If I was to give a general overview of this novel it would sound like a classic Christie whodunnit: the big country house, the strange upper-crust family who all suffer from chronic emotional repression, tortured relationships, the victim found dying by the swimming-pool, and his murderer found standing over him with the gun in her hand. And, of course, M Poirot is conveniently staying down in the village. But all that would be doing Dame Agatha a disservice. Because in 'The Hollow' she has created something much more complex than that. The characters are far more multi-dimensional than you would think at a first glance (except perhaps for Veronica Clay, who is just a stereotypical selfish movie diva). The most striking example of this is her portrayal of Lucy Angkatell, the eccentric matriarch of the family. At first it looks as though Lucy is just going to be a tiresomely loveable "batty" character, but there is a disturbing, almost inhuman, darkness just below the surface, which confuses and unnerves her family when they glimpse it. (And let's face it, there is something decidedly odd about a person who views somebody being murdered in their garden as a bit of welcome light-relief to the usual daily round!). Also, in her portrayal of Henrietta Savernake, the sculptress, the author shows how single-minded the creative person often has to be. Poirot himself seems rather subdued in this story. Dame Agatha herself reputedly hated this book, because she felt Poirot ruined it. He doesn't of course, but he does seem strangely lost and ethereal without his usual good friends, Captain Hastings, Miss Lemon, and Inspector Japp around him. There is a peculiarly haunting quality to this novel.