Taken at the Flood (Poirot) (2002, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd) 3 stars

A few weeks after marrying an attractive young widow, Gordon Cloade is tragically killed by …

Review of 'Taken at the Flood (Poirot)' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

This is a mediocre Christie - a little plodding in its pace with relatively poor characterisations particular when compared to the previous Poirot novel The Hollow. But the actual solution was reasonably clever, although this book depends on a few unlikely coincidences even when all is said and done. And the final chapter is absolutely dire - honestly it's one of the worst endings to a book I've read in a long time and really undermines the whole book. The idea that one of the criminals would get off Scott free because "Poirot is a bit of a dear", the police don't seem to care that someone tried to disguise an accident as a murder, and that a woman he just tried to strangle to death would decide to marry him because she "likes a bit of danger" was just extremely stupid and really unbelievable despite the attempts throughout the book to somehow make this seem plausible. And that's without going into the obviously shocking normalisation of domestic abuse element to this ending which even in 1946 surely must have been appalling to readers.

I almost gave it a 2 as a result but the preceding solution and carefully crafted mystery saves this book and drags it back up to 3. But just, and it is probably best to just not read the very last chapter at all.

EDIT: I changed my mind. The last chapter is so bad it doesn't deserve 3; it poisons the enjoyment of the whole book. I'm giving it 2 and am even tempted to give it 1*. Shame.