The Clocks is a very interesting and clever story. It is a story that could only come from the pen of an ingenious writer. Christie combines two plots here, one being the baffling crime mystery and the other is apprehending a “spy” who was passing government information to the “enemy” during the cold war. These two plots are intertwined so well that while it was both exciting and engaging, it also was complex and bewildering which makes it difficult for the readers to guess the murderer and the motive. The deliberate attempt to achieve the complexity is masterfully done by Agatha Christie yet again proving that she is the “Queen of the Crimes”.
It is the first in the series to have a two plot combination. I liked that novelty very much. It gave you two separate yet connected stories in one. It also made it difficult to guess the criminal and the motive. A fair share of red herrings added further difficulties to the guessing game. For my part, I totally gave up my detective skills midway. 🙂
Hercule Poirot plays a fairly low role in this installment and more groundwork is done by a local police detective and a British intelligence agent. Interestingly, I didn’t mind it here. I felt it was quite appropriate the low-key role that was allotted to him, for this is a story where Poirot’s analytical mind, his “little grey cells” are challenged the most. Poirot doesn’t investigate; he doesn’t even visit one single crime scene nor interview any suspect. He is guided only by the typed notes handed over to him which contained the statements of the suspects. But for a brilliant detective like Poirot, this is quite enough. What baffled the detective inspector, the Intelligence agent, and me :), Poirot clears up as if he has witnessed them.
This is one of the best in the Poirot series and I enjoyed it very much. After The Mysterious Affair at Styles (which is still my favourite) The Clocks is the best I’ve come across in this series.