I will be the first to admit that, as a general rule, I prefer Christie’s older works to her later ones. Some of my very favorite of her books came out of the 1920’s and early 30’s, and while her later books are still enjoyable, they just don’t always seem to have that lighthearted feel that still incorporates a twist in the plot that blindsides you.
However, The Pale Horse, published in 1962, broke the mold. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and loved the way that Christie lured me into a rather self-satisfied feeling of knowing who the murderer was, only to flip everything upside down. Delightful.
Our story is told in small part as a third-person narration, but, for the most part, as first-person narration by a fellow named Mark Easterbrook. Mark is the studious type, an author, and also friends with Mrs. Oliver, who flits in and out of the story as well. It doesn’t really seem as though there should be any connection between Mark and the death of a kindly, well-loved priest, but the threads of the story soon begin to weave together. Except, as usual, Christie is weaving something completely different from what the reader thinks.
I really liked Mark a great deal, and, for once, didn’t feel as though the little bit of romance was completely unbelievable. There was really a good amount of intrigue and tension, all with a completely satisfactory ending. The Pale Horse is getting added to my personal collection. 4/5 and recommended.