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Agatha Christie: Evil, Love and Desire

Agatha Christie: Evil, Love and Desire References to the concept of evil can be found scattered throughout Agatha Christie’s novels. It is, however, rare to encounter this as a prevalent theme, especially in the novels which feature her private detectives Poirot, Marple and Tommy and Tuppence. It is my contention in this article that it is not until two of her late novels Endless Night (1967) and The Pale Horse (1961) that Christie foregrounds the issue of evil and concurrent themes of psychotic and obsessive love and desire. Of course, there are multiple examples of the intersections between love and evil, involving betrayal, trickery and duplicity throughout her work, but these are generally secondary to plot structure and, in the case of love, romantic and often neat endings. The article contends that a ‘new’ Christie starts to emerge late in her work, one who has, however obliquely still, begun to engage with evil as a fundamental question, post-WW2 and the Holocaust. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Crime Fiction Studies Edinburgh University Press

Agatha Christie: Evil, Love and Desire

Crime Fiction Studies , Volume 3 (2): 16 – Sep 1, 2022

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
Copyright © Edinburgh University Press
ISSN
2517-7982
eISSN
2517-7990
DOI
10.3366/cfs.2022.0070
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

References to the concept of evil can be found scattered throughout Agatha Christie’s novels. It is, however, rare to encounter this as a prevalent theme, especially in the novels which feature her private detectives Poirot, Marple and Tommy and Tuppence. It is my contention in this article that it is not until two of her late novels Endless Night (1967) and The Pale Horse (1961) that Christie foregrounds the issue of evil and concurrent themes of psychotic and obsessive love and desire. Of course, there are multiple examples of the intersections between love and evil, involving betrayal, trickery and duplicity throughout her work, but these are generally secondary to plot structure and, in the case of love, romantic and often neat endings. The article contends that a ‘new’ Christie starts to emerge late in her work, one who has, however obliquely still, begun to engage with evil as a fundamental question, post-WW2 and the Holocaust.

Journal

Crime Fiction StudiesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2022

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