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The Pale Horse

The Pale Horse

Written by Agatha Christie

Narrated by Hugh Fraser


The Pale Horse

Written by Agatha Christie

Narrated by Hugh Fraser

ratings:
4.5/5 (119 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Jul 3, 2012
ISBN:
9780062233806
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

When an elderly priest is murdered, the killer searches the victim so roughly that his already ragged cassock is torn in the process. What was the killer looking for? And what had a dying woman confided to the priest on her deathbed only hours earlier?

Mark Easterbrook and his sidekick Ginger Corrigan are determined to find out. Maybe the three women who run The Pale Horse public house, and who are rumored to practice the "Dark Arts," can provide some answers?

Publisher:
Released:
Jul 3, 2012
ISBN:
9780062233806
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook


About the author

Agatha Christie is known throughout the world as the Queen of Crime. Her books have sold over a billion copies. She is the author of eighty crime novels and short-story collections, nineteen plays and six novels written under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott.

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What people think about The Pale Horse

4.5
119 ratings / 25 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    I was discouraged at the beginning of this story because I forgot it had Ariadne Oliver in it. She is not my favorite Agatha Christie character. Fortunately, she plays a minor role so she didn't drag the storyline at all. The mystery was intriguing and the ending was unexpected. Another classic Christie novel to enjoy.
  • (3/5)
    A Catholic priest is murder on his way home from giving the last rites to a woman. He has a list of names in his shoe of unconnected people who have all died resonantly from natural causes. Mark Easterbrook witnesses fight between two woman in which the hair comes out in clumps without noticeable pain. Then there is the mysterious Pale Horse Inn now closed and occupied by three strange woman who proclaim to be witches and spiritualists. What are the connections amongst these people that lead Mark and the police to suspect murder but how and why.This another Christie novel that is cluttered with unusual British place names and equally fascinating characters.
  • (5/5)
    An excellent mystery. Most of the book is Mark Easterbrook's narration, but some sections are told in 3rd person. Mrs. Oliver appears briefly and provides key information. The twist at the end was unexpected and really good.
  • (3/5)
    This was a spooky book. There are a lot of mentions of 'malevolent powers' in the book, even though they are scoffed at by most of the characters. There are no famous Christie characters in this book, except a small part played by Ariadne Oliver. I have to laugh at Ms. Oliver, because as she discusses writing her murder mysteries, she may very well be expressing some of the frustration Ms. Christie felt at times while she was trying to write. Anyway, I did not like the spiritual references, but otherwise it was a great mystery with a great twist at the end.
  • (4/5)
    Christie has several titles that are sort of similar, so I guess I had this book confused with another. As I started reading, I realized that I couldn't remember what happened in this one. I know that I read it before, but it must have been a long time ago. The book opens with a man having a meal in a tea shop. He sees two girls get into a fight. Later he asks a waiter about them and learns their names. The next day he reads that one of the girls is dead. The book then jumps to a dying woman who asks for a priest. The priest arrives and counsels with the woman. She then dies and as he is leaving, he is struck down in the street. How these two incidents connect is the focus of the book. Mark Easterbrook becomes convinced that someone is using a very unusual method of murder - and what's more, it's a very successful method. There are plenty of suspects, as well as plenty of red herrings, and the plot twists several times. Ariadne Oliver appears in this one, but none of Christie's regular detectives do. I really enjoyed this one and I would be happy to read it again. I'm glad I found it!
  • (3/5)
    This was an enjoyable read that focuses on the adventures of Mark Easterbrook as he attempted to solve the mystery of a young girl's death, which appeared to be be connected to several other deaths. The story also features the mysterious activities which took place at the Pale Horse, which may or may not be responsible for the deaths.Nice twists throughout the whole story.
  • (3/5)
    Nice later Christie, some interesting post modern references to earlier works too. Vey enjoyable
  • (4/5)
    My favorite author, I have read every mystery she has written. That said, I must confess I prefer the little Belgian to any of the other 'detectives'. This book however is very engaging and shows why Christie is the granddame of mystery writing.
  • (4/5)
    I read this entry in the summer cool down with AC challenge ahead of viewing the Masterpiece movie that is currently available online. Strangely, they added Miss Marple to the movie version. I am not quite sure why they did that and that threw off my viewing of the movie. In any case this book centers around the mystery as to whether a coven witches really can cause people to die by casting a spell on them. This book does not have Poirot or Miss Marple but Ariadne Oliver who was featured prominently in Hallowe'en party does make a cameo here. There are really two separate story lines at work here. The first one that is introduced involves a priest who is murdered shortly after hearing a dying woman's confession. A list of names of people who are also deceased is found in his pocket. This story is set aside and then the storyline about the witches is concentrated on. Both story lines are brought together in a brilliant way at the end of the book where everything is finally explained. I could not figure out the whole witch thing and when the answer was revealed it was definitely an oh! moment for me. The last twist I did not see coming at all. I enjoyed the two lead characters of this novel, Mark and Ginger. This novel was a high point for me on the summer reading challenge. As an interesting side I learned that this novel has actually saved several people's lives by alerting them to certain symptoms. Check it out when you have finished the book.
