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Towards Zero (Superintendent Battle #5)

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,830 Ratings  ·  456 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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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Mar 10, 2015 Sophie Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 12, 2012 Eustacia Tan rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
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
Idea Smith
Apr 11, 2011 Idea Smith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 26, 2015 Amorfna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Ono kad se poklopi slobodna nedelja, prazan splav, ladno pivo s limunom i odlična knjiga.
Sasvim pristojan letnji dan u Beogradu.

Da stvar bude neobičnija, jedna napomena vezana isključivo za ovo jeftino izdanje uz Blic Ženu,
Prevod opet Liber Novus ( s kojima već vodih rat ovde zbog očajnih prevoda). Ovaj put prevodilac potpisan i prevod mnogo kvalitetniji nego u prethodnim izdanjima.

Sve ide na bolje.
Apr 15, 2016 anionce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-noir
Buen libro 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.
Rachel Lightwood
This is the third Agatha Christie novel I've picked up... and the third I've enjoyed! While Towards Zero was certainly lacking the edge-of-your-seat levels of suspense that made her And Then There Were None so fantastic, it still had its merits and was worth the read. It was more in tune with Murder on the Orient Express in the sense that the book built up until a jaw-dropping finale, but lacked the certain addictive spark for the better part of the story.

The concept of this book was brilliant,
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
Mónica Silva
Nov 29, 2013 Mónica Silva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
There’s something about staying at a beachside resort that makes me want to pick up an Agatha Christie. So during my stay here at Port Blair, I have read and re-read quite a few of her novels. Imagine my surprise when I found some of works that I had not yet read. This is a review of one of them.

Towards Zero is from the Superintendent Battle series - a lesser known but equally good. It starts with a well known lawyer, Mr Treves, explaining the term Towards Zero - according to him most murder sto
Sara Pistono
Jan 07, 2015 Sara Pistono rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Αλλάζεις συνεχώς τους ύποπτους στο μυαλό σου, όπως και σε κάθε βιβλίο της Agatha. Το συγκεκριμένο όμως, είχε μια ιδιομορφία την οποία δε θα γράψω για να μην κάνω σποιλερ σε αυτός που δεν τ έχουν διαβάσει. Ήταν καλό, σε κρατούσε σε αγωνία κι έψαχνες συνεχώς για στοιχεία. Παρ' όλα αυτά, κατ' εμέ δεν είναι και από τα καλύτερα της, αξίζει όμως να διαβαστεί.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Two and a half stars. I didn't enjoy this Superintendent Battle as much as I did the first. The prose is good, but prose can't carry a novel, and there are too many instances of Christie's infamous hiding-cards-up-sleeve-till-last-second to be enjoyable. There was no humour to lighten things up, either, which is what I enjoyed about the first. Poirot gets a mention, which always makes me laugh--kind of like those 1990's comedies that borrowed characters from each other (Ursula from Mad About You ...more
Jun 14, 2015 Richard rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-15
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.
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


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
May 27, 2013 Esraa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Laurel Young
Jun 01, 2010 Laurel Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Dec 31, 2012 Tusia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Neither Poirot nor Miss Marple attending this novel's house party.
THe story opens with a young man being saved from attempted suicide. The purpose of a life saved becomes a saving theme to the novel for this full cast of mismatched characters. Involved in relational conflicts, under the eye of their monied hostess, the threat of losing out on the beneficiary's will is sure to keep someone in check.
A cleverly solved murder of the Superintendent Battle 's series #5.
Jun 21, 2009 Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
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

Eslam Alobaid
صراحةً بعمري لم افكر بأن أقرأ في الأدب البوليسي
و كنت قد قررت سابقا الا اقرأ شيء لأجاثا كريستي
سوى جريمة في قطار الشرق
لأنها متعلقة بالشرق
و لكنني وجدت ، ساعة َ الصفر صدفةً
إنها رواية جيدة ، و الإسلوب القصصي جيد ، مشوقة إلى حدٍ ما ،
اعطيتها نجمتين
عموماً الله يسامح اللي كان السبب و علقني هيك علقة :P
Anishka Chaudhary
A lot of emphasis on building the plot and preparing the background. It is just towards the very end that the real interesting part begins and the fragmented events starts showing a connection. The identification of the murderer is attributed more to serendipity than to hard-core logic as expected from most of the crime based novels!
Jan 13, 2013 Faa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Carolyn F.
Mar 26, 2014 Carolyn F. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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.
Apr 18, 2016 MG rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: libros-2016
Me ha gustado mucho, es de los más retorcidos. La pena es que ya lo había leído antes y me acordaba de todo.
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Agatha Christie L...: March 2014 - Towards Zero 59 161 Jan 01, 2016 04:10AM  
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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

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)

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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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