When small-town gossip spreads as fast-and as deadly-as venom, someone's bound to end up dead. And of course, they do. Calling Miss Marple! This is one of Agatha Christie's personal favorites.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful: Agatha Christie's Psychology of Evil, August 3, 2002 Reviewer: cdset from Long Pond, PA United States In addition to the delights one gleams from Christie's deft, skillful plotting, incisive wit, and rich characterizations, the true strength of "The Moving Finger" is Christie's examination of evil underneath the pristine surface. This "wickedness" lies not only beneath the beautiful exteriors of the sleepy village, but also beneath the shiny faces of its inhabitants. Christie is quite adept at communicating the "atmosphere that seemed tinged with evil." When confronted with the distressing and distasteful poison pen letters appearing in the village, one of the characters exclaims, "Such a peaceful smiling happy countryside-and down underneath something evil....It's full of festering poison and it looks as peaceful and innocent as the Garden of Eden..." In addition, Christie recognizes the dark side of human nature, and that it is often extremely difficult to tell what people are really like beneath their poilte behavior. "I'm beginning to realize how little I really know about anyone...In everybody's life there are hidden chapters which they hope may never be known..." Christie makes it clear, however, that this evil is not a supernatural phenomenon divorced from human intervention in a particulary perceptive and profound passage, "There's too much tendency to attribute to God the evils that man does of his own free will...God doesn't really need to punish us...We're so very busy punishing ourselves..." And although "it isn't very pleasant to look upon the fellow creatures one meets as possible criminal lunatics," Christie takes a realistically pessimistic view of human nature and a depicts a village filled with "gossiping, whispering women" and "selfish, grasping natures." "The Moving Finger" is an absorbing account of a sociopath. "Such apparently unlikely people do the most fantastic things." Christie reminds us that the most horrifying evil usually comes from the most unlikely source- seemingly upright, normal people who are hiding the most unfathonable and terrifying wickedness. "The Moving Finger" is one of her most skillfull and insightful productions.