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Towards Zero (Superintendent Battle #5)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  6,583 ratings  ·  379 reviews
"I like a good detective story, but they begin in the wrong place! They begin with the murder. But the murder is the end. The story begins long before that." So remarks esteemed criminologist Mr. Treves. Truer words have never been spoken, for a psychopathic killer has insinuated himself , with cunning manipulation, into a quiet village on the river Tern. But who is his in ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published December 9th 2001 by Minotaur Books (first published 1944)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Cheryl
In Agatha Christie's 1944 mystery, TOWARDS ZERO, the title is explained by the elderly solicitor, Mr. Treves. When asked to tell a story from his long career, he begins a horrific tale of two related children playing with a potentially deadly weapon. One is killed, and the other expresses effusive regrets about the terrible accident. Mr. Treves believes the child has gotten away with murder, and he is certain he would recognize the child even twenty years later because of a physical sign that co ...more
James
I'm breaking all the rules here. I had been reading my way through the Agatha Christie canon book-by-book in chronological order. Generally I was managing to get through a couple, or more, books per year. Suddenly – and very generously – my parents bought me a copy of Towards Zero for Christmas. As the fifth of the Superintendent Battle books – and the thirty-fourth published Christie novel – it was going to take me a while to get to. In fact, based on my current reading pace somewhere between 1 ...more
Sophie Hannah
Brilliant. Elegant and spare like The Body in the Library. No Poirot or Marple, and I did slightly miss them - Superintendent Battle doesn't work as well for me - but is still one of Agatha's best, most well-plotted stories.
محمد عبداللطيف
قصة متوسطة المستوي

أكثر ما يضايقني فيما يماثل هذه القصة البوليسية هي إصرار المؤلف دائما علي إعطاء القارئ معلومات منقوصة لا تجعله قادر علي التوصل إلي شخصية القاتل و يقوم بإخفاء معلومات معيتة و مقصودة لجعله تائها طوال الوقت ، وهذا نوع من الإستسهال الشديد و لا يوجد فيه أي إبداع أو إبتكار ، في حين أن الكاتب المتمكن فعلا يقوم بإعطاء القارئ كل المعلومات الممكنة و مع ذلك يجعله غير قادر علي التوصل إلي حل اللغز
Eustacia Tan
I love Agatha Christie, really love her. And you know, Towards Zero is really different from her other books, in a good way. It sort of stars Superintendent Battle as our lead detective, and has a very unique sort of murders.

You see, Towards Zero postulates (that's a word that should be used more often) that a murder begins before someone dies. After all, it starts when someone decides to kill. And so, a murder occurs, and it's not as simple as it seems. There is Mr Strange, his first wife Audre
...more
Idea Smith
Towards Zero could be called a classic whodunit - a murder mystery, multiple suspects each with the motive and the means. Agatha Christie's charming manner of introducing her characters and defining them with their individual quirks engages the reader. The setup of the plot seemed a little obvious. Midway through, I was already constructing situations in my head over which character would be murdered in order to deliver the maximum tension, so crucial to a book of this genre.The case analysis, c ...more
anionce
Una de mis favoritas de Agatha Christie. Parte de una idea interesante y es diferente a los demás, ya que el asesinato no ocurre al principio de la trama.
Luffy Monkey D.
It's been some time since a murder mystery has imposed on my mind so heavily. Even when this mystery had all its clothes on, you could guess the promise it contained. I kept thinking, and the question and the curiosity, the suspense and the wonder, they kept occupying my mind. As the pages flew by, the time to say goodbye to Inspector Battle came too soon. At least Miss Marple starred in 13 of her books. Poor Battle was shunted aside in the public's stampede for Poirot.

I guessed wrongly regard
...more
Mónica Silva
Opinião no blog http://howtoliveathousandlives.blospo...

Ligeiramente distinto das restantes obras de Agatha Christie, esta assenta na ideia que um homicídio não começa quando alguém morre, mas sim quando alguém decide matar. Por este motivo, as mortes nesta estória não são imediatas, existindo um longo período de introdução de personagens e caracterização das relações entre si.

