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Destination Unknown

3.62 of 5 stars 3.62  ·  rating details  ·  4,355 ratings  ·  273 reviews
American scientist Thomas Betterton has disappeared form a conference in Paris--only the latest in a series of notable men to vanish into thin air. Equally strange is the death of his new bride in Casablanca. To discover the secret she took to her grave, British Intelligence enlists the aide of an unlikely secret agent--an enigmatic young woman with nothing left to lose. T ...more
Paperback, St. Martin's Minotaur Mysteries, 288 pages
Published October 13th 2002 by Minotaur Books (first published 1954)
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Book on CD read by Emilia Fox

A brilliant young scientist has disappeared from Paris. The international community is concerned, as he is only one of several scientists who have recently dropped from sight. His wife, Olive Betterton, may know more than she is willing to say, but she lies in a Moroccan hospital bed, dying from injuries sustained in a plane crash. Meanwhile, Hilary Craven is in the grips of depression – her daughter has died, her husband has left her. She has nothing to live for … u
Onellyantie Chuah
A very different mystery from Agatha Christie. I admit that I kept flipping the pages expecting someone to die on the next page, but to my surprise, no murder happened at all (excluding anything happened before Hilary Craven took the role of Olive Betterton). Nonetheless, I really like the plot. The main story isn't about murder but it's a crime all right; and I think the idea of introducing "another way" to suicide by sending that very person to a dangerous (something with th
Carolyn F.

This book seemed a bit of a departure from Agatha's previous books which I liked. Great ending.
Shelby Lee
Danger! Disguises! Spies! The Iron Curtain!

This book would fit much better under the class of thriller than mystery. It features a great female protagonist who has been dealt a really harsh hand (cheating husband, death of a child), and is stopped from committing suicide with an offer to dip her toes in the pool of espionage.

It was written during a time when everyone was giving Russia/communism an extremely intense side eye, so the general fear of those and other related things aren't necessaril
I really like Agatha Christie--her writing is interesting and wonderfully British, proper but still with a touch of wry humor. But what I love the most about her--what everyone loves the most about her--is the fact that I NEVER guess her mysteries. They're always a surprise.
I can't give this book the 4 stars I'd like to because it didn't feel like a mystery, really. There wasn't a central murder, with a detective (famous or unknown) interviewing suspects. The story basically revolves around a wo
When I was 12 we were leaving the states to move back to England. About a month before we left I realised that there was absoultely no reason for me to be paying attention in class, as I was leaving before the end of term, would never get those grades and was soon to be starting a new school in a foreign country. So instead I decided I would read all the Sweet Valley High books and Agatha Christie books in the school library. (I did very well and achieved this averaging about 3 books a day). Of ...more
Laura Cowan
Great Agatha Christie. I've read this before, so it didn't hold the same surprise punches it did the first time even though I had largely forgotten the plot, but still a great read.
A very different mystery. This novel does not have Poirot or Miss Marple solving any crime. It is more of a thriller with Hilary Craven taking the place of a woman who has died in a plane crash. Her task is to find out what has happened to the dead woman's husband.
The plot, like all of Agatha Christie's books, moves quickly. The final truth is only exposed right at the end of the book. I shall not spoil it here.
If you like Agatha Christie's main characters (Poirot and Miss Marple), do give this
I think my favorite part about this story is the idea of a more "sporting" chance at suicide - giving a woman with nothing left to live for an impossible mission, with the candid admission that if she SHOULD survive it, quite likely she should have also found something to live for. The rest of the story, an unreal, dream-like destination with a harsher reality underneath it, and the final twist at the end where, as usual, no one and nothing is as imagined, is typical Christie-fare. A twisty, tri ...more
Leslie Hickman
Mar 01, 2009 Leslie Hickman rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: to anyone who loves the classic times around the 40s
Shelves: mystery
Now this is the type of Mystery book that makes me love to read! I love reading Agatha Christie the her books there are no cursing, violence, etc. They make you have to use your mind. This book is not a "serial" from what I can gather...there is no Tommy & Tuppence, Miss Marple or M. Hercules Peirot to solve the crime. I actually did not get all the story till the end. There were more than one tale woven into this story.
Bea Alden
Wonderful Christie stuff, involving impersonations, an air disaster, a leper colony in the desert of Morocco, . . . . the mysteries are profound, until solved at the end in a satisfactory manner.
Devi Nair
Agatha Christie is always a magic maker. However, this time, the story line seemed a bit traditional. The suspense and flow of the it was expected and the unraveling of the mystery was a bit too conventional. However, you cannot not love Agatha Christie even with the conventional mystery

