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The Hollow (Hercule Poirot #25)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,678 Ratings  ·  503 Reviews
Lady Angkatell, intrigued by the criminal mind, has invited Hercule Poirot to her estate for a weekend house party. The Belgian detective's arrival at the Hollow is met with an elaborate tableau staged for his amusement: a doctor lies in a puddle of red paint, his timid wife stands over his body with a gun while the other guests look suitably shocked.

But this is no charad
Paperback, Agatha Christie 100th Anniversary Edition, 231 pages
Published by Berkley Books (first published 1946)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Erin (Paperbackstash) *Proud Book Hoarder*
This one holds an almost dreamy ambience, especially at the end. It reminds me of Death in the Nile with that rare quality. It's true that it DID take longer than usual to get to the actual death, but it's an unusual Christie story anyway. She delves into the personal aspects of the characters lives, something she rarely does, even to the degree where the details became irrelevant to the mystery at hand.

You might think this would be distracting, bad writing; instead, it was a refreshing change.
Feb 24, 2011 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jacques Barzun called this novel "a triumph of her [Christie's] art" and I enthusiastically second that judgment. In-depth characterization is perilous in a detective story, where the main interest is the mystery. But with Christie characterization is an integral part of the plot, thus the "art" Barzun refers to. In The Hollow, for instance, a romance is superbly delineated and of great interest by itself. It is also interwoven with the crime both in terms of motive and metaphorically.

A detectiv
Laurel Young
Jan 11, 2010 Laurel Young rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Standing ovation for this one--outstanding; really one of her very best. And how fabulously creepy is the quotation from Tennyson's Maude, which provides the title?

I hate the dreadful hollow behind the little wood,
Its lips in the field above are dabbled with blood-red heath,
The red-ribb`d ledges drip with a silent horror of blood,
And Echo there, whatever is ask`d her, answers "Death."

I love Christie's literary allusions; I was inspired to re-read Maude after I finished The Hollow. What myste
Dec 06, 2014 holly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personally, after reading many many many many of Christie's books, The Hollow is undoubtedly my favorite. The characters are so well developed and I love the way they all interact. My favorites of her books are always set in the big country house with enigmatic people, and of course the one and only Hercule Poirot. Pure enjoyment.
Mar 30, 2013 3houd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I chose The Hollow to be the first book of Agatha's that I read in its original language. I've read all of Agatha's books but a few, all translated in Arabic, and I had a slight fear that I wouldn't like it in English. But I liked it much better in English.

I've seen the adaptation of The Hollow some years ago. I liked it very much, and naturally when I read the book two days ago I had a very clear idea about the ending.
But my previous knowledge didn't prepare me for the actual depth of the novel
Ivonne Rovira
Dec 24, 2013 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In The Hollow — originally published as Murder After Hours — Christie paints the perfect picture of a bullying, narcissistic husband and his co-dependent doormat wife. Dr. John Christow, a research scientist in the midst of a mid-life crisis, takes his anxiety out by hectoring his poor dim-witted but adoring wife Gerda. The Christows head off to a weekend at a country home called The Hollow, owned by Lady Lucy Angkatell. Also visiting are John’s new mistress, a sculptor named Henrietta Savernake ...more
What can one say when they loathe all of the characters but a few?

Seriously everyone was pretty horrid in this book. We have Christie once again starting off this novel describing the people who are invited down to The Hollow (a weekend retreat of the Angkatell family) who invite John and Gerda Christow, and their relatives that include Henrietta Savernake, Midge Hardcastle, David Angkatell, and Edward Angkatell.

I had the most sympathy towards the characters of Gerda and Edward. Both love peopl
Nikita (NjKinny's World of Books & Stuff)
Aug 29, 2014 Nikita (NjKinny's World of Books & Stuff) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone..A "not-to-be-missed" book..

A man lying by the pool is dying while a woman stands over him with a gun in her hand and several people stand shocked witnessing the scene but Hercule Poirot is not amused. He is annoyed with the scene which he believes to be set up for him.

"I, Hercule Poirot, am not amused."

But is the scene just a setup?

"And suddenly, with a terrific shock, with that feeling as of blurring on a cinematograph screen before the picture comes to focus, Hercule Poirot reali
Aug 03, 2010 Meave rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mostly good. Sort of a waste using Poirot in this, just like Miss Marple in Five Little Pigs. The whole Henrietta-tortured-artist business was quite trying, though I did like Midge's irritation with her rich relatives giving her life advice all the time. Henrietta's ultimate worship of John "as himself" was super-lame--he was a selfish jerkbag and didn't appreciate (or therefore deserve) any of the nice things he had.

