DESTINATION UNKNOWN By Christie

    DESTINATION

    characters DESTINATION UNKNOWN

    A young woman with nothing to live for is persuaded to embark on a suicide mission to find a missing scientistWhen a number of leading scientists disappear without trace concern grows within the international intelligence community Are they being kidnapped Blackmailed BrainwashedOne woman appears to have the key to the mystery Unfortunately Olive Betteron now lies in a hospital bed dying from injuries sustained in a Moroccan plane crashMeanwhile in a Casablanca hotel room Hilary Craven prepares to take her own life But her suicide attempt is about to be interrupted by a man who will offer her an altogetherthrilling way to dieA young woman with nothing to live for is persuaded to embark on a suicide mission to find a missing scientist…When a number of leading scientists disappear without trace, concern grows within the international intelligence community. Are they being kidnapped? Blackmailed? Brainwashed?One woman appears to have the key to the mystery. Unfortunately, Olive Betteron now lies in a hospital bed, dying from injuries sustained in a Moroccan plane crash.Meanwhile, in a Casablanca hotel room, Hilary Craven prepares to take her own life. But her suicide attempt is about to be interrupted by a man who will offer her an altogether more thrilling way to die…A young woman with nothing to live for is persuaded to embark on a suicide mission to find a missing scientist…When a number of leading scientists disappear without trace, concern grows within the international intelligence community. Are they being kidnapped? Blackmailed? Brainwashed?One woman appears to have the key to the mystery. Unfortunately, Olive Betteron now lies in a hospital bed, dying from injuries sustained in a Moroccan plane crash.Meanwhile, in a Casablanca hotel room, Hilary Craven prepares to take her own life. But her suicide attempt is about to be interrupted by a man who will offer her an altogether more thrilling way to die… DESTINATION UNKNOWN

    Agatha Christie was an author who wrote about her story subjects with an amazing knowledge.This is a very crisply written novel set just after the second war, concerning brilliant scientists in all fields of scientific research of the era, along with the covert operations of for want of a better word Spies.This story reminded me of a John le Carre novel, but without the subterfuge that was prevelent in them.I very highly recommend this Christie story. It is light years away from the relatively safe world of Saint Mary Mead and Poirot's elegant flat! DESTINATION UNKNOWN I've been reading Agatha Christie novels for many years and remain a fan. I've got to the age now where I've read almost all her work but every now and then I find one I haven't read before and what a treat that is.Destination Unknown is a mystery and adventure story, I enjoyed it very much. DESTINATION UNKNOWN Hilary Craven has nothing to live for, her husband divorced her after a long illness, her daughter died. She's travelled to Casablanca to run away from it all only to realise that she can't run away from herself. Setting out to end it all she is spotted by Jessop.Jessop has a better idea for Hilary, a different way she can risk her life and perhaps she will find the will to carry on. So Hilary becomes Olive Betterton, wife of the missing scientist Tom setting out on a journey to track down the organisation that is stealing the top scientists in their fields. Will she survive the journey and can she rescue Tom?Not a typical murder but definitely a mystery. It's still full of the cunning twists and turns, clues slipped into the background, still just a perfect tale. DESTINATION UNKNOWN Intelligent, questioning, and thoroughly entertaining – 5 StarsThis novel, first published in 1954, is a far cry from the ‘comfortable’ cosy mysteries that the author is so famous for. Beginning with the disappearance of several notable scientists, Jessop, a key investigator, comes across a woman planning to take her own life. Finding Hilary Craven to be a resourceful and intelligent woman, Jessop persuades her to take the place of Olive Betterton, the wife of a missing scientist. Jessop believes Olive was on her way to join her husband, and by using Hilary Craven as a ‘plant’, he hopes to get to the bottom of the ‘brain drain’ mystery…For me, the novels of the 1950’s often reveal about Christie than her earlier work. Firstly, Christie empowers the female characters in this novel. From dutiful wives, to eminent scientists, and our heroine as an undercover agent, all are portrayed as having a clear choice over their own destiny. Secondly, the novel repeatedly highlights a distrust in those who hold political and economic power. ‘Destination Unknown’ offers the reader the constant challenge of working out what motivates the characters, and with Christie so skilled in the art of subterfuge, it’s not surprising that in this novel there are few who can be taken at face value.While the plot might be considered implausible, it actually reflects many of the preconceived ideas held by the public in that period. Distrust of scientific advances, the motivations of those in Eastern Europe, and the increasing involvement of African and East Asian countries in changing the shape of the global economy are all grist to the Christie mill. Even adding the unpredictable twist in the tale ending for which Christie became so well known, this novel remains one of my favourites. It’s an engaging read, but also one that challenges the political and social norms of the period, and illustrates the changing status of women during the 1950s. Fascinating stuff! DESTINATION UNKNOWN Although Agatha Christie is my all time favourite author, I must admit that I prefer her murder mysteries to her adventure stories of plucky heroines and derring do. However, this 1954 spy story does, indeed, contain a plucky heroine; although one who is lost when we first meet her. Hilary Craven has certain similarities with Christie's own past she had one daughter (although in Hilary's case, her young daughter has died) and, like Agatha herself, Hilary's husband had left her for another woman. Lost and depressed, Hilary Craven is planning to commit suicide when Mr Jessop introduces himself and asks her to take part in a secret mission.Scientists are going missing and Jessop asks Hilary to pose as Olive Betterton, the wife of a missing scientist, and discover his whereabouts. It is believed she was going to meet him and so, plunged again into life, Hilary sets off for an unknown destination. Of course, this novel was inspired by the defections of scientists to Russia, but this is a fairly light look at such events and Christie, as so often, manages to give her heroine a happier ending than that originally planned for her. DESTINATION UNKNOWN