This novel, set during World War II, sees Tommy and Tuppence Beresford appointed as spies by the intelligence service. Their mission: to seek out the Nazis in disguise, a man and a woman from among the colourful guests at a seaside hotel.
Continuing on my adventure through the Tommy and Tuppence series by Agatha Christie (previous reviews), I’m now on the third book, N or M? Tommy and Tuppence are back, a little older, with two grown children and another World War on the horizon. They’re called back into action to ferret out two German spies, the male spy M and the female spy N, from a sleepy little place called Sans Souci.
First off, I want to mention that I have very little patience for hardcore spy thrillers. I always feel that it takes too long to get to the end, and all the double-crossing and so on makes me tense. (This is probably why I never finished any John le Carre books.) Luckily, though it’s not the same as the first two T&T books, it still has enough oomph to pull me through. Plus, there’s obviously T&T in it, who I’ve grown to love.
Since I’ve never finished a spy thriller before– that I can remember, anyway– I don’t really have anything to compare it to. However, I do think that it was very well done. I wasn’t entirely sure who the spies were until the end, though I did have enough hints about all the characters to suspect them of something. I liked getting to know T&T’s kids a bit, and though T&T themselves didn’t really change since the last book I do love that they still act the same as when they were in their 20’s. It’s nice when characters age but don’t grow old, y’know?
I think I’ve already forgotten most of the secondary characters, including their names. But Albert showed up, and Mr. Carter makes a cameo! Being stuck in one place for so long, I think, made the plot a little frozen and slow, but it picks up at the end and then takes off quickly. Not as fast as some of Christie’s other books, but pretty fast compared to the rest of the plot. I felt quite clever when the answer was presented, as I had gotten one of the German spies right!
I don’t think anything can top The Secret Adversary, but it was a very nice addition to the series.
Read: January 2009
What’s your favorite spy thrillers? Any I should definitely check out? (I did get halfway through Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, mind.)