The anti-Semitism with Midge's boss--"a Jewess from Whitechapel"--was a pleasan
Jan 06, 2011 Gracia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite Poirot's for the delicious cast of characters, Lucy Angkatell in particular.

"'We are only, as she knows, moderately fond of caramel custard. There would be something very gross, just after the death of a frend, in eating one's favourite pudding. But caramel custard is so easy — slippery if you know what I mean — and then one leaves a little on one's plate.'"

Nov 28, 2015 Hilary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Agatha Christie mysteries are some of my favourite comfort reading as they provide a good puzzle with larger than life characters who are usually aristocratic and affluent and live in beautiful English countryside settings. We can escape into these pleasant surroundings and even though a murder or two is bound to be committed we do not have to suffer gory details. This story is typical and, of course, includes a stately and faithful butler.

M'sieu Hercule Poirot of the sharp eyes, logical thinki
Sherri Rabinowitz
Jul 22, 2011 Sherri Rabinowitz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
I had seen the David Suchet version and really enjoyed it. I really enjoyed the book and there were some points in it that struck me that I would never had gotten had I just seen the tv movie. This my own little thing that has been running in my head...

I think Agatha put a lot more of herself in the book then she meant to, I saw her as both Gerda and Edward for different reasons. John Cristow was Archie, and from what I have read she was the worhshiper just as Gerda was. He tumbled off the pedis
Did not finish

I'm going to be honest guys, I've tried to read Agatha Christie for years, and I've read the most popular of hers (crime on the orient express for example), but I simply am not a fan of mystery novels, so this simply doesn't do it for me, or at least right now (you can never say what your literally preferences will change in a few years).

I tried though!


Someone give this to me!

(But seriously, I'm not even rating this because it's a personal problem I have of not being able to re
Greg Z
Feb 05, 2016 Greg Z rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A weekend English Country House party/murder? Vicariously enjoyed across the pond in America? While snowed-in but comforted by warmth from a fireplace? Yes, please!!! Nobody does cozies better.
Jan 15, 2012 Hannah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, mystery
Agatha Christie may always be my favorite mystery-writer. I don't know how anyone couldn't enjoy her writing, from stuffy old teachers to teenagers who just want to enjoy something intriguing and easily page-turning. She's the sort of writer who, every other page, I emit a sudden gasp and clutch the book closer to me; she's the sort of writer who once I start reading, it's hardly possible for me to set the book down anytime soon; and she's the sort of writer who, no matter what the book is or wh ...more
Earnie Painter
Jan 06, 2013 Earnie Painter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm working my way through the Hercule Poirot novels. I've made it through more than half of them. With The Hollow I think I've stumbled across the point in which the author, Agatha Christie, has learned to hate Poirot. (I really need to read her autobiography for myself.) She wrote and said a few colorful things about her most popular character, and not all of them are very nice.

What I found most interesting about this particular Poirot novel is how completely superfluous he actually is. She de
Nov 25, 2009 Kristensilvermoore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I really enjoyed this Hercule Poirot mystery and would definitely put it in the top 10 of my favorite Agatha Christie novels. The characters were interesting and well fleshed out, and the build up to the murder, which is more gradual than some of her other novels, kept me interested. Also, her attention to the psychology of the matter is much more subtle and nuanced than in some of her other, earlier novels. (I'm just guessing they were earlier, because they practically beat you over the head wi ...more
Dec 30, 2009 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 of 5 stars for the Audio Book of The Hollow: A Hercule Poirot Mystery. Agatha Christie's chief detective Hercule Poirot arrives at a garden party in a community called The Hollow. At the moment of his arrival he finds a dead man with several people standing around one with a gun in her hand. Immediately she throws the gun into the near-by swimming pool. So much for fingerprints on the murder weapon; or is it the murder weapon? As with all of the Poirot stories, they are set in the 1930 or 1940 ...more
Erikson Ribeiro
Apr 04, 2016 Erikson Ribeiro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Já é o terceiro livro seguido que leio da Agatha Christie. A história demora bastante para desenrolar e que o crime aconteça, porém depois de um tempo você começa a estudar os personagens e entender cada um. O final da trama é bem legal, porque a história vira totalmente.
Aug 03, 2011 Pamela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read this a few times already, but it never ceases to fascinate me. What got me this time was the pure malevolence of Lucy. So sweet. So charming. Such a good hostess. And without a doubt, a complete sociopath (or is it psychopath?).

