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Kurz vor Mitternacht

(Superintendent Battle #5)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  12,828 ratings  ·  901 reviews
Alle verbringen den Sommer in Gull's Point: der bekannte Tennisspieler Nevile Strange, seine jetzige Frau Kay und seine ehemalige Frau, deren Vetter Thomas und Kays alter Freund Ted Latimer, und sogar Rechtsanwalt Treves kommt zum Dinner. Das Gespräch dreht sich um das Rechtssystem, Mord, unmündige Täter und Gerechtigkeit. Am nächsten Tag ist Anwalt Treves tot, gestorben ...more
Hardcover, 329 pages
Published September 2011 by Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag (first published June 1944)
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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Jun 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ve now reached the final book to feature Superintendent Battle in the Christie cannon, what a great mystery for his last appearance!

Bed bound Lady Tressilian still intends to invite guests to her seaside home at Gull's Point during the summer, one of the guests included tennis star Nevile Strange.
Though the idea of him bring both his current and ex-wives seems like an ill advised idea...

Whilst at an uncomfortable dinner party Mr Treves regales all the guests a tale of one child killing another
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
‘I like a good detective story,’ he said. ‘But, you know, they begin in the wrong place! They begin with the murder. But the murder is the end. The story begins long before that– years before sometimes– with all the causes and events that bring certain people to a certain place at a certain time on a certain day.

What makes a good detective story? Suspense? Atmosphere? An outrageous plot? Memorable characters? Twists?

As with many others of Christie's stories, Towards Zero relies on a set of
Steven Walle
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very good murder plot with many victems and just as many suspects. The author cleverly took each suspect out one by one until we are left with the killer.

Enjoy and Be Blessed
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 ...more
Vikas Singh
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-book
Another blockbuster from Christie, featuring Superintendent Battle. An interesting aspect of the novel is that Battle solves the case thinking of Poirot’s obsession with symmetry. The beginning is great and sets the tone for a great mystery. As a reader you keep reading anxiously for the crime to be committed and when it finally happens, you sit back and relax for Battle to resolve it. A very different technique but interesting. Great read.
Nandakishore Varma
Even though most mysteries start with a murder, actually it is the end - culmination of a lot of events at a common point. Or so says one of the characters in this novel.

This is the theme of this book - events moving towards a murder: towards zero.

That it starts with a murder is of no matter. By the time one finishes the book, one will understand the appropriateness of the title.

This book features my favourite Christie policeman, Superintendent Battle.
As far as Christie mysteries go somewhat forgettable. Heck, I don't even remember when I started this. It was only due to an unexpected road trip and many hours in a car that resulted in this book getting completed. It has all the hallmarks of a classic Christie mystery: colorful characters, mysterious murders, secret pasts, and so on and so forth. But no aspect of it really stood out, especially compared to all of Christie's other, better mysteries. It may be because Superintendent Brattle just ...more
Sophie Hannah
Mar 10, 2015 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.
Moonlight Reader
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vintage-women
I think that Inspector Battle might actually be my favorite Christie character.

Full review forthcoming!
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I read this book four times over the holidays. It was so good! Why didn't we get more Superintendent Battle books?! I don't know what else to say, but prepare for a glowing review.

So "Towards Zero" starts off with a retired lawyer Mr. Treves notes something odd when he reads something and is off somewhere unknown. An unknown figure hatches a plan and laughs. A man is hospitalized after a suicide attempt. And then we have Superintendent Battle going to his daughter's school to deal with an
Roxana Chirilă
I'm starting to get a pretty good idea of what Agatha Christie's narrative style is: you take a cast of characters, give them some motivation, have a murder, and solve it all through talking and *psychology*, more or less. And "Towards Zero" is no exception - but it feels like it focuses more on motivation and the mindset of a murderer than others.

The philosophical point of "Towards Zero" is that murders begin long before they're committed - all the pieces start being set into place long before
Emma McCaul
I loved Towards Zero. It was such a page turner and the title gives the novel a feeling of movement and destination. I loved the detail that was given to the back story to the murder. The delay of the actual murder caused an anticipation of who was going to be murdered, I thought this was an excellent novel structure.

I found the structure of this novel interesting and wonder if anyone reading it guessed the murderer or worked it out? I found there were very little clues in this novel. There was
Jun 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

What a devilish book this is!

It is no secret that Agatha Christie is one of my favourite authors, and in this novel, she truly excels. Slowly, inexorably, all the pieces of the chess, or mystery, are put in place awaiting the final scene - the murder - but things are of course not what they appear. The tension grows while all these characters meet, cross and finally come together. No Poirot present, although mentioned, but a very competent Superintendent Battle.

