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Destination Unknown (Agatha Christie Mysteries Collection) Paperback – March 13, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Agatha Christie Mysteries Collection
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062074105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062074102
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #485,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Agatha Christie is a phenomenon.” (Antonia Fraser)

“Agatha Christie gives us one of her rare thrillers—just to show that she can.” (Sunday Times (London))

From the Back Cover

When a number of leading scientists disappear without a trace, concern grows within the international intelligence community. And the one woman who appears to hold the key to the mystery is dying from injuries sustained in a plane crash.

Meanwhile, in a Casablanca hotel room, Hilary Craven prepares to take her own life. But her suicide attempt is about to be interrupted by a man who will offer her an altogether more thrilling way to die. . . .

Customer Reviews

It always holds my interest.
barbara bruce
That being said, this novel is very odd and uninspiring.
Elisita
I really enjoy this particular Agatha Christie story.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As usual, when Christie boots Poirot and Mrs. Marple, you're in for an adventurous and fun book. It all starts when a harried detective stops a girl from committing suicide and asks her to step in the place of a dead woman in order to solve a mystery. From then on you have mayhem, danger, and sweeping romance. Trust me, this is a great book--especially if you're a little bored and depressed yourself!!!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne Tassotto VINE VOICE on June 22, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This 1955 novel is a departure from her more well known cosy series books. This one has none of her more familiar characters like Poirot or Marple, the setting is mostly the North African desert and centers on a James Bond type conspiracy complete with secret hideout and mysterious, fabulously wealthy mastermind.

Hilary Craven has been defeated by life, her daughter has died, her husband has left her and she has nothing left to live for. She has decided to leave England and in an out-of-the-way spot in Morocco end it all. Circumstances intervene and instead of a quiet end in a lonely hotel room Hilary finds herself cast in the role of secret agent.

This is a rather standard thriller type novel. Although a departure from Christie's usual fare there are still many of her more familiar motifs. The 'hero' is a single woman off on a adventure (like MAN IN THE BROWN SUIT), there is also a 'master criminal' (like the Tommy and Tuppence series or PASSENGER TO FRANKFURT) and much of the action takes place in an isolated, contained environment. As always in Christie's work the clues are all there for the reader to follow right up to the surprise ending.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on May 8, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I know this book has an indifferent reputation and it is sometimes compared unfavorably to Christie's preceding thriller, THEY CAME TO BAGHDAD. But over the years I've come to prefer DU to BAGHDAD, maybe as I've grown older and more reflective. The insouciant and devil may care heroine of BAGHDAD, Victoria Jones, was once more appealing to me, and the social comedy of that book remains a delight. But now I am in a Hilary Craven state of mind. If you ask me, Hilary Craven is one of Christie's greatest accomplishments as a character, and her gradual transformation during the events of her "ritualized suicide" is so skillfully done it's hard to see how it could be improved.

At first she is a frightened, despondent mess, as a result of catastrophes in her personal life, a broken marriage, and the death of her only child, a little girl. She keeps obsessing about Brenda, the dead girl, and visualizing the pathetic tiny mound of her grave. She decides to commit suicide and nothing is going to stop her. Christie takes you deep inside Hilary's mind, and her decision seems perfectly rational and even moral, and then fate knocks at her door. In a way we've heard Christie tell this story before, because a would-be suicide turns into the hero of TOWARDS ZERO, and we get some idea of her philosophy on the subject--don't kill yourself because of the butterfly effect, and you never know when you might save someone else's life if only you live. DESTINATION UNKNOWN shows signs of Christie's interest in French existentialism, and the questions it asks are pretty deep ones. What is the price of personal freedom? Is freedom an illusion? In paradise--real or imagined--is there any freedom of choice? If humans are infinitely adaptable and can get used to anything, where is the spark that separates us from the animals? Is identity itself a learned response?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By snowy on November 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
For those who had enjoyed children adventure books like those written by Enid Blyton or Capt WE Johns, this book would
have fit right in.
Unlike other novels by the writer, this book is not a mystery
book but an adventure book. There is no who-done-it, though
there are few clues left around, there is no crime actually defined.
Scientists from the West have gone missing. When the wife of one such scientist went on a holiday, supposedly to recover from the trauma, British agents had her tailed, suspecting she could lead them to the whereabouts of the missing scientists. But when her plane crashed and she was seriously injured, the trail appeared to go cold. Enter Hilary Craven, a suicidal woman who bore a passing resemblance. Offered a more exciting way to die in an almost certainly fatal missiong, she eagerly took the chance.
Not knowing what she could expect to find, the British agents could brief her little except to play-it-by-ear. As they hoped, she was accepted as the supposed wife, and led to be with her supposed husband. But as closely as the British agents trailed her, the adversary was a step ahead to outsmart the shadowers and Hilary found herself in an unexpected place, with even more unexpected encounters.
Would she survive, or would she be exposed as an impostor? The strangely diverse people she had for travelling companions on her way to the lair of the enemy made her wonder if the whole business was what it really appeared to be.
In Hilary, the writer had a perfect character for such a mission, a person who had no desire for self preservation, and could mold herself into another being who had a dual purpose in life, one as a impostor wife, another as an undercover agent.
Read more ›
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More About the Author

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades.

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