  • (4/5)
    Once again, Agatha Christie completely fooled me! All the clues were there - and she misdirected me as always! One of the reasons I love reading her books so much!
  • (4/5)
    I really liked this. It was a bit like a Jonathan Creek storyline. There was always a hint of something supernatural going on, and though Christie's mysteries always have a logical explanation at the end, it was always at the back of my mind that maybe something magical really was going on.....
  • (4/5)
    "Evil is not something superhuman, it's something less than human."A priest takes a confession from a dying woman in a boarding house. How much of what he's just heard is true and how much is delirium. What he does know is that he must write down a list of names the woman has given him before he forgets them which he does at a small cafe. However, on his way home, he is murdered but the culprit does not find the list secreted in his shoe. This then becomes the only clue into his murder.Mark Easterbrook is friends with the police pathologist working on the case, Jim Corrigan, and finds himself drawn into the mystery by a few mysterious coincidences. Moving from chic Chelsea coffee houses to an old inn known as The Pale Horse in the sleepy countryside outside of Bournemouth. The inn has closed and is now lived in by a trio of women akin to the witches in MacBeth who claim to have super-natural gifts. Easterbrook realises that something sinister is linked with the Pale Horse and suspects that there is a criminal mastermind behind the operation so along with a female friend sets out to try and unmask this murdering maniac. All appears to be failing until a chance remark suddenly sets everything into place with typical Agatha Christie twist and style.The book was first published in the early 1960's and the reader clearly gets a feel for place and time. You can just imagine yourself sat in the chic coffee houses of Chelsea surrounded by their "cool" clientele but also the rural countryside where the vicarage becomes the centre of village life with their fetes etc. Most of the characters are well developed and perhaps best of all there is no Marple or Poirot in sight. There is no flowery sequences and the plot line is taut throughout. I felt like a fish on a hook being methodically reeled in. What the three witches profess to be able to do initially sounds totally far-fetched yet as the action progresses you cannot help but wonder as to whether or not there really is any truth in it.I did NOT guess the identity of the killer and was totally caught out by the final twist. Each time I thought that I had worked it out I was proved wrong which is as it should be. If I had one complaint it is that the end came a bit too quickly. Murder mysteries are not really my usual fayre but all the same I found this an enjoyable read and believe that any real fans of the genre will do so too.
  • (5/5)
    This novel takes the form mainly of a narrative written by Mark Easterbrook whose curiosity is peaked by a list of names found in the dead Father Gorman's shoe. Mark recognises two of the names as belonging to people who are dead and begins to suspect that most of the people on the list are either dead or are in danger of being killed. See a full plot description on Wikipedia. - SPOILERSAs Mark investigates links between The Pale Horse, formerly a pub but now a private residence, and the names on the list, he puts his associate Ginger Corrigan in real danger.There are rather a lot of references to Shakespearean plays in this novel, in particular to the three witches of Macbeth.There are some creepy passages as Christie explores what a seance might be like and how a person might cause death through the powers of suggestion. Mark Easterbrook can't make up his mind whether he is a "believer" in the occult or not. The rational, sensible part of him says it iall poppycock, but the atmosphere of the seance he attends at The Pale Horse strikes real fear into him.The novel not only discusses the power of suggestion in causing people to die, but also plays with the idea of the reliable (or unreliable) witness - but I won't spoil things by telling you which character it is.There are a number of characters who appear in more than one Christie book, including the novelist Mrs Ariadne Oliver, often thought to be Agatha Christie's view of herself, although I think Mrs Oliver is much scattier.Hugh Fraser does an excellent job of the narration.
  • (5/5)
    Well read by Hugh Fraser. This Agatha Christie does not have any of her famous detectives. It's a stand-alone novel, but it does bring in Ariadne Oliver, whom we usually see in Poirot mysteries.
  • (5/5)
    One of the better Agatha Christie books. Has a bit of the occult.
  • (5/5)
    The story is great, but I don’t think the recording is complete!!! The mystery is solved...but it cuts off abruptly, and I was left wanting more!!!
  • (4/5)
    More an adventure than a mystery, I don't think this one of her best works. She has a few other that are different from her usual style, and I must say they are not my favorites.
  • (5/5)
    Hugh Fraser does a wonderful job, as usual!! A real pleasure to listen to.
  • (5/5)
    Intriguing who-done-it by the master of crime. Fantastic listen, definitely recommend!
  • (4/5)
    There?s something special about reading an old paperback that has been read more than once by a loved one, and wondering what life was like when its pages were first turned. These types of murder mysteries are not my usual cup of tea, but I liked this one for its characters, the dark and sinister nature of the crime, and that wonderful way of speaking that British people have. It?s also one that can be readily followed without having to backtrack in the book to remember people or events, which is nice, though a part of that is due to repetition, which can also be a bother. Agatha Christie is a clever writer though, and it?s easy to see why she is so popular.Quotes:On love, and men and women:?Being in love has a very bad effect on men ? it seems to addle their wits. Now women are just the opposite ? on top of the world, looking radiant and twice as good looking as usual. Funny, isn?t it, that it should suit women, and only make a man look like a sick sheep??And this one, from Revelation 6:8:?And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him??
  • (3/5)
    Audio book read by Hugh Fraser
    3.5***