This is definitely one of her
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lib
Very much intriguing one.
Anna Luce
3 stars

“Last time I had my hands on you, you felt like a bird—struggling to escape. You’ll never escape now….”
She said:
“I shall never want to escape.”

If that doesn't sound creepy, I don't know what does. I usually enjoy reading Christie's somewhat conservative romances as t they reflect a particular period of time. Here, there is a certain romance subplot that blossoms at the end and is anything but romantic. Where is Christie's usual spark?!

Anyhow, moving onto the story. The premise reminded a
Eustacia Tan
Nov 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Re-read 23.09.2017 From 4 to 5 stars.

None of the books I'm currently reading have been drawing me in during the past few days, making me watch movies and Buzzfeed Unsolved instead, so I felt like continuing my little project of re-reading a few of my favorite Christies.

Towards Zero is a bit different with Superintendent Battle as the main crime solver (mind you, influenced by Poirot's methods), and although he comes across as a bit bland with no distinct personality, the case itself is excellent
Ramya (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, ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

What a mastermind she was! I couldn't guess the culprit from beginning to end!!

I always love a great mystery, and I'm never disappointed by Agatha Christie! It's just not a five-star read because some little things bothered me: (view spoiler)

I love intrigues that happen behind close doors:
rachel ☾
Oct 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star
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,
Sep 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did you ever notice if you're channel-surfing on TV and you pause in the middle of a CSI or Law and Order type show that people are just talking-talking-talking? Around a desk. Walking down a corridor. Standing in a police garage or the morgue. They TALK. And talk, and move and talk some more, always explaining something to someone about something they've discovered or guessed or figured out. The writers try to make all this TALK interesting by having the actors move and use different locations, ...more
Clare Snow
TW: Suicide

Want a love triangle and insta-love in one book? Christie was all over that before we were born.

Not her best work - things got stupidly convoluted by the end. And I think this may be the most red herrings she's ever packed into one book.

My 2010 copy is a reprint of the 1944 first edition. On the flyleaf is some hilarious WWII propaganda telling the reader to listen to the BBC because that's the only place you'll get truth in reporting. None of this false news the enemy sends out.
Not the best story, but I did like the resolution of the murder.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I thoroughly enjoyed the unraveling of this puzzle. There were many times when I 'leaned in' while listening. I loved Hugh Fraser's expressive narration and perfect pace.
Highness Atharva
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Towards Zero
*A Standalone Novel by Agatha Christie*

I read this book immediately after finishing ‘And Then There Were None’, regardless to say, I was so hyped…This is some Grade A First Class Writing standard, I mean, Chrisitie isn’t called Queen of Mystery/Crime/Suspense for no reason. I think the in-book dialogue “A murder is the culmination of a lot of different circumstances, all converging at a given moment at a given point.” states in a nutshell what the books about and to tell the truth,
Chitra Iyer
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am really excited for this one because this book is from my favorite author. Yes, you guessed it right, Agatha Christie!I had bought Towards Zero last month as it was the Book Of The Month on the official Agatha Christie page but due to previous obligations, I could finish it only now.

It goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoyed the read. Yes, I did miss Poirot but he can’t be everywhere, now can he?!? Let’s start with the review so that I can share my thoughts (and rave!) about the book.

Apr 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though this book is not long in page numbers, it is drawn out as if one is plowing through a hard field. I got to thinking, boy, she is still bitter about her divorce but then looked up the dates. Divorced 1928, this book 1944. So that wasn't it. This was the final Superintendent Battle book, a series of just 5 books that had started in 1925. I had not read one of these before, so now I have had my Battle.

I shall not spoil book for others, so here it is briefly--The cast of characters is slowly
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ultimate Reading Challenge 2018. A favorite prompt from the last 3 years - Mystery.

A group are discussing a recent court case and one man says that a murder mystery should NOT begin with the murder. A great many events had to happen to lead everyone to the event, that is, moving "towards zero" hour. What follows is the account of all the events leading up to a murder. Then Battle who recalls something about his friend Hercule Poirot is able to spot the thing that brings him to the solution of
Heather Withington
5 stars - completely missed the solution to this one, but once it was announced I face palmed. It was a brilliant ending that answers all the questions and I should have solved it really as all the clues were there. Loved the characters and the plot line. It moved at a steady pace with good flow. Loved it and would recommend it.
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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 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in

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)
“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.”
“I suppose, like most young people nowadays, boredom is what you dread most in the world, and yet, I can assure you, there are worse things.” 6 likes
More quotes…