Agatha Christie’s Evil Under the Sun is a Hercule Poirot mystery in which the intrepid detective finds himself working a murder on a resort island off the English coast. There is a large cast of potential suspects and one body, that of a promiscuous actress who had been blatantly carrying on with a married man. In short: murder, most foul.
It wasn’t as good as the only other Christie novel I’ve read (Murder on the Orient Express) but I did enjoy it, although I started to have a sense of how the murder had occured before Poirot figured it out.
Sawyer is seen reading Evil Under the Sun in Season 3 of Lost in the Nikki and Paolo episode “Expose,” an episode that is essentially a muder mystery.
Like Lost, Evil Under the Sun has a large cast and takes place on an island. There aren’t any big clues about Lost’s mythology hidden in the pages either, which seemes appropriate as “Expose” represents a break from reveals about the island, serving mostly as just good, albeit twisted, entertainment. Kind of like Christie’s novels: nothing earth shattering, but loads of fun.
There is, however, a clue in the book that hints at the way the episode plays out. In Evil Under the Sun, (watch out, here come spoilers) the actress’s corpse is found on the beach. Her lover goes to try to save her, while the woman who discovers the body with him runs off for help. Eventually, we learn that the “body” was a ruse; it was the murderer’s female accomplice. Now he can murder his lover, the actress, while the woman who went off for help can vouch that he was with her the whole time.
In “Expose”, Nikki, an actress who may or may not be promiscuous but is a murderer,� shows up seemingly dead on the beach. The episode revolves around finding out who killed her and her lover, Paolo. Only at the very end, do we learn that she wasn’t dead. Unfortunately for her, only the audience sees her eyes open as Hurley and Sawyer are busy shoveling sand on top her in the island graveyard.
In this case, the inclusion of a book served to signal the type of episode we’re seeing (murder mystery) and offer a possible clue. Perhaps if Sawyer had read it more carefully, he might have realized that while Nikki seemed dead, she might not really be dead, but as we learned with the whole Of Mice and Men incident, Sawyer doesn’t always read that carefully.
Season 4 of Lost starts on Thursday with “The Beginning of the End.” Sometime before then, I will post my thoughts on Aldous Huxley’s Island, the last of the Lost books on my list. In the meantime, Brian at Lost…and Gone Forever has a great preview with no spoilers and lots of good theorizin’.
An index of all my Lost Book Club posts is here.