...than to find women holding flowers!
Who knew that I was such a violent creature. :)
I liked this one less than I liked They Came To Baghdad, but much more than I liked A Passenger to Frankfurt. It's still a late Agatha thriller, which means that it has problems, but it wasn't awful.
"Peters said gloomily: “I suppose it always comes to the same thing in the end. A madman who believes he’s God.”
There is something so naive about Christie's thrillers - I think that early in her career, her youth and charm insulated her from the ugliness of geopolitics, and late in her career, her wealth served in the same way. It's interesting to me that the body count is often lower in the thrillers than it is in the straight up murder mysteries. She doesn't seem to even remotely grasp the actuality of the violence of espionage and political intrigue.
Destination Unknown lacks the romping charm of the Bundle Brent thrillers, or The Secret Adversary, but still requires a suspension of disbelief upon which it fails, ultimately to deliver. The main character, Hilary Craven, is likable and brave. There are wheels turning within wheels turning within wheels, but at the end of the day, the entire machine sort of breaks down.
Anyway, this is a lower tier Christie, but didn't hit rock bottom.
I'm catching up a few reading projects, so I thought I would go through and identify which of the very few full-length Christie mysteries I have left:
Why Didn't They Ask Evans
N or M
Death Comes As The End
The Pale Horse
By The Pricking of My Thumbs
Postern of Fate
That's actually more than I thought, although I am aware that some of them are true clunkers - I've heard nothing good about Postern of Fate.
I also have several of the short story collections left, including Harley Quin & Parker Pyne.
I also haven't read the books she published under the Mary Westamacott name, which are a bit difficult to find, but are by no means unobtainable.
Absent in Spring
The Rose and the Yew Tree
A Daughter's A Daughter
And I definitely want to track down the three Detection Club stories:
The Floating Admiral
Ask a Policeman
Six Against the Yard
This is an odd book. It does remind me a lot of Passenger to Frankfurt, but, at least so far, it isn't nearly as awful as that one. Although it was really the ending that blew up that book, so there is still time.
Christie had a really bizarre obsession with the "elites" basically starting their own society to take over the world. Her late thrillers - They Came To Baghdad, Passenger to Frankfurt, and now this one, remind me a bit of Rand's Atlas Shrugged, although Christie definitely frames hers as cautionary tales, while Rand basically glorifies the idea of (her formulation) "the makers" abandoning "the looters" to death and starvation.
Destination Unknown doesn't have the charm of They Came to Baghdad, at least not so far. Hilary Craven (interesting name choice, there) lacks the manic pixie dream girl charm of Victoria Jones, being of a more serious, less effervescent, character.
At this point, though, Passenger to Frankfurt represents the execrable nadir of Christie novels for me, so anything that is, even slightly, less awful will be okay.
With some alterations, I planned this as a follow-up to the chain of adventures/modules that started in the 'Eberron Campaign Setting'. With some level adjustments, it's quite possible to play this on the heels of 'Grasp of the Emerald Claw'.
The campaign is an ambitious one, almost up to the length of the current $50 hardbound adventures published for fifth edition. Adventurers begin by investigating an ancient temple with evil dragons in at the behest of a mysterious, rich client, and end up traipsing across Eberron.
It was a lot of fun, but again, if there's a next time I play this one its going to need some serious alterations to survive play with the timeline intact. I have some objections, but my high rating stands. If there's going to be one Eberron adventure you're going to try, it should be this one.