De igual modo, esta obra é protagonizada pelo inspetor-chefe Battle, apesar de existirem algumas referências ao genial H
...more
Sara Pistono
Agatha Christie once again reminds me why she is my personal favorite author. One must commend her for writing such thrilling and gripping novels, each with a twist more shocking than the last. While I did have reservations when I first encountered this book, as I believed it to be heavily sports-orientated, I soon discovered that this couldn't be further from the truth.
Not only was the plot amazing, but the development of each of the characters was also a large portion of what made the story s
...more
Jibran Sayed
It's 3.5 for me but nonetheless 4 to round it all.
This book was recommended to me when my reading felt too monotonous, and I was in some need to absorb some crime/mystery, by quoting, “It’s full of classic police work, plot twists and unimaginable ending.”
When I read it, it was actually a great lot of plot twist. Some felt perfectly necessary while other few were unnecessary. The whole story starts in with shreds and pieces, small incidents and communications between some two random persons, unk
...more
Pupottina


Convergere VERSO L’ORA ZERO

Un gruppo raccolto attorno al caminetto è composto da avvocati e uomini di legge.
“Gli esseri umani … Ce ne sono di tutti i generi, di tutte le qualità, di tutte le forme, alcuni hanno cervello, molti ne sono privi …”
Tutti sono attenti a seguire l’evolversi degli eventi che hanno portato ad un delitto le cui dinamiche sono avvolte nel mistero. Peccato solo che manchi Hercule Poirot a indagare!
Resta comunque un romanzo di Agatha Christie e, di conseguenza, è un’interes
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Esraa
عُرفت السيدة اجاثا ببراعتها في إخفائِها لحقيقة القاتل كانت هذهِ أول رواية أقرأها لهذه السيدة العجوز التي تميزت بدهائها في تسطير رواياتِها البوليسية ، رغم انني كنت أعلم منذ زمن انها أفضل روائية في العالم إلى أني لم ابداء بفتح الباب الذي يجعلني اغوص في اعماق مخيلتها العجيبه
أما الآن ففتحت الباب بمفتاح "ساعة الصفر" قد تكون بعض أحداثها عاديه نوعاً ما ولكني استمتعت جداً بها ، احسست وكأني اشاهد فلماً سنمائياً ، عند قرائتي لم أشعر بثقل الوقت كدت أن أنهيها في جلسة واحده لولا انشغالي بأُمور أهم..
أُحب ال
...more
Laurel Young
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fiona
I've been getting more and more bogged down in books that I've started but haven't finished, so this was a bit of a palate cleanser for me. I love Agatha Christie. She deals in stock characters and situations, and bait-and-switch resolutions, but that's partly what I like. I'm kept guessing, trying out situations in my head, always attempting to sift fact from decoy. Christie's focus, like mine, is not on the character, or the implications, or even on murder. It's on the puzzle.

I read 'Towards Z
...more
Tusia
Agatha Christie is such an amazing author. I have recently begun reading Agatha Christie novel after novel, and each turned out to have an unexpected result. This book was no disappointment.
A man, his first wife, who he had divorced, and his current wife, along with an array of other characters, meet in the mansion of the old lady who took care of the man when he was a child. Soon after all of the characters get acquainted, the lady is murdered. Superintendent Battle, a policeman, and his son i
...more
Ryan
Agatha Christie isn't just murder mysteries - she deals a lot with philosophy and psychology, too. Miss Marple believes that one can know a lot about people just by observing others, even if those observations occur in a small village - because people are so very alike everywhere. Christie's characters have that element of similarity, as do her stories, even when they appear to be very different.

I like Inspector Battle and often wish he were featured more - he tends to be a secondary character,
...more
Andrea Hickman Walker
I really enjoyed this. Sometimes Agatha Christie's can get a bit repetitive and are less enjoyable, but this was one of her best - right up there with The murder of Roger Ackroyd. I enjoy the character of Superintendent Battle, and the rest of the characterisation in this was just as good. I particularly liked the fact that any of the characters could have been the murderer. It makes it that much more satisfying a mystery. There were also a fair number of unrelated matters, snippets out of the c ...more
Jawaher Alsaadi
ساعة الصفر

جريمة شبه كامله .. مع ذلك استطاع العميل بوارو من معرفة القاتل

..تدهشك الروايه .. بما فيها من احداث متتالة

..لم اشعر بلملل اثناء قرئتها

!..لكن ازعجني قليلا .. وربما استفزني ..! اصرار الكاتبه على اخفاء جميع الادلة تقريبا

..التي يمكن ان توصلك الى هويه القاتل

..رغم ذالك اعجبتني الفكرة .. وطريقة السرد .. وذلك الاسلون الغامض

Richard
This is, I think, a better written Christie than many of her other books, but the ending is complete nonsense (AND yet I still mostly figured it out!). Pleasant diversion, yes. Compelling mystery, not so much.
Amy
Classic Christie in every sense. A seemingly impossible murder. A large house in the English Countryside. Beautiful rich people. A clever stolid detective. All pulled together by a great audiobook narrator.
Faa
It took me quite sometimes to finish this book.
The earlier chapters were a bit slow and confusing. I struggle to open my eyes and keep on reading.
I still do not understand the relation between the prologue and the whole story. What significant did the great Mr Treves had? Especially to link with the murder, other than the fact that he somehow recognized the child who committed murdered long ago with the now adult person.

