Fourteen years after her mother, Caroline Crale, was hanged for the murder of her artist father Amyas Crale, Lucy Crale asks Hercule Poirot to investigate her father's death. She is convinced that her mother was innocent but is prepared to accept the truth, whatever that may be. Poirot visits in turn all five persons present when the murder took place including Amyas' best friend, Philip Blake, who was visiting the Crales when Amyas was killed; Philip's brother Meredith from whom Caroline supposedly stole the poison used to kill her husband; Elsa Greer, who was sitting for a portrait and with whom Amyas was supposedly in love; Caroline's half sister Angela who despised Amyas but believed her sister to be innocent; and Miss Williams, the governess. Having heard the tale from five different perspectives, Poirot reunites them all to identify the murderer.Written by
Splendidly-crafted adaptation of one of the better Poirot books!
I saw this when it first aired in 2003, when I was 11, and I was very impressed, really I was. Two years ago, I read the book, and I personally think the book is up there among the best with Death on the Nile and Murder in Mesopotamia. What impressed me most with the TV adaptation, which I got on video recently, was that some of the scenes, like the hanging scene, were genuinely haunting, and that's what I want to feel in a mystery. The music score gave that haunted feeling and some poignancy, in an already complicated story. As far as I can remember, the overall structure was faithful to the book, and I also liked the actress of Caroline Crale, as you really feel for her, and Amias was certainly hissable here in the way they made him behave. Marc Warren and Gemma Jones also do well as Meridith and Mrs Williams. Also what the writers got right were Angela's disfigurement and although it was changed, the ending with Lucy in the lovely dress was very effective. As ever, David Suchet is impeccable as Hercule Poirot, and he is helped by a brooding script. However there were two things I didn't like about the adaptation- the idea of Blake being homosexual(I don't think that was in the book), and Julie Cox was perhaps too old for Elsa. All in all, technically and visually it's a delight to look at, and I enjoyed this adaptation very much, though I do prefer the book. 9/10 Bethany Cox.
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