky but another interesting element to the book. It concludes with the first chapter of Wilson’s next book which is clearly linked to this story.
A good book for a stormy afternoon.
Reviewed by Leanne Caune
Rating out of 10: 7
Released by: Simon & Schuster Australia
Release Date: May 2017
RRP: $39.99 hardback, $22.99 paperback, $10.99 eBook