I also failed to feel any elements of romanticism in this book.
All character
...more
Carolyn F.
Audiobook.

I thought I had read this before and swore it was one person through the majority of the book. Liked that I was fooled. The ending was a little "What the Heck!" but enjoyable.
Elsa
Sep 08, 2013 Elsa rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Elsa by: no one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
C.C. Thomas
Inspector Battle isn't nearly a favorite Christie detective of mine. I have a soft spot in my heart for the little Belgian, Hercule Poirot, and that grand dame of country life, Jane Marple. Battle is, however, starting to rise in my esteem and estimation.

In this book, a murder of a family matriarch throws the local constabulary into a quandary until one of the officers calls his uncle, Inspector Battle, who isn't all that sad at leaving an uncomfortable family situation to help out. What I reall
...more
Katherine
Nevile Strange, seorang pemain tenis terkenal yang tampan memutuskan bahwa ia akan mempertemukan mantan istrinya dengan istrinya yang baru bersama dirinya sendiri di Gull's Point. Suatu ide yang bagi kebanyakan orang bukanlah idenya sendiri.

SPOILER

Semua orang tidak percaya bahwa Mr. Strange - Nevile - mempunyai ide gila untuk mempertemukan Mrs. Strange I dengan Mrs. Strange II. Ia mengatur agar mereka semua bertemu di Gull's Point pada awal September. Gull's Point adalah tempat tinggal seorang
...more
Hanifah Mahdiyanti
Speechless. Betul-betul pembunuhan berencana yang direncanakan dengan mulus tapi sangat kejam.

Walaupun tanpa kehadiran si detektif kondang Hercule Poirot, kasus diselesaikan dengan baik oleh Inspektur Battle dan keponakannya. Tapi nama detektif itu disebut sampai dua kali oleh Inspektur Battle, gara-gara ia ingat kebiasaan Poirot yang maniak kebersihan dan kesimetrisan. Hal itu juga yang menjadi salah satu petunjuk dalam pemecahan kasus.

Seperti yang dikatakan Mr. Treves, kisah tidak dibuka deng
...more
Sacramento Public Library
Agatha Christie is best known for her creation of two of the most famous sleuths in mystery literature: Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple. She also brought to life several lesser known detectives, both professional and amateur, including Tommy and Tuppence Beresford, Colonel Race, Captain Hastings, and Superintendent Battle.

Towards Zero is Battle’s fifth and last appearance in a Christie novel. Here he takes center stage, called in to solve a murder which, like many Poirot mysteries, revolves
...more
Crystal
As usual, a fantastic book by Agatha Christie.

"Towards Zero" doesn't start with the murder like quite a lot of other mysteries do. It starts with the stories of all the different people who are involved in the murder one way or another and builds up to the point of the murder, showing how everyone came together in the way that they did. It's really interesting because as you're reading through, you know someone's going to be murdered, but unless you read the summary you have no idea who! So I t
...more
Aries

In una splendida villa incastonata nella selvaggia costa della Cornovaglia si ritrovano, invitati dalla proprietaria Lady Tressilian, un piccolo gruppo di persone legate da vincoli di parentela e di amicizia: Nevile Strange, nipote ed erede di Lady Tressilian, la sua giovane moglie attuale Kay e quella precedente, un vecchio e famoso avvocato, un playboy, una giovane donna sola e infelice e uno scontroso piantatore della Malesià. Ma uno degli ospiti ha già ideato un piano diabolico per un delitt

...more
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Agatha Christie L...: March 2014 - Towards Zero 54 144 Jun 23, 2014 10:26PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Edit page not working... 5 30 Apr 16, 2012 07:25AM  
  • The Benevent Treasure (Miss Silver, #26)
  • A Daughter's a Daughter
  • Death and the Dancing Footman (Roderick Alleyn, #11)
  • Busman's Honeymoon (Lord Peter Wimsey, #13)
123715
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880
...more
More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Superintendent Battle (5 books)
  • The Secret of Chimneys (Superintendent Battle #1)
  • The Seven Dials Mystery (Superintendent Battle #2)
  • Cards on the Table (Hercule Poirot #15)
  • Murder Is Easy  (Superintendent Battle #4)
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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“When you read the account of a murder - or, say, a fiction story based on murder - you usually begin with the murder itself. That's all wrong. The murder begins a long time beforehand. A murder is the culmination of a lot of different circumstances, all converging at a given moment at a given point. People are brought into it from different parts of the globe and for unforeseen reasons. [...] The murder itself is the end of the story. It's Zero Hour.”

He paused.

“It's Zero Hour now.”
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