The Big Four (Hercule Poirot Series)

Because I want to get distracted from my original work (a.k.a thesis), I borrowed two books from something that you can call as education zone (?). Well, I never read this novel before, but I’m kinda interested because I saw three books bundled in 1 at book store, and it claimed in the blurb as three best novels of Agatha Christie.  Well, let’s find out how good it is.

I think this is different from other Hercule Poirot’s Series, which usually involved murder. You can call this as a conspiration book, where there are four people who control everything happened in the international.

The first one known as Li Chan Yen, the most brilliant criminal mind and their leaders; the number two is known as the richest and an American; the third is a woman, smart, and a France; the fourth is the most capable executor and has  a genius ability to disguise himself.

One day when Captain Hastings visits Poirot, he was in a hurry because he needs to go to South America where a client offers him a big amount money for solving a case.  But before they arrived at the station, a stranger comes up and said weird things about The Big Four.  Then they realized that danger is lurking behind their back.

It has known that the current Big Four are targeting Poirot,  judged him  dangerous enough thanks to his gray cells. Big Four is the culprit behind events such as riots, strikes, assassinations, which have a major impact in the world. No one knows what they are doing, and what is their purpose. Poirot and Hastings began chasing each other with the Big Four in order to stop their action.

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It is very interesting to read this because it could be considered outside the comfort zone of Agatha Christie. I wonder what made her write different things, perhaps she  hear or see something that she got from the police, newspapers, and important people she knew. No one knows for sure.

Although here also inserted several stories of murder to support that there is involvement of The Big Four, I feel Agatha Christie still hovered. It would be better if there were more purposeful explanation, because until I finished reading, I don’t know why we should be concerned with their activities. The explanation that it takes four people with a different background to create a commotion quite indescribable, it’s just that the motivation of each person is not tapped. At least, though Agatha Christie still keep – or maybe she couldn’t think about what purpose is quite astonishing that so mysteriously to the reader. And why Poirot must be be involved in these cases, I think she can wrote some explanations; maybe he solved a case that included in The Big Four’s plan, who knows?

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But behind the lack of details, the presentation is quite good, because Poirot should be able to make plans that are far more astute than their enemies. What makes this book has a good twist, I was fooled when Poirot told me that he has a twin brother as smart as him. Just like Holmes, ha.

And about Sherlock Holmes, I saw some of the conversations that look “underestimated” Holmes, as was his habit to disguise as someone else. Since the first detective novel I read was Poirot, I’m not so offended as other Sherlockian, although I am also a big fan of sarcasm Holmes. I wonder what makes Agatha Christie wrote this, as in several  novels she do the same things. I think what Holmes do is still suitable in his era, while Poirot created after the First World War, living in more modern times. So to be a differentiator with other detective stories, she creates a very intelligent Belgium, tend to OCD, and prefer to use  method.

For the ending  seems quite easy to guess, I am a little disappointed because it was made too mainstream. It seemed useless to become The Big Four, but was again turned on what the purpose of the organization, may be more interesting if there was a logical explanation. Overall I consider this book to have two thumbs up because it is different from the ordinary Poirot’s Series.


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