There are reports of numerous famous scientists being disappeared. Mr. Jessop is very curious to these disappearance. He is determined to find out what has happened to them. He manages to locate a wife of such a
Laura Verret
Agatha Christie returns in a thrilling story of science and morality.

The Story.

Another one’s disappeared – Tom Betterton, this one’s called. These scientists just keep vanishing. No one knows where they have gone, or why they have gone there. Is it a matter of coercion? Blackmail? Abduction? Or, worse, are these scientists going of their own choice? It’s Jessop’s assignment to answer these questions.


Hilary Craven just wants to end the pain. The loss of her daughter… the desertion by her husban
Ishita Tewari
Destination Unknown-Scientists are disappearing and are though to disappear behind the Iron Curtain.. If Agatha Christie says they are disappearing beyond The Iron Curtain, then they are disappearing behind everything else other than the Iron Curtain..!!
Dame Christie shows her touch in this novel where a lady who is going to commit suicide is given a fresh lease of life. The readers who have thrived on Robert Ludlum and Jack Higgins might feel that this book is a tad dated with its ancient gizmo
Megan Hewins
I read 81 of Agatha Christie's 82 books (I've always refused to read Final Curtain) between the ages of 14-16. I loved her books heart and soul - but my reading taste matured and at some point I became an insufferable snob when it comes to genre fiction. However, after a long quarter with an pedantic twerp professor for a literature class I decided I needed a completely frivolous break from literary fiction. I picked up And Then There Were None for a reread. It read fast and fun and reminded me ...more
Leslie Good
I thought I had read everything by Agatha Christie long ago, including her non-mystery fiction titles. I was so glad to discover this one, which is a different sort of mystery from her Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple series. Just the ticket for short times to read before bed while I spend my days taking care of grandson Asher.
Kirsty Darbyshire
Not a Christie I'd heard of before and not a regular mystery. Good first half, I like the way someone about to commit suicide is offered a mission with a good chance of death instead. The plot goes gradually downhill in the second half really. This is a kind of spy thriller which falls somewhere between vintage and dated. Having finished it I am more inclined towards "vintage" for the good descriptive aspects of travelling in the 1950s rather than "dated" for some of the plot devices, I was at l ...more
Vastly more spy story than mystery, "Destination Unknown" revolves around the disappearance of scientists during the early Cold War era. Have they defected? Will the young wife of one of the scientists lead the government to him?

As is typical for many of Christie's spy-oriented story, this one revolves around an innocent passerby, Hilary Craven, who is brought into the story by circumstances.

It's a fairly slight book, perhaps more a chance to hold up some of the "brave new world" ideas that may
Eilidh Dunsmore
Mar 05, 2015 Eilidh Dunsmore rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not likely anybody in my age group
Recommended to Eilidh by: Doctor Who
Alright, I was originally moved onto the idea of Agatha Christie books by the Doctor Who episode, Unicorn and the Wasp , what that particular episode is about, doesn’t matter in the context of this book review. Just that it was awesome and that I went and bought a lot of Agatha Christie novels in a college bookstore.
Note: Never buy books at a college bookstore. That’s exactly what they expect you to do and everything is always more expensive than it should be.
I had always found Agatha Christie
Lance Lumley
Jan 20, 2015 Lance Lumley rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: political thriller fans.
Recommended to Lance by: Saw at Library
This book to me was a different type of Agatha Christie book, because it was not just a typical murder who-done-it style book. This story deals with murder, but within the plot there is also Spies, cover ups, and fake identities. I would categorize this book more of a political thriller than a typical mystery book. I picked this up at my local library in my attempt to read as many of her books this year.
The main character, Hilary Craven, wants to kill herself but stumbles into a situation that
Levent Mollamustafaoglu
This is a very atypical Agatha Christie book. First of all, it is not a murder mystery at all. It is the story of government agencies in the UK tracking the disappearance of Mr. Betterton, a prominent scientist who has been involved in the design of some fission experiments. Her wife goes to Morocco on a holiday but the plane crashes and a lot of passengers are killed. Mrs. Hilary Craven is travelling to Paris, trying to get out of a depression she has gone into after her son died from meningiti ...more
Weam Obaid
إن طلبتم رأيي في هذه الرواية، فسأحدثكم عن شعور أن أمتلك نسخة ورقية منها أستغرق في قراءتها في الحافلة، لأفاجأ وأنا في خضم الأحداث بانتهاء صفحاتها !

