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Evil Under the Sun: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

Evil Under the Sun: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

Written by Agatha Christie

Narrated by David Suchet


Evil Under the Sun: A Hercule Poirot Mystery

Written by Agatha Christie

Narrated by David Suchet

ratings:
4.5/5 (110 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 3, 2012
ISBN:
9780062229946
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

The classic Evil Under the Sun, one of the most famous of Agatha Christie's Poirot investigations, has the fastidious sleuth on the trail of the killer of a sun-bronzed beauty whose death brings some rather shocking secrets into the light.

The beautiful bronzed body of Arlena Stuart lay face down on the beach. But strangely, there was no sun and Arlena was not sunbathing…she had been strangled.

Ever since Arlena's arrival the air had been thick with sexual tension. Each of the guests had a motive to kill her, including Arlena's new husband. But Hercule Poirot suspects that this apparent "crime of passion" conceals something much more evil.

Publisher:
Released:
Jul 3, 2012
ISBN:
9780062229946
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976, after a prolific career spanning six decades.


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Reviews

What people think about Evil Under the Sun

4.3
110 ratings / 33 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    I initially picked this book as I thought it was set in Egypt, it's actually set in Devon - not much difference.

    Having seen a tv adaptation I could remember who the victim was but no who committed the murder or why.
    A quick undemanding read that reinforces my belief that if you ever find yourself in the same place as Poirot then you should leave as quickly as possible.
  • (3/5)
    In which a seaside holiday goes horribly wrong…

    "Evil Under the Sun" is a somewhat inconsequential little Christie, written on the heels of her most prolific decade as a novelist. The crime is ingeniously plotted, although the mystery itself is bog-standard, with a host of intertwined resort guests and a seemingly impossible murder. The characters are interesting, if not compelling, but the joy is in seeing Poirot’s reasoning, for this is one of those books where his little grey cells are put to such good use.

    "Evil" is no classic, but it’s a solid example of what made Christie Christie, and it’s not really a surprise that this was chosen to follow "Death on the Nile" in the Peter Ustinov series of films.

    Three-and-a-half stars.

    Poirot ranking: 20th out of 38.
  • (4/5)
    Synopsis: Hercule, along with a group of people turn up at a seaside house to spend a few days in the sun. A woman is killed in a small cove with no one around to do the deed. Hercule has to sort out who had motive, and opportunity.Review: Like most of the Hercule Poirot mysteries, it was a bit tiresome in spots.
  • (4/5)
    From the inside flap: "Young actress Arlena Stuart Marshall is brutally strangled on the cliffs (beach) of a seaside resort. Each of the guests at the Jolly Roger Hotel has a compelling motive, including Arlena's brand new husband (Kenneth Marshall), who seems to be the only man on the island not utterly distracted by her beauty. It is obvious to all that Patrick Redfern was violently smitten, much to the the distress of his own wife (Christine). And the women hotel guests saw the frivolous and flirtatious starlet in a rather different light. Only Hercule Poirot, who has come to the Jolly Roger for some much needed relaxation can sift through the murderous secrets and macabre clues to unravel the mystery at this secluded playground by the sea."

    Included in the cast of characters are; Arlena's step-daughter Linda (whom she treats poorly & in return much hated), Rosamund Darnley (Arlena's husband's childhood friend whom still cares for him), Mr. & Mrs Gardner (American tourists), Major Barry (retired & gossip), Miss Emily Brewster (a curious but athletic spinster), Reverend Lane (an over zealous preacher, very much concerned with evil & women), and Horace Blatt (a self made man of dubious character).

    One fated morning Arlena takes off alone (asking M. Poirot to not tell anyone where she has gone...but he knows she is set to meet someone), Christine and Linda go off to sit on the beach & sketch..... Patrick sets off w/ Miss Brewster for a row about the island and they come across the strangled Arlena.

    Not only is there the murder down on the cove at the Jolly Roger (named for Captain Roger Angmering), there is blackmail, a boat w/ suspicious red sails, the smuggling of drugs, and the murder of a young woman a year previous.....

    All this ties up quite neatly at the end, as at the end is when most of the clues & red herrings are revealed.

