Ordeal by Innocence

For me, this book was somewhat disappointing. Whilst the reveal was good, I thought the story dragged on with very little action for about 50 pages too long. What did everyone else think of Ordeal by Innocence?


  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    Good in a lot of ways, It should be on the Sillibus inn schools, I thought It should be a Poirot book, Dissaapointing denoumont, I must have liked it more when I read it I gave it a 10, Re-reading it when I have read my C FRoe Book and a Poirot short story
  • I actually liked the story. But it has faults.

    spoilers!!! I became convinced that Jacko was completely innocent.  In actual fact he wasn't and it came as a surprise along with the other characters guilt. 
    Ive only read the book once, many years ago, so I'm struggling to remember parts of it. I found the characters in the story interesting. They don't run along the usual lines of Christie characters. There aren't any lords or socialites, nor  any big mansions with servants. It's quite an untypical setting. It's also very serious in tone which isn't a bad thing.

    Admittedly the book is just a little bit too long. Also I wish Tina wasn't the one who was attacked because she was too nice.  But I think it's worth reading. 

    The adaption added Miss Marple, which didn't work at all. They tried to add humour at the start which failed. There was an unexpected  stabbing scene which for a Christie adapt, was quite graphic. Burn Gorman was very good as Jacko and Alison Steadman excellent as Kirsten. If only they hadn't added Miss Marple! There's yet another  adaptation from the 80's and I've not seen it.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    It could have worked with Miss Marple in the same way It could work with Poirot, If Calgary had gone to the Solicitor and then while seeing the Family The Solicitor contacted Miss Marple or Poirot who woul be there when Calgary returned to the Solicitor and Miss Marple or Poirot be a friend of the Solicitor and Poirot or Miss Marple agree to investigate it could have worked that way, I have seen the Film many years ago and forgotten a lot, I am currently re-reading the book.
  • The point is that the book didn't need Poirot or Miss Marple. The adaptation didn't either. If Agatha Christie had wanted them it, SHE would have placed them in it! The only reason that Miss Marple was catapulted into adaptations she didn't belong in, was that most people know who Miss Marple is and would watch it for her. Only fans know who Arthur Calgary is.

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I agree with you, I am only saying that if it HAD to have Miss Marple or Poirot there was a better way of doing it, Sadly The makers have no respect for the viewers or else they would realise the Viewing Public are intelligent enough to watch an Agatha Christie without Poirot or Miss Marple.
  • By focusing on "what could have been" or "which characters should have been in it"  takes attention away from looking at what is actually there in her works.

  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I think I know what you mean, It makes me think the Writers are trying to prove Todays writers are better than the Writers of then
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I finished Ordeal By Innocence yesterday, I enjoyed it and reminded myself why I rated it so highly, It should be on the syllabus, I think it is a more interesting book issues wise than ATTWN
  • youngmrquinyoungmrquin Buenos Aires, Argentina
    I read what you all have said about it, so here are my thoughts.
    Like lachy.a.w. and MissQuin, I also felt it was really long. It also dissapointed me on many levels; with the expectation of being one of AC favourite books, I hoped it developed more than in the end I feel it did.
    It's the same topic of a dysfunctional family we have seen in Paddington, After the Funeral and Crooked House, to name a few. They have difficulties as a family on many levels, and it turns out that there is even murder involved. However, I didn't buy what I think AC was trying to sell here; both from the thematic point of view and the style one. In both cases, I found it repetitive.
    From the thematic view, the book shows the social discussions of that historical context of nature vs. nurture, as far as behaviour is concerned. The problem is that it is done very "in your face", as if Agatha was using the characters to represent the different positions in debate. Unlike other social books, like They Do It With Mirrors, Pale Horse or Nemesis, I felt the plot was used to serve the discussion (and not viceversa, as it should have been more enjoyable).
    From the style/writing, I felt more or less the same problem: repetition. Here, AC was trying to sell the idea of the different point of views of the different characters about themselves and the situation, but I felt we were reading about only ONE perspective all the time. Over and over we read the same descriptions about the same people, but that supposedly came from different characters.
    As I said before, it dissapointed me on high levels.
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    It is only a book, Agatha had to keep referring to the fact that most of the Family were not very grateful to their Mother for being kind enough to Adopt them, I think it is Refreshing that she actually was saying don't do something nice because you want to be thought of as nice and don't do it for Beneficiancy reasons, do it because you care, I think a ot of people these days could learn from that message instead of giving money to Charity or doing something spectacular because you are a Celebrity and doing what it is is good for your Profile.
  • Christopher_WrenChristopher_Wren Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
    edited March 2014
    I agree with you, that I expected more, when I heard, that it was one of Agatha Christie's favourite books. It is okay, but it's not one of my favourites. So maybe it was because the German description of the book as good as gave away the ending.


    It said, "someone tries to trick the law and falls into his own trap", so I basically knew right from the beginning, that Jacko was guilty after all. That didn't help. The accomplice was easy to guess, once you look for the signs (and remember "The Mysterious affair at Styles).
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom
    I watched that at he weekend, thinking about it there are similarities.
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