Published: December 15, 1985 (First published May 1942)
Format: e-Book & audiobook
It was an open and shut case. All the evidence said Caroline Crale poisoned her philandering husband, a brilliant painter. She was quickly and easily convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
Now, sixteen years later, in a posthumous letter, Mrs. Crale has assured her grown daughter that she was innocent. But instead of setting the young woman’s mind at ease, the letter only raises disquieting questions. Did Caroline indeed write the truth? And if she didn’t kill her husband, who did?
To find out, the Crale’s daughter asks Hercule Poirot to reopen the case. His investigation takes him deep into the conflicting memories and motivations of the five other people who were with the Crales on the fatal day. With his keen understanding of human psychology, he manages to discover the surprising truth behind the artist’s death.
Out of all the Hercule Poirot novels that I have read, this is by far the saddest. It follows the story of a daughter who believes that her mother is innocent and seeks the help of Poirot to prove it and clear her mother’s name even though she’s already dead.
The story follows a series of recollection of the murder that happened for more than 10 years ago. I did not think I would be interested with this type of story but it does not bore me somehow. It may have been the uncertainty of each account of stories that leaves me guessing as well as to who the real culprit is or if the mother is really innocent or not. Funnily enough, no matter how engrossed I am with the story, I don’t care about the characters. I simply don’t have any sympathy whatsoever. I was just intrigued and it somehow holds my interest up until the end.
In addition, the twist of the story is quite anti-climatic. In a way, it was somehow expected or a bit obvious because they are mostly one of the suspect when a man dies and the fact that they did not consider it before puts the story quite off. However, discovering the truth as to why the mother does not plead her innocence is probably the most heartbreaking part of it all. It makes me sad just by thinking about it again. It is sad to know that someone died without knowing the truth.
I recommend that you guys check it out if you have not read it yet. It’s a breath of fresh air from the other Hercule Poirot novel in a sad and heartbreaking kind of way.
That is all for this review. Until next time!