Taken at the Flood takes place during and just after the Second World War. Immensely rich Gordon Cloade, along with three servants, is killed when his house is hit during the Blitz.
A few week’s previously, he had married a woman young enough to be his daughter, and she and her brother, who were also present in the house at the time, are injured but survive.
This young woman, Rosaleen, inherits Cloade’s vast fortune, and his family, who had always relied upon him for financial support, are left bereft. However, if Rosaleen were to die, then Gordon Cloade’s fortune would revert to his relatives.
There are several people with a very strong motive for murder, but when the first victim is discovered, it is not Rosaleen. Hercule Poirot becomes involved and of course, smoothes out the tangled skeins of a plot where things and people are not always what they seem to be.
In my opinion, this is one of Agatha Christie’s least satisfying murder mystery books – it’s clever, of course, but I find it hard to really care about any of the characters and there is a clue that is very obvious and quite unlike the usual Agatha Christie skilful legerdemain. Even the great Hercule Poirot seems a little lethargic in this story; maybe the privations of war have taken their toll!
It is some years since I last read Taken at the Flood and I can see why I left it on the shelf for so long – as far as I’m concerned, it’s all a bit disappointing. Having said that, had it been written by anyone else, I would probably think it was really good. And even the brilliant Agatha Christie can’t please all the people all the time!
I am quite sure there will be Agatha Christie fans who disagree with my opinion – as I keep saying, the views expressed on this website are entirely personal. If you do disagree, let me know.
You can get hold of Taken at the Flood via the following links.Taken at the Flood