فما كان مني وقتئذ إلا أن أنظر إلى غلاف الرواية التي استعرتها من إحدى أخواتي، وأستنتج على الفور أن أختي قد اشترت هذه الرواية من مكان قريب من المكان الذي اشتريت منه أنا سابقًا رواية لأغاثا، وقد كانت بعض أوراقها مقضومة وكأن القائم على بيعها كان فأرًا وليس رجلًا يحترم نفسه ويحترم مهنته !

والطريف أني في ذلك الزمن الذي اشتريت فيه تلك الرواية الناقصة، عدت في و
This is not a typical Agatha Christie mystery story with a detective solving a crime. It's more like a Robert Ludlum spy novel except with far less action and better character development. The premise of it is intriguing enough - a rash of missing scientists feared to have defected - and how the characters get involved is clever and believable (for a spy/mystery novel, I mean).

This story is almost a great story, except by the end it breaks down and becomes implausible. At the end the villain re
Elvis Rodrigues
O cientista Thomas Betterton desaparece e o investigador Jessop desconfia que se juntou a outros cientistas desaparecidos atrás da cortina de ferro (este livro é dos anos 50, Guerra Fria e tal). Sua esposa Olive nada parece saber, mas a polícia manda segui-la assim mesmo por desconfiar que pode se reunir com o marido. Paralelamente, Hilary Craven perdeu a filha e foi abandonada pelo marido, e está planejando se suicidar em Marrocos. Mas acaba se envolvendo na trama deste thriller misterioso.
Not one of Ms. Christie's best, I'm afraid. This was completely implausible, and rather laughably so. The twist at the end did come as a surprise, but I didn't really care as it didn't seem to have much to do with the main action of the story. If there had been a bit more depth of character, it might have earned points on that score, but that's not really what Agatha Christie does.
I really enjoy all of Agatha Christie's mysteries...but I like government espionage/anti communist morality type ones the least. This was one of those. It was engaging and suspenseful despite the predictable undercurrent of the leading man/leading lady romance. Still worth the read, but not my very favorite.
If you've read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, and loved it for the most part, but couldn't quite get to what's nagging you and keeping you from agreeing wholeheartedly with her world view, read Destination Unknown. Agatha Christie, to the best of my knowledge, did not advocate for or against any socio-politico system, but this book (and They came to Baghdad raises some justification against Objectivism, imho.

Really enjoyed this in spite of the fact that there was no Jane Marple or Hercule Poirot. While reading, I was envisioning it as a black and white murder mystery film. Interesting characters, especially the heroine, Hilary. Some good surprises.
Une histoire intéressante, dans laquelle il n'y a pas de meurtres (pour une fois!), mais plutôt la disparition de plusieurs savants célèbres. Elle m'a plu, à part certains commentaires au début qui m'ont agacée un peu. (« Une femme vraiment malheureuse et inquiète ne néglige pas son maquillage. » Qu'est-ce que c'est que ça? Bon, j'admets que le livre a été publié en 1968, mais quand même!)

À vrai dire, j'ai apprécié tous les détails auxquels on a pensé pour s'assurer de retrouver Hilary Craven da
Jul 24, 2009 miaaa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to miaaa by: Roos
Shelves: fictions-others
Cerita yang begini nih yang keren, petualangan agen spionase amatir tapi sukses besar. Kuncinya: mencari cara mati yang lebih keren daripada minum obat tidur! Thanks udah minjemin Roos :D
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Agatha Christie L...: July 2015 - Destination Unknown 17 53 Sep 01, 2015 11:04PM  
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
More about Agatha Christie...
And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)

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