  • (4/5)
    A good holiday read. What began as a slow narration ended in quite a high. This one was conveyed as a crime of passion which kept me interested in knowing the murderer in the end.
  • (4/5)
    Read this in one day as I was sick and my nose would not stop running long enough to allow me to do anything. Good escapist reading. Just ignore the old fashioned sexism and stereotyping.
  • (3/5)
    Extraordinarily unlikely. Also hard to follow as so much minutiae are involved.
  • (3/5)
    While I never guess the who-done-it part of these novels, I never give them 5 stars because they always have something I dislike about them. For this book it was then ending. Honestly, if the last bit with the proposal had been left out this would have been a 4 star read but having the only successful, self made woman give it all up because a man expressly told her to or he wouldn’t marry her is just.... ugh ?.
  • (5/5)
    So good! Twists and turns to the very end and a story line that pulls you along the way. I've become quite the fan of Agatha Christie and can see why my grandmother loved her writing so much. Make sure you check out those story because it's a keeper!
  • (5/5)
    I look at this book as the other bookend to Death on the Nile, which is mentioned several times in this book. I can't say too much without going into spoilers, but it's a great book.
  • (3/5)
    I didn't like this as much as the other Agatha Christie novels I have read. While I enjoyed the setting on a small island off the Devon coast with just a small hotel and an attractive coastline, the actual explanation for the crime struck me as unrealistically complex. Poirot's ratiocination is also suspect: he begins by identifying who he thinks is the most likely culprit, constructs a sequence of events that allows for that outcome, and it turns out to be true. This is no Sherlockian working up of evidence dispassionately to lead to a conclusion.
  • (4/5)
    Popirot investigates the murder of a beutifu but supposedly evil actress at a seas8de resort in southwest England.
  • (2/5)
    Ugh... Having seen and loved almost every Agatha Christie movie, it comes as a major surprise that this book was so brain-numbingly boring to me. The only thing that enabled me to get through to the last page was imagining Peter Ustinov dubbing over Hercule Poirot's lines. I'm guessing that by the time this book came out, her writing had already become a brand and she didn't need to put much effort into actually making it a good read; her fans would devour it if it was written in pig latin. Perhaps an earlier work? Or perhaps not. I think I'll stick to the movies. One star for the book, but one bonus star just because she was so cool in real life.
  • (2/5)
    My least favourite Christie/Poirot in the series thus far. Perhaps because I read it in between two instalments of the Game of Thrones series. :-)