(OK. I have to take back the bit about a good hostess since she was considering killing one of her guests so things wouldn't be so difficult for her cousin.)

To me, she is one of the most frightening characters ever created. Forget about Hannibal....Lucy has him
Utkarsh Agnihotri
Story and book was Ok, but not that interesting.

Plot was Ok and story was very well written. I am not sure what I disliked ( can't put my finger on it). The fact I liked the most is author referred India(my country) and its cities many times, during the period of British rule. Its was kind of fascinating.

I didn't get the characters. Lucy was surely a crazy lady. Hercule Poirot failed to impress me. The dead person (John) irritated me a lot(I think that was the intention of the author). I real
Panda Incognito
Earlier this year, I read a play adaptation of this novel, and even though it was memorable, inventive, and different, the play seemed rather dull and sad. I knew that the book would flesh out characters more and have other subplots or events which got cut from the story for the play, but since I already knew the resolution, I was unsure if I would enjoy the read. And yet I kept reminding myself that Agatha Christie wrote different endings for some of her plays; "Appointment With Death" had an e ...more
Finished another adventure with M. Poirot.

Full of complex characters. This is the first book of Poirot that I read that didn't make Poirot as the main character. All the investigation was held by Inspector Grange and his gang of police force. Poirot was still there, still doing his thing but not actively. The whole story was dominated by the Angkatells.

And as Poirot said through his observation, this tragedy was either very simple or it was very complex. As it turned out, it was both.
Feb 21, 2016 Lenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is something rather comforting and homey about reading Dame Christie's books. Murder is not something to snuggle up with or drink a cup of hot chocolate with in the evenings, but I always find myself doing comfort-reads with Agatha Christie. This book is marvellous. Unlike her other stories, I feel like the characters were in a trance of partridges, English tea and fascinated by inconvenient death. Here at The Hollow, Sir Henry Angkatell and Lady Lucy Angkatell invited a couple of guests o ...more
Brent Soderstrum
I found The Hollow very hollow. This book was written very differently then all of the other Agatha Christie books I have read. Others who have reviewed it liked the style Christie used in this novel. I didn't care for it. The 2/3 of the book was almost unbearable it was so dull compared to her other books. It picks up toward the end but still leaves a sour taste in your mouth. I considered giving it two stars but I really reserve those low marks for books that are painful to read.

Dr. John Chris
Aug 22, 2011 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book clearly displayed Agatha Christie's brilliance. I liked how, unlike some murder mysteries, this book focused on psychology. The whole thing was heartbreaking. For some reason, the character of Edward stood out to me clearly. I felt awful for him the whole time. I'm glad he, at least, got his happy ending. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a different sort of murder mystery.
Apr 10, 2016 Fiona rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
I enjoyed this in the same way I would enjoy watching an old English black and white movie - with nostalgia, and amusement at the contrived storyline and the terribly melodramatic, clipped voices of the characters, while excusing the frank, unselfconscious anti semitism and class snobbery as a reflection of different times. I didn't guess whodunnit so it was an enjoyable enough read.
Eustacia Tan
Jan 07, 2015 Eustacia Tan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been so long before I read an Agatha Christie mystery. I actually finished so many of them in Secondary school that I get nervous whenever I open a new one, because it means that I have one less mystery to read (although I suppose there are always re-reads).

Hercule Poirot is conveniently next to a murder (doesn't he always?) This time, the family involved is the Angkatells, including the very random but perceptive Lucy, the poor cousin Midge, the talented artist Henrietta, the shy cousin Ed
Margo R
Jan 12, 2015 Margo R rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lifework, who-done-it
Oh man. This book had so many of my favorite things from Agatha Christie: a great plot, a great twist, and great characters. I loved the pacing. I was constantly on the edge of my seat, waiting to find out what happened next (I missed three buses! I was late to several things!). And while I had plenty of fun deciding who-dun-it (I was wrong), I mostly spent brain power in trying to figure out who I REALLY REALLY didn't want to have done it, and who I wanted to end up with who. Henrietta, sculpto ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Vanessa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Although we don't see as much of Hercule Poirot as in other Chritie novels, this is an excellent mystery with a delightful cast of characters. A fine example of her work. I was hooked from start to finish.
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 45 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2)
  • Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot, #3)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)
  • The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)
  • Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)

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“What alchemy there was in human beings.” 7 likes
“If I were dead, the first thing you'd do, with the tears streaming down your face, would be to start modelling some damned mourning woman or some figure of grief.” 3 likes
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