    Is it possible to kill someone by remote control ? that is, black magic?

    A woman on her deathbed asks for a priest ? a Roman Catholic priest to be exact. After he leaves her bedside he stops in a caf? to ponder what she told him. He scribbles down a list of names on a scrap of paper, and because he has a hole in his pocket, puts the paper inside his shoe. On his way back to the parish, however, he is brutally murdered ? a seeming robbery. But that scrap of paper wasn?t found by the robber, and it piques the interest of the police, and that of Mark Easterbrook and his sidekick, Ginger Corrigan. The mystery involves three middle-aged women living in a former tavern ? The Pale Horse ? and dabbling in the occult, a disbarred attorney who likes to take odd wagers, a wealthy industrialist crippled by polio, and a list of people connected only by the fact that they are all deceased. Mrs. Ariadne Oliver makes a brief appearance, and does provide some valuable assistance. Still, I was caught completely unawares at the ending. I just love how Agatha Christie weaves her plots. She really deserves her reputation as the Queen of Mystery Writers.

    Hugh Fraser ? known to millions as Captain Hastings, assisting Hercule Poirot in A&E?s [i]Poirot[/i] and in the Agatha Christie [i]Mystery![/i] series on PBS ? does a fine job of narrating. He has good pacing and an expressive voice which he moderates wonderfully to distinguish the various characters.

