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?
Christie's strength does not lie with thrillers like this one, and her portrayal of the Chinese characters rivals Mickey Rooney's portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi in Breakfast at Tiffany's for offensiveness, but a completist has to read this novel nonetheless. If for no other reason than that it marks the only appearance of Achille Poirot and the reappearance of Countess Rossakoff.
A vicious international quarter of criminals known as "The Big Four" pursues world domination but first must eliminate the only man who can foil them: Hercule Poirot. In the most dangerous case of his career, the little detective will not be diverted by poison, a falling tree, electrocution or a hit-and-run. Poirot appears to meet his end when a bomb explodes in his apartment. Hastings, devastated, vows to avenge him -- but can he succeed without Poirot?
A disoriented man arrives at Hercule Poirot's home repeating the Belgian detective's address before passing out. When he awakens, he warns Poirot of a plot by four major criminals to hold the world and its wealth ransom.
One of the stranger Poirot/Hastings outings. Global crime bosses are not usually Poirot's target but this time he goes after four. Lots of strange twists but Poirot and Hastings get them all in the end.