    At the end of the book, when Poirot unfolds his findings and points out the murderer, I was of course surprised at the ingenuity of Christie (as always), but didn't feel excited or anything else about the story. The book reads more like a dry listing of facts for the detective to use in the last chapter than as a compelling narrative.
  • (4/5)
    Very entertaining until the terrible last page where a man proposes to one of the female characters and asks her to give up her business to 'live in the country', she passionately replies that it's her pride and joy and she won't give it up, only to fall into his arms two lines later. Christie's characterization can be such a disappointment sometimes. The plot is good, if a little convoluted.
  • (4/5)
    Hercule Poirot is always entertaining. This murder mystery is set at a beach resort which makes it a little different. Also, this audio book was read by David Suchet, who also plays the part of Poirot in the movies. He did an excellent job with all the accents! I enjoyed it very much.
  • (4/5)
    Englands sydkyst, 1940'erne.Hercule Poirot er på ferie. Det er det unge ægtepar Patrick og Christine Redfern også. Og kaptajn Kenneth Marshall og hans kone Arlena, der er alt andet end en engel. Hun har en fantastisk tiltrækningskraft på mænd og leger med Patrick. Ken har en datter Linda på tolv fra et tidligere ægteskab, hvor konen døde. Linda er ikke begejstret for sin stedmor. Der er også en af Kenneth's gamle veninder Rosamund Darnley og nogle andre feriegæster på hotellet.Arlena bliver fundet kvalt på stranden og mistanken falder på skift på de forskellige. Hercule Poirot finder nogle små mærkelige tildragelser, som han ikke kan få til at passe, før han forfølger sin første mistanke om at Patrick Redfern er typen, der lever af andre kvinders penge.Patrick og Christine viser sig at have begået mordet for at dække over at Patrick bag om ryggen på Arlena's mand har franarret hende store beløb. Det er heller ikke første gang at de to har begået mord, for Poirot borer i deres fortid og finder at Patrick hedder Edward Corrigan og at hans første kone Alice Corrigan på samme måde som Arlena blev dræbt på et tidspunkt, hvor Christine gav et perfekt men falsk alibi for hans færden. Til sidst bliver det hele opklaret og Rosamund og Kenneth kan gifte sig. Inspektør Colgate og politimesteren Oberst Weston er mest bipersoner i opklaringen.Glimrende Poirot mysterie. Oversættelsen halter lidt.
  • (4/5)
    While vacationing at a remote seaside hotel, Poirot is on the spot to investigate the murder of a fellow guest. In fact, Poirot seems to be the last person to have seen the victim alive – other than the murderer. The suspects with the strongest motives also appear to have the strongest alibis.The circumstances prior to the murder are similar to some of Poirot's other cases, particularly the short story “Triangle at Rhodes”. The similarity ends with the setting and characters. The method and the red herrings are different. Poirot's reasoning process seemed to be more like Miss Marple's in this book. His solution to this crime seems to rely less than usual on physical evidence and more on character and behavior. Maybe it's not a coincidence that it wasn't long before Miss Marple would make another appearance.
  • (4/5)
    Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie is a Hercule Poirot mystery. The setting is a beach resort on the southern coast of England. The murder victim is Arlena Marshall, a woman whom the other guests have been gossiping about. Strangled and left lying on a deserted beach, this was a woman who was not liked and there are many suspects. Could the murderer be her husband, tired of watching her go off with other men, or perhaps it was Christine Redfern who was standing by quiety watching her husband being lured into an affair. Hercule Poirot is more than willing to give up his holiday and put his little grey cells to work on this puzzler. Although he is an insufferable little man with a very superior attitude, he does understand human nature and it’s weaknesses. I am a sucker for the scene that has the suspects gathered together for the big reveal and, in Evil Under the Sun, Hercule Poirot outdoes himself with accusations flying around the room making everyone seem capable of the deed until he finally zeros in on his actual suspect.This was a fun read, but although I thought this was my first time reading it, I couldn’t vanquish that niggling feeling that I had read it before. I also thought I knew who the murderer was and the motive behind the act. This made the final reveal all the more enjoyable when I realized I was quite wrong and perhaps had been thinking of a different Agatha Christie book. Evil Under the Sun was a quick, light, and agreeable read but not particularly outstanding in any way.
  • (4/5)
    Poirot just can’t take a vacation! Everytime he shows up anywhere, no business in mind, just relaxing, a dead body shows up! This time he is at a seaside hotel where the usual cross-section of British society is taking their holiday and, as seems to be usual in an Agatha Christie novel, there are a couple of Americans also.One of the guests is an actress known for collecting men. A young newlywed seems to be the man du jour. Unfortunately, her husband and the wife of the newlywed don’t seem too happy with the arrangement. When she turns up dead in a sheltered cove, the suspects are many. Poirot pulls together many obscure clues such as a bottle thrown out of a window and a pair of scissors found on the beach to capably assist the local police in apprehending the killer in a plot that feels somewhat familiar. The ending will surprise those who are not familiar with Agatha Christie’s style and will be satisfying but not surprising to those who are. After reading two Poirot novels in a row that do have Captain Hastings in them, I find that I am missing him. I think he humanizes Poirot in a way that is missing from this book. That being said, any Poirot book is better than a lot of what is being written today. If I were new to Poirot, I wouldn’t start with this one. I would start with The Mysterious Affair at Styles. If you are a fan of Poirot, you’ll enjoy this outing with the Belgian.
