The mark on Norton’s forehead-it was like the brand of Cain..
-From the notes of Capt.Arthur Hastings.
Dame Agatha Christie has a special place in crime fiction. Her most famous creation -M.Hercule Poirot was second only to Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Hercule Poirot with his precise manners, his penchant for order, his queer mustache is as famous as the Baker Street detective. Yet, they are unparalleled in their own way.
When Doyle finished off Holmes in The Final Problem, he faced the wrath of the public who went to the extend of mourning a fictitious character. Such was the effect Holmes had on them. Equally impressive is his sidekick Dr.Watson who chronicles all of Holmes’ adventures.
If it was Watson for Holmes, we have Captain Arthur Hastings assisting Poirot in his adventures. From A Mysterious Affair in Styles to the last, they remain an inseparable pair in the reader’s mind.
Curtain:Poirot’s Last Case is the last of the wonderful Poirot mysteries. The way Poirot uses his grey cells and unravels everything at the end in his own way is a treat in itself. Murder on the Orient Express, Death in the clouds, The Hollow, Hickory Dickory Dock, The Big Four, The Labors of Hercules are some of Poirot’s most famous ones and my favorites.If it was all action in Holmes, it is brain work in Poirot’s case.
Poirot summons Hastings one last time to Styles, the place where it all started. Five unrelated murders have occurred, in each case the accused’s guilt proved beyond doubt. But Poirot suspects that there is more that meets the eye. Crippled with arthritis and old age, Poirot engages the help of Hastings to be his eyes and ears and report to him whatever he observes. Poirot feels that this would be his last case and this time the adversary is a clever one. Even Poirot doesn’t stand a chance before his devious schemes.
As Poirot and Hastings cast the net and watch, all doesn’t seem as they are. A murder occurs and Poirot nearly fails in his attempts to lure the criminal. Poirot makes a last ditched effort to catch the criminal and the rest…..is to be read in the book.
It is not easy to write crime fiction. That too establish a certain style and create a memorable character as Poirot and making him seem alive in flesh and blood. But Dame Agatha Christie does the impossible and Poirot truimphs!
Of all the Poirot cases, this one is the most intriguing and baffling one. For as suspicision falls on each one, the suspect is eliminated and Poirot is at his wit’s and races againts time before the next crime takes place-a crime so horrific, ruthless, cunning in nature.
For the rest, do read. You will enjoy it!