  • (4/5)
    The Pale Horse by Agatha Christie, originally published in 1961, is a tale of murder by black magic. This is the authors? take on the supernatural and she has included s?ances, witches and an old 15th century inn called The Pale Horse. The novel is a stand alone although one of her reoccurring characters, Ariadne Oliver is featured and other characters from previous books also make an appearance. I recognized the vicar and his wife from The Moving Finger and Colonel Despard from Cards on the Table.The main character, Mark Easterbrook stumbles into a reference that The Pale Horse is a place of evil, and that, along with a list of names that turn out to belong to people who have recently died starts him and a friend, Ginger, on an investigation. Meanwhile, from a slightly different angle, the police are also taking an interest due to a recent murder of a priest.I found this appropriately chilling and original and enjoyed it very much. The author starts her story slowly, but as the pages turn, she amps up the tension and moves her story along quickly. Typically there were a few red herrings along the way and an interesting twist at the end which made The Pale Horse a very satisfactory read.
  • (4/5)
    One of my very favourite Agatha Christies. (Loved the television adaptation from ITV in 1997 - worth checking out if you haven't seen it). Complex plot involving witchcraft and murder, it's atmospheric and maintains a sense of internal logic (which can't be said for every Agatha Christie novel). Very enjoyable.

    ? Koplowitz 2012

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    The Pale Horse, written by Agatha Christie, author of 82 novels, is a dark mystery story that deals with a great deal of death through the means of something quite different than Agatha Christie's usual way of going about murders. The main character, Mark Easterbrook, senses something slightly fishy about the coincidental mentions of "The Pale Horse" and decides to investigate the topic. In the process, he finds out things he is quite skeptical about at first, but later takes part in a risky plan to put his mind at ease about the truthfulness behind "The Pale Horse". Ginger, the brains of the plan, helps Mr. Easterbrook uncover a whole load of truth behind the "The Pale Horse" and is very keen on getting the truth out to the police and restoring justice. That was, however, before her life was at stake. The Pale Horse is a truly well developed mystery written in third person point of view, mostly following Mark Easterbrook and occasionally following Detective-Inspector Lejeune's side of the story. The great thing about this particular mystery novel was that there was more than one villain (villain, not suspect), which made it all the more satisfying to read. The process of how the case gradually unravelled and how the character who found out who the felon was revealed it was absolutely perfect. It really finalized his personality which is great, especially since the reader does not get much about that specific person's characteristics as they are reading. Even though most characters got his or her own personality, the novel did not contain much (or maybe even any) character development. This point however, does not have anything to do with the goal of the story; it is just something I usually look forward to when I am reading. As a reader, I find amusement in observing how a character changes whether it be gradually and with time or quickly and instinctively, for the worse or the better, from a minor character or a major character; it's just always fun to read. The Pale Horse however, simply did not have that. The novel was also quite choppy at times; it was not given enough sentence variation at times. I found this was a a bother to me most in the dialogue parts of the story. There would be about three or four consecutive sentences that were about four words long, which definitely put me off. I do have to say though, it was compensated for with the great plot line and brilliant plot twists. Near the end of The Pale Horse, one of the characters says something that I sincerely think should be widely quoted: "Evil is nothing superhuman, it's something less than human. Your criminal is someone who wants to be important, but who will never be important, because he'll always be less than man". I realize that this isn't exactly a deep saying and there's not much more to it than what is given, but that is exactly what attracted me to it. It is so frank and straight-forward and I find that absolutely wonderful. I recommend this novel to all the mystery lovers out there who want a good read, but don't want to have a dictionary next to them to check what every other word means. It had a great plot twist that I thought was executed beautifully. The Pale Horse will definitely be worth your time if you're a fan of the classics.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    Mrs Oliver appears briefly in this one, but this is one of Christie's books without Poirot or Miss Marple. Mark Easterbrook becomes intrigued by the activities of three women who live at The Pale Horse. He discovers that they are offering murder by 'remote control', which seems to be a strange mix of the occult and science. The revelation of how it is all done is satisfying and neat with the biggest surprise left for the discovery of the brains behind the activities at The Pale Horse.