Book Review: The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

I’ve never been much of an Agatha Christie fan, this is only the second of her books I’ve read (my thoughts on the first are here) and I must say I enjoyed this a whole lot.

Set between the wars this follows friends Tommy and Tuppence, who decide to set up a company to look for adventure. Their first case involves them being put on the case of a missing package which could have disastrous for Britain.

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The package in question was handed to a young girl towards the end of the First World War, the girl has since vanished. Arriving to aid Tommy and Tuppence is a young American, the missing girl’s cousin and a powerful lawyer.

The girl and package are tied up in a criminal conspiracy with plans to threaten the very safety of the British government. The figurehead is a shadowy figure who appears to have control over several people and pulls the strings on various plots.

Can Tommy and Tuppence work out where the package and the girl are? With the conspiracy being far reaching who can they trust?

I really enjoyed this book because Christie manages to create two engaging and likeable characters. Tuppence and Tommy are well rounded, and their individual traits ensure they spark off each other in an entertaining manner. The dialogue is fast paced and has a pulpy feel which I loved, and the action moves quickly.

The story is gripping and Christie keeps you guessing, laying false trails before the pay off which is wholly satisfying. Unlike Poirot or Marple the heroes here are more human and aware of their failings, and that’s the real triumph here, as Christie ensures that the reader cares about what happens to them. She also makes their relationship realistic and the personal aspect means just as much as the intrigue.

I’m keen to read more of Tommy and Tuppence’s adventures, and glad I picked up a cheap edition released to tie in with the recent TV adaptation (for which David Walliams seems woefully miscast as Tommy).

Verdict: A solid and enjoyable mystery thriller with decent characters and enough twists to keep the reader hooked. It’s quick, fun and gripping. 7/10.

Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.

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