This book reads like a weird James Bond - Inspector Clouseau - Sherlock Holmes mashup. Does this make the book any better? No, it doesn´t. The Big Four is a bad novel and as the story progressed it became more and more ridiculous.
I can´t necessarily complain about the characters as they are pretty much themselves, Poirot a condescending and pompous ass and Hastings the loyal sidekick, who has to suffer from Poirots remarks. It´s just the way Christie is setting up her characters and I´m okay with that (although I repeatedly felt the urge to kick Poirot).
Utterly laughable, though, is the secret criminal organization of The Big Four:
Sorry, wrong secret organization, but that is how I picture them. After having read the book, I´m still not sure what they were trying to achive:
No, that´s not it. Maybe this:
Honestly, that would have been pretty cool. But no. The only thing we learn about their agenda is that they want to rule the world. How they are planning to do this and why the whole world should be threatened by these four people, Christie doesn´t elaborate on. And what did Poirot do to get in the way of these people? Christie doesn´t explain anything and she has managed to create a whole bunch of watered down characters, who are laughable criminals:
I just don´t get these criminals.
No, this was not a great read. But since I didn´t take it seriously, it was kind of a fun read. And let me conclude with Dr. Evil saying:
See, I totally get him.