Passenger to Frankfurt by Agatha Christie

March 3, 2014

passenger to frankfurt Plot summary (from the publisher): Sir Stafford Nye’s flight home from Malaya takes an unexpected twist when a young woman confides in him that someone is trying to kill her. In a moment of weakness, he agrees to lend her his passport. Unwittingly, the diplomat has put his own life on the line. When he meets the mystery woman again, she is a different person, and he finds himself drawn into a battle against an invisible – and altogether more dangerous – enemy…

Warning: Spoilers below!

Liked:

  • The setup for this one was vaguely promising. Although I had a hard time believing that someone in the diplomatic corps would so easily give up his passport, I was willing to withhold judgment until I saw where the plot was going.

Disliked:

  • I think Christie was about 80 years old when she wrote this book, and it showed. She really came off as out of touch in this one. Many of the ideas (fears) she posited about the youth were just too far-fetched to hold even a piece of fiction together.
  • The plot was extremely convoluted and embarrassingly naive. At the beginning of the book Christie warns the reader that something like this “could happen,” but there’s just no way. She truly believed that the youth of the world would unite and revolt with some random big, fat, whale of a woman pulling the strings? WTF???
  • The “son of Hitler” as Young Siegfried/youth revolt leader part of the book seemed sort of interesting at first, but then went completely off the rails (along with the rest of the plot).
  • I know I’ve used the term “plot” a couple times already, but that’s actually an exaggeration. There was very little in this book that resembles a coherent plot; instead, it’s mostly a lot of Christie’s personal worldview delivered in a rambling way.
  • A marriage between Sir Stafford Nye and the countess (I’ve already forgotten her name…Renata, was it? In any case, I’m talking about the eponymous passenger to Frankfurt) at the end of the book. Seriously? That development (though a favorite of Christie’s) was totally out of place here. We barely got to know the characters anyway, so what was the point of having them get married?

Rating:
I’ve made it a personal mission to read every Agatha Christie mystery novel, and unfortunately that means I have to endure truly horrid efforts such as Passenger to Frankfurt. This was easily her worst book and one that a casual reader of Christie’s work should just skip. I give it 1 star out of 5.

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