Agatha Christie's genius for detective fiction is unparalleled. Her worldwide popularity is phenomenal, her characters engaging, her plots spellbinding. No one knows the human heart--or the dark passions that can stop it--better than Agatha Christie. She is truly the one and only
Thomas Charles Betterton, a famous scientist, has vanished. Conflicting reports of sightings of the missing man have come in from all over Europe. Then, his wife of six months decides to take a holiday to Morocco--for a rest That's when a strange and surprising series of events begins to unfold. A superb--and different--mystery from a master at her best.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful: An Entertaining But Minor Cold War Thriller, May 14, 2003 Reviewer: gft from Biloxi, MS USA In the 1920s and 1930s Agatha Christie often created novels that were more "thriller" than "mystery"--but as time passed she became less and less interested in such material. 1954's DESTINATION UNKNOWN (also published as SO MANY STEPS TO DEATH) is one of her few such novels from the latter half of her career. The novel has a topical story line that references the Cold War, defections, and even the notorious House Unamerican Activities Committee. In the aftermath of her child's death and a painful divorce, Hilary Craven travels to the Middle East in an effort to escape her past--and when this fails determines to kill herself. But her attempt at suicide is foiled when she is confronted with an intelligence officer aware of her intention, an intelligence officer who makes her an unusual proposal: if you are so determined to die, why not do it in a way that would serve your country? A nuclear scientist has defected; his wife, rushing to join him, has died in a plane crash. And Hilary, intrigued, agrees to take the wife's place in an effort to trace the missing scientist and uncover the intent behind his disappearance. It is a mission from which she is unlikely to return alive. Although the premise is interesting, the resulting novel reads rather like the outline for a minor Alfred Hitchcock film. Christie writes with her usual expertise, but the characters here are not greatly memorable and the story itself falls down a bit toward the novel's conclusion. Still, it is a fast and fun read, and fans of the writer will likely enjoy it as a change of pace from her more typical fare. Mildly recommended. --GFT (Amazon reviewer)--