If you know your literature, if you know your Agatha Christie then you know in the mid 1920s the famous author disappeared for 11 days. No one knows the truth, no one knows what happened and why, until this book.
The person that knows the truth isn’t even Agatha herself, it is Nan O’Dea.
Who is this woman?
She is the woman that Archibald Christie went on to marry after he divorced Agatha, that makes her the mistress at the time of the disappearance.
Told from Nan’s point of view we not just learn about her life and upbringing but also what really happened in those missing days and how both their lives crossed over. Nan is convinced that Agatha has something of hers and it is not Agatha’s husband, he merely seems to be a pawn into getting what Nan really wants.
As the book moves backwards and forward, it takes a while to the change in pace and we are almost being told by the narrator that actually what she is saying is what happened and we are not to question any of it. Once you accept this ‘voice’ of the book you are swept away on this mystery, the red herrings and the possible plot twists and the fact that this book is based on real life people becomes irrelevant.
Nan’s back story warranted a book all of its own, and jarred slightly with the mystery element of the book, but again I think you have to forgive these styles if you are to simply enjoy the book for what it was.
For fans of Christie, this book gives you an idea of what may have happened. But if you know your Christie well and you know the background of the real Nan O’Dea, Nancy Neele in reality then maybe this won’t work for you. For me it was fiction, fiction that took fact and manipulated it into an interesting story and that was the draw that kept me reading and why I would recommend.
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
The Christie Affair is out now.