The Big Four - Hercule Poirot, Bk 5 Author:Agatha Christie An emaciated stranger approaches Hercule Poirot, shouts a warning about "the big four" and drops dead. Who knew Poirot's inquiry into the man's odd behavior would lead to an underground laboratory, an insane asylum, and rumors of a secret weapon?
find that this is my favorite, second only to Curtain. I like it because it is very different than the other books of the series. Poirot is much more a man of action, and the killer stays ahead of Poirot for most of this book. (Poirot is usually more in control early on in his cases.) There is also much more danger with Poirot being called upon more than once to save Hastings' life.
This story showcases Hastings' innocence and trusting nature more than any other book of the series. Because of Hastings' personality, Poirot has to resort to tricking him to effectively solve the case. The creation of Poirot's twin brother is one of the most interesting factors in this tale. Agatha Christie tricks her readers a bit too, but finally lets us in on the truth at the end.
Alone each was formidable. Together, they were virtually invincible. The Big Four-a brilliant Chinese man, an American millionaire, a French woman scientist and an elusive master of disguise-a criminal conspiracy with diabolical designs. Has Poirot met his match?