Review: The Murder on the Links, 1923 (Hercule Poirot #2) by Agatha Christie


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, 2015. Format: Kindle edition. File size: 1020 KB. Print length: 244 pages. First published in Greta Britain by The Bodley Head Ltd 1923. eISBN: 9780007422562. ASIN: B0046RE5AO.

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The story takes place after the events narrated in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, see my review here, and is told in the first person by captain Arthur Hastings, who shares a room with Hercule Poirot, a former Belgian detective who has just settled in London as private detective. One day, after breakfast, while Poirot takes a look at his mail, a letter written by a certain Monsieur Paul Renauld, of the Villa Genevieve in Merlinville-sur-Mer, on the northern coast of France, attracts powerfully his attention. It is a request for help, Monsieur Renauld believes his life is in serious danger. And without further delay, Poirot and Hastings cross to France. But they arrive too late. On their arrival, the French police informs them that Monsieur Renaud has been murdered during that same night. Apparently two bearded men took him from his bed at two in the morning, leaving his wife bound and gagged in their bedroom. The following morning, his body appeared half-buried in an unfinished golf course that bordered his estate. There’s no shortage of suspects. Besides, there is one other detail that makes this case to be really interesting, the presence of a young French detective, Monsieur Geraud from the Surete in Paris. Geraud, despite knowing Poirot’s reputation, does not have a great appreciation in his methods that, in his opinion, are ineffective and antiquated, what triggers an intriguing confrontation between egos.

‘There is such a thing as the individual touch.’ Poirot suddenly assumed his lecturing manner, and addressed us collectively. ‘I am speaking to you now of the psychology of crime. Monsieur Giraud knows quite well that each criminal has his particular method, and that the police, when called to investigate, say, a case of burglary, can often make a shrewd guess at the offender, simply by the peculiar methods he has employed. (Japp would tell you the same, Hastings.) Man is an unoriginal animal. Unoriginal within the law in his daily respectable life, equally unoriginal outside the law. If a man commits a crime, any other crime he commits will resemble it closely. The English murderer who disposed of his wives in succession by drowning them in their baths was a case in point. Had he varied his methods, he might have escaped detection to this day. But he obeyed the common dictates of human nature, arguing that what had once succeeded would succeed again, and he paid the penalty of his lack of originality.’

The Murder on the Links is the second novel in the series featuring Hercule Poirot. Even though the plot is a bit complex and convoluted, I’ve found it an extremely interesting reading and it has surprised me positively. I did not expect I was going to enjoy its reading that much. In a certain sense, I believe that this novel has been under-estimated. Maybe it has been overshadowed by the next one in the series, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, a novel that has generally been considered as one of Christie’s masterpieces. But in any case, despite some minor flaws that have not bothered me much, The Murder on the Links is a highly entertaining read, and very well-crafted. Therefore, I will not hesitate to recommend its reading.   

My rating: B (I really liked it)

The Murder on the Links has been reviewed at Mysteries in Paradise, My Reader’s Block, Books Please, Chess, Comics, Crosswords, Books, Music, Cinema, Joyfully Retired, and The Christie Mystery, among others. 

A guide to Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, and everything in between by Lili Loofbourow

The Agatha Christie Official Website

Harper Collins Publishers publicity page

Notes On “The Murder on the Links

The Murder on the Links” – Fantastic Fiction

Audible

Asesinato en el campo de golf de Agatha Christie

La historia se desarrolla después de los acontecimientos narrados en El misterioso caso de Styles, ver mi reseña aquí, y está contada en primera persona por el capitán Arthur Hastings, que comparte una habitación con Hércules Poirot, un ex detective belga que acaba de instalarse en Londres como detective privado. Un día, después del desayuno, mientras Poirot echa un vistazo a su correo, una carta escrita por un tal señor Paul Renauld, de la Villa Genevieve en Merlinville-sur-Mer, en la costa norte de Francia, atrae poderosamente su atención. Se trata de una petición de ayuda, el señor Renauld considera que su vida está en grave peligro. Y sin más demora, Poirot y Hastings cruzan a Francia. Pero llegan demasiado tarde. A su llegada, la policía francesa les informa que el señor Renaud ha sido asesinado durante esa misma noche. Al parecer, dos hombres con barba lo sacaron de su cama a las dos de la mañana, dejando a su mujer atada y amordazada en su dormitorio. A la mañana siguiente, su cuerpo apareció semienterrado en un campo de golf sin terminar que bordeaba su finca. No hay escasez de sospechosos. Además, hay otro detalle que hace que este caso sea realmente interesante, la presencia de un joven detective francés, monsieur Geraud de la Sûreté de París. Geraud, a pesar de conocer la reputación de Poirot, no tiene un gran aprecio en sus métodos que, en su opinión, son ineficaces y anticuados, lo que desencadena un enfrentamiento interesante entre egos.

“Existe algo así como un toque individual.” Poirot asumió de repente su tono doctoral, y se dirigió a todos nosotros colectivamente. “Les estoy hablando ahora de la psicología del crimen. El señor Giraud sabe muy bien que cada criminal tiene su particular método, y que la policía, cuando es llamada para investigar, digamos, un caso de robo, puede a menudo hacer una inteligente estimación del delincuente, simplemente por los métodos particulares que haya empleado. (Japp le diría lo mismo, Hastings.) El hombre es un animal poco original. Poco original dentro de la ley en su respetable vida cotidiana, igual de poco original fuera de la ley. Si un hombre comete un delito, cualquier otro delito que comete se le parecerá mucho. El asesino Inglés, que despachó a sus mujeres sucesivamente ahogándolas en sus bañeras era un ejemplo de ello. Si hubiera variado sus métodos, podría haber evitado su detección a día de hoy. Pero obedecía a los dictados comunes de la naturaleza humana, argumentando que lo que antes había tenido éxito, volvería a tener éxito de nuevo, y recibió su castigo por su falta de originalidad.” (Mi traducción libre)

Asesinato en el campo de golf es la segunda novela de la serie protagonizada por Hércules Poirot. A pesar de que la trama es un poco compleja y complicada, he encontrado que es una lectura muy interesante y me ha sorprendido positivamente. No esperaba que iba a disfrutar tanto de su lectura. En cierto sentido, creo que esta novela ha estado subestimada. Tal vez se ha visto ensombrecida por la siguiente de la serie, El asesinato de Roger Ackroyd, una novela que por lo general ha sido considerada como una de las obras maestras de Christie. Pero en cualquier caso, a pesar de algunos defectos de menor importancia que no me han molestado mucho, Asesinato en el campo de golf es una lectura muy entretenida, y muy bien elaborada. Por lo tanto, no dudaré en recomendar su lectura.

Mi valoración: B (Me gustó mucho)

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10 thoughts on “Review: The Murder on the Links, 1923 (Hercule Poirot #2) by Agatha Christie

  1. I do remember liking this one quite a lot – along with STYLES I have always thought that these were the best Christies until the 1930s (not as keen as many other os ACKROYD once you get past the big twist)

    1. Certainly I’ve very much enjoyed reading the first Poirot mysteries, more than what I was expecting, Sergio. Though I wouldn’t rule out ACKROYD so lightly.

      1. No, I agree, it deserves its high place in the Christie canon, but apart from the twist I can never remember much about the actual plot, which is not true of LINKS and STYLES – at least for me!

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