  • (4/5)
    A great read (with a summer vacation theme) from Dame Christie. I thought I had figured out the murderer this time around... but I was wrong. Like most of Christie's work, though, I don't mind at all that I'm completely on the wrong track. It's just too interesting to see how it all works out.
    *side note: watched the taped episode of Doctor Who where he meets Agatha Christie right before she disappears for 2 weeks - it was very well done and if the Sci Fi channel repeats the Doctor Who series at all, I highly recommend.
  • (5/5)
    Agatha Christie is thus far the only female author which I read, and indeed the only other woman besides my wife that I return to again and again for pleasure. Within Christie's writings—such as within "Evil Under the Sun"—we find such unique pleasantries of minutiae as the description of the quality of a man's briar pipe; of the tired old stories of a retired officer—Major Barry—who fought in India; of the dual nature of men; of waxed mustaches...I first saw, a while back, the Poirot made-for-TV episode, "Evil Under the Sun". The book was reminiscent, but I still was unsure who the murderer was until the end. I dislike viewing anything before I have read it, but in the case of Poirot, it was irresistible. My wife and I too have just acquired the Wii video game, "Evil Under the Sun".Let it not be said that I am without gripes however. The character of the Reverend Stephen Lane stands out as rather lame. The other characters are quite complex; the parson however, simply a fanatic—all too common a fallback in modern fiction, which reveals how misunderstood the Christian religion is. Then again, with what such real-life scandalous reverends that make the news each month, it is only to be expected, I suppose.My other gripe is that Captain Kenneth Marshall and Rosamund Darnley's morals are quite disturbing. The result of their amorality, at least in the case of Marshall's, manifests in his daughter Linda Marshall, who attempted to kill her stepmother by means of witchcraft, and then attempted suicide, believing she indeed succeeded in matricide. Rather than to face up to the consequences, rather than to talk it out with Poirot, she seeks to kill herself, ending her misery. Here is why I find Ken and Rosamund to be alarming: Each suspected the other of murder. Rather than seeking to allay their suspicions, each swallows them and each tries to protect the other, going to such lengths as to lie to the authorities. Not only this, but they each plan a future together, never mind each suspecting the other of being a murderer. Each is also willing to place the girl Linda in this horrid nightmare of a homicidal home. Evil under the sun, indeed.I found most fascinating the psychological profile of Arlena Stuart Marshall—the murdered woman— which Poirot propounds upon. I just happen to be reading C.S. Lewis' "Perelandra" at this time. Arlena is the Lady of Perelandra—tragically and totally transformed into a self-centered materialist. Indeed, Arlena was the victim. We offer ourselves as unknowing Andromeda; as perfumed Jezebels, loath, accursed creatures, blind to our destination of decrepitation. Reverend Lane here was a nutter—was unlearned, with bad theology—he mistook the Whore of Babylon for a literal person, rather than the personification of a materialist self-centered society.
  • (5/5)
    Is EVIL UNDER THE SUN the perfect holiday read? Or will it make you look askance as your fellow holiday makers? Certainly the Jolly Roger Hotel, Smugglers’ Island, Leathercombe Bay sounds attractive and the setting exudes a feeling of summer. Captain Roger Angmering had only one great love, the sea. So he built his house—a sturdy house too, as it needed to be, on the little windswept gull-haunted promontory—cut off from land at each high tide. The sturdy house was added to and embellished. A concrete causeway was laid down from the mainland to the island. ‘Walks’ and ‘Nooks’ were cut and devised all round the island. There were two tennis courts, sun-terraces leading down to a little bay embellished with rafts and diving boards. The Jolly Roger Hotel, Smugglers’ Island, Leathercombe Bay, came triumphantly into being. And from June till September (with a short season at Easter) the Jolly Roger Hotel was usually packed to the attics. It was enlarged and improved in 1934 by the addition of a cocktail bar, a bigger dining-room and some extra bathrooms. The prices went up. People said: ‘Ever been to Leathercombe Bay? Awfully jolly hotel there, on a sort of island. Very comfortable and no trippers or charabancs. Good cooking and all that. You ought to go.’ And people did go.Several of the holiday makers recognise Hercule Poirot. (who wouldn't?) resplendent in a white duck suit, with a panama hat tilted over his eyes, his moustaches magnificently befurled, lay back in an improved type of deck-chair and surveyed the bathing beach.and go as far as to ask if he is there on "business". He replies: let me assure you, Madame, that I am here simply in the same way that you are here yourselves—to enjoy myself—to spend the holiday. I do not think of crime even.There is some discussion about whether crime could ever happen in such an idyllic spot: ‘No, I don’t believe even Mrs Gardener would have believed in a crime staged here. This isn’t the sort of place you’d get a body!’ Hercule Poirot stirred a little in his chair. He protested. He said: ‘But why not, Mademoiselle? Why should there not be what you call a “body” here on Smugglers’ Island?’ Emily Brewster said: ‘I don’t know. I suppose some places are more unlikely than others. This isn’t the kind of spot—’ She broke off, finding it difficult to explain her meaning. ‘It is romantic, yes,’ agreed Hercule Poirot. ‘It is peaceful. The sun shines. The sea is blue. But you forget, Miss Brewster, there is evil everywhere under the sun.’Some even privately express a belief (a murderer amongst them) that if a crime does occur Poirot is probably "past it". He’s Hercule Poirot. You must have heard of him.’ Mr Blatt said: ‘Didn’t catch his name properly. Oh yes, I’ve heard of him. But I thought he was dead. Dash it, he ought to be dead. What’s he after down here?’ ...... ‘He’s pretty old. Probably more or less ga ga.’Well, the reader knows from the beginning (because of the publisher's blurb) that a murder will occur. Poirot knows it will too but can't see how he can prevent it. And we readers even know who the victim will be. What we don't know is when, how, and why.One of Poirot's problems is that, although he is pretty sure who one of the murderers is, he likes her. She has qualities he appreciates in the 'modern' young woman - plenty of resolution, courage and good sense - and so he is reluctant to place her in the picture until he gets irrefutable evidence of an earlier crime and then the penny drops. It is a dilemma that often crops up for Poirot - feminine wiles can get the better of him.For those who need it in their holiday reading, there is also romance, and a young life saved.EVIL UNDER THE SUN is an enjoyable read, well constructed, fairly complex plot, but I think quite a way from Christie's best. I was particularly exasperated by the final chapter in which Poirot lays everything out before us. This was one case where perhaps Christie could have left it to the reader to put it all together. (Kindle tells me the chapter is 5% of the total book.) Perhaps Christie could have finished when the murderer lunged to get his hands around Poirot's throat. The explanations of chapter 13 got a bit tedious.
  • (4/5)
    Hercule Poirot is on vacation, but of course there's evil everywhere under the sun. As all of Agatha's work, it will keep you suspecting who the murderer is, and second guessing everyone until Poirot reveals the truth. There is no "twist" but the mechanics of the murder that set up the story are different than in other of Agatha's novels which was very fun to read.If you enjoy Christies's mysteries, you will enjoy this one for sure.
  • (4/5)
    Vintage Poirot. When the man-eater Arlena Stuart is murdered the motive seems obvious, jealousy, revenge... but papa Poriot is on hand to reveal just who really did it...
  • (4/5)
    This was my first Agatha Christie book, and I was very pleased with it. The book had so many plot twist and turns. It was hard to put down. It would be a great beach read! I will definitely read some more books by this author. Mrs. Christie does a great job of playing at each one of her characters’ personalities, and had a great way of throwing suspicion at everyone without knowing until the end how and who did it. Highly recommended!
  • (4/5)
    It's hard to review classic authors such as Christie. To me, she's a master of creating suspicion and changing your mind, only to create suspicion again. I really enjoy these.
  • (3/5)
    Didn't get in to ths one as much as I did with some others by her. Not bad nonetheless.
  • (3/5)
    Hard to believe, with all the books I read, that I've never read an Agatha Christie before, but indeed, I have not. This was my first, and I can certainly see why Christie is the world's most-published novelist. If there's one thing Christie can do, it's tell a good story. And that's precisely what she does in Evil under the Sun. I can see why readers find Christie's work compelling; she draws her readers in quickly, with a large cast of thickly-described characters and a vivid sense of surroundings. Evil under the Sun brings us to a seaside resort, where a group of holiday-makers, including Christie's famous Inspector Poirot, find themselves attempting to deal with a broad range of personalities. Likely the most abrasive of all is the beautiful and capricious socialite Arlena Marshall. When she turns up dead in a remote part of the beach, it becomes Poirot's calling to determine her murderer. The resort's island location makes it unlikely that anyone outside the hotel could be responsible. Thus, Poirot must discover the murderer in his midst. Everyone, it seems, had a motive. Yet everyone too had an alibi. The answer turns out to be far more complicated than anyone had anticipated. Christie's gift is clearly to tell a gripping story. While there are no great lessons on morality or statements on the human condition within this it is certainly entertaining, enjoyable, and just a bit scary.
  • (4/5)
    It had been many years since I read Christie, though I think I read everything of hers at one time. Lately I've been picking up and re-reading one or two, and may do more of them. After so long, I remember little about the books, so they are like new discoveries, except that reading about Poirot or Miss Marple is like catching up with an old friend one hasn't seen in a while. What I discover is that there are reasons Christie is still so popular. Oh, sure, we can condemn her now for her occasional racist and imperialist stereotypes, but like all writers, she was a mirror of her times. What is so pleasurable about Christie are that her books are character-driven puzzles. You get to know the people in the books and that reveals the puzzle of who could do such a terrible thing as murder and why. And her characters are superbly ordinary people. In this book, for example, you've got the husband, stiff upper lip but inner fires type, the chattering Americans, the athletic spinster, a successful businesswoman, the coltish teenage girl, etc. Stereotypes in some ways, but the characters come alive. The victim in some ways isn't ordinary, an incredibly beautiful woman who attracts men, but in the end her character is shown to be a sad and rather pathetic one.One gets tired, in our television and movie culture, of the pretty people, and that's another thing that made Christie extraordinary. Poirot was a rotund egocentric eccentric, and Miss Marple an old spinster who looked entirely unremarkable, yet both were keen observers of humanity and the heroes of the works. It is a lesson that there is value in all of us.