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Destination Unknown

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  7,990 ratings  ·  570 reviews
In Agatha Christie’s gripping international thriller Destination Unknown, a woman at the end of her rope chooses a more exciting way to die when she embarks upon an almost certain suicide mission to find a missing scientist.

When a number of leading scientists disappear without a trace, concern grows within the international intelligence community. And the one woman who app
Paperback, 248 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published November 1st 1954)
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3.66  · 
Rating details
 ·  7,990 ratings  ·  570 reviews

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Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Hilary Craven has lost everything that is dear to her and cannot contemplate life any longer. As she sets out to act on her despair, she is approached with a proposition...

I said it before and I say it again: Dame Agatha did not write good spy thrillers. This another proof of it. Although, Destination Unknown was not as outrageously bad as Passenger to Frankfurt - I mean really, not many books are as bad as that - this one was quite boring.

Maybe it was because the story was too slow paced, or ma
This was not a typical Agatha Christie book at all since it was more of a spy thriller than a detective story. While I think I definitely prefer her "classic crime solving", it was still interesting to see AC dipping her toes in a different genre. (I listened to this on audiobook btw.)
Marija Simić
I kept thinking, something is wrong! Then, I realized, something is missing. A murder.
Still, pretty enjoyed this book, although it's not really Christie's 'typical' book. But, still, contains many interesting characters! I know it's good, when I close the book, and say, 'Man! I feel I just came back from a journey.'
So yeah, not a master piece of Agatha, but still, easy, interesting read.
Dec 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Vikas Singh
Jul 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best Christie novels. A fast paced spy thriller, it has all elements of international espionage and intrigue. And in true Christie fashion there is a twisted end. The story line is so gripping that you would want to finish it in one go. Superb reading
Simona Bartolotta
Aug 14, 2018 rated it did not like it
Destination Unknown kind of anticipates Passenger to Frankfurt, in my opinion, and that's enough to explain why I couldn't enjoy nor stand it.
Matthew Mitchell
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A delightful meaningless romp.

The queen of mystery took a break from Poirot and Marple to produce a post-war action/adventure thriller story about the mysterious disappearance of scientists all over the world and the unlikely spy who cracks the case. Always moving (to a destination unknown), along the way there is murder, adventure, mistaken identity, and even love, all with that Agatha Christie tongue-in-cheek humor and charm in a decidedly more Hitchcockian vein.

Destination Unknown is Tommy &a
May 03, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I struggled all of the way through this Agatha Christie stand alone mystery. I felt it very dry and uninteresting most of the way through. There were a few characters I really wanted to like, but because of the way the story was written, I could not get close enough to them. Right up to the last chapter in the book, it was hard to see where this plot was going to take me and how it was all going to turn out. I stuck with it, and admit that the outcome made me smile. I think the conclusion was "a ...more
Apr 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm a little bit disappointed, it was more of a spy thing than a mystery novel and am not that fan of spying books, kept waiting for the intrigue but it didnt show up, hoped for better than this, mais bon..
Leslie Hickman
Mar 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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.
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
f you open up an Agatha Christie novel looking forward to a nicely arranged corpse in front of a roaring fire, and Hercule Poirot standing over them – then this one might disappoint – though it shouldn’t. There are no corpses – and no Poirot or Marple – not even a brace of Beresfords.

This is one of Christie’s thrillers – and it is excellent in a similar way to the They Came to Baghdad was. Like so many Christie’s novels set in the places she travelled to – there is a great sense of place, and sh
Onellyantie Chuah
Nov 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Book Concierge
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
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Diana Long
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not one of her normal murder mysteries, but an enjoyable, well written and thoroughly engrossing story. In this work, the disappearance of the worlds foremost scientists, doctors, etc. causes alarm across the globe. A crime hasn't actually been committed or has it? A woman who contemplates suicide is interrupted in her attempt and enlisted to aid in solving the mystery by going undercover. As the pages turn the plot thickens and our heroine goes on one hazardous adventure. Plenty of twists, tur ...more
Krissa Hill
Jun 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With just 100 pages left I thought this was a solid 3 star. How could I doubt Agatha Christie? My head just exploded with how surprisingly complex this was!
Carolyn F.

This book seemed a bit of a departure from Agatha's previous books which I liked. Great ending.
Mar 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 918
This is not a traditional murder mystery, but rather a political thriller/mystery. It starts with two rather grey men working in a rather grey office, discussing the disappearance of several scientists from various countries, but one in particular from England. Tom Betterton has vanished recently without a trace, and his wife has no idea where he has gone.

At the same time, a young woman is so desperately sad at the death of her young daughter and the breakdown of her marriage that she sees no po
Heather Withington
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant read with an unexpected twist at the end, Destination Unknown tells the story of Hilary Craven as she is recruited to help the Government locate missing scientists.

I devoured this book, and was fairly sure I knew what was going on as the story developed...oh how wrong I was! This is definitely a story were the less you know about it going in, the better. Would definitely recommend.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part of it was had an atmosphere a little more dystopian than I expected. Which made it an interesting read. Had the usual happy ending most Christie books have. The ending felt a bit abrupt but I don't see how the novel could have sustained more writing.
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: mysteries
Take a puzzle of disappearing scientists, add a young woman who feels her life is over, and toss in a dash of Morocco for a suspense story with a last minute twist.
Jan 20, 2013 rated it liked it
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
A different platter from Agatha Christie. Destination Unknown never comes up as a straight laced detective fiction. Rather it falls into a unknown Christie genre of spy/political fiction. Scientists disappearing from all over the world leaves the West baffled. The book is all about trying to find out who or what is making them disappear.

A common theme of Christie present in this book is a simple woman who is also the main protagonist helped on by a male government official. All in all this book
Jul 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this novel as much as, if not more than Agatha Christie's other books (and I have read them all). I am a fan of Poirot, but the murder mysteries are not quite as exciting as conspiracies, world espionage and intrigue, which is what this book offers (however far fetched, which I will admit, it is.. still this is fiction and global financial conspiracies make for good stories).

As a simple and suspenseful mystery, if not read as propaganda (there is a lot of "Red Fear" written into this
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 26, 2010 rated it liked it
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.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
it was ok. not a book i would read again. a depressed female takes on adventure in exotic Morrocco. Elements of romance.
Bea Alden
Jan 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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.
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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 t
“There speaks the passion and the rebellion that go with red hair. My second wife had red hair. She was a beautiful woman, and she loved me. Strange, is it not? I have always admired red-haired women. Your hair is very beautiful. There are other things I like about you. Your spirit, your courage; the fact that you have a mind of your own.

~Mr. Aristides”
“I don't go in for being sorry for people. For one thing it's insulting. One is only sorry for people if they are sorry for themselves. Self-pity is the biggest stumbling block in our world today.

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