Nemesis

Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭
I am on the last bit of Nemesis for the 2nd Time and loved it as much as the first time, I do think Jason Raphiel could have given Miss Marple more of a hint as to what he wanted her to do something like "Please find the Truth" secondly I think it would be great if Cooke and Barrow were 2 of Mr Goby's Operatives and I do hope Miss Marple didn't appologise to Joanne and Emlyb for suspecting them after the way they treated Joanna's Relative.
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  • This is one of the books where I think the script of the Joan Hickson movie really brought the story a new dimension. Making Michael Rafiel a homeless "advocate of the poor" instead of a rather negative character in prison made the story more human and compelling for me. But the book itself is interesting. The Motif of the elderly guardian who cannot let go of a young protege is one that occupied other writers as well - e.g. "The clock strikes 12" by Patricia Wentworth. 
  • StaceStace Uttar Pradesh, India Investigator
    I agree that Rafiel should have given some hints to Miss Marple but I am afraid this might have spoiled the plot altogether and the eagerness of the readers as there would have been no scope for hazarding guesses.I hope you understand....:)
  • Tommy_A_JonesTommy_A_Jones Gloucestershire, United Kingdom ✭✭✭✭
    There was a sought of Christie parallel as Raphael didn't want to say to much in order not to influence Miss Marple and Agatha Christie didn't want to be influenced by how people were so when she saw someone she might put in a book she was disappointed when she heard her speak on another occasion she saw some people in a Hotel and left so she didn't meet them.  
  • LukeMcLArenLukeMcLAren Greece Investigator
    There was a sought of Christie parallel as Raphael didn't want to say to much in order not to influence Miss Marple and Agatha Christie didn't want to be influenced by how people were so when she saw someone she might put in a book she was disappointed when she heard her speak on another occasion she saw some people in a Hotel and left so she didn't meet them.  
    Yes, those people were a family like the crippled man in The Body in the Library.
  • ChristieFanForLife ChristieFanForLife ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2016
    I am on the last bit of Nemesis for the 2nd Time and loved it as much as the first time, I do think Jason Raphiel could have given Miss Marple more of a hint as to what he wanted her to do something like "Please find the Truth" 
    I think the reason why Jason Rafiel didn't specifically elaborate in his letter to Miss Marple the nature of the crime is simple -- because it would have been no use. It would have been pointless. Through his experience with Miss Marple in "A Caribbean Mystery", he saw Miss Marple as one who had a natural flair for crime, is a defender and advocator of justice and truth and thus labeled her "nemesis" -- one who is for the cause of punishing the offender. He saw Miss Marple as one who was not afraid to look for the truth no matter how frightening, shocking or dark it turned out to be. If he said in his letter "please vindicate my son" it would have clearly been a waste of his time. That request would have been ignored by Miss Marple and he knew that for he knew what she was all about. She wouldn't allow feelings/emotions or any bias, even Jason Rafiel's, to get in her way. In her mind, she would explore the possibility as to whether Michael did indeed commit the murder as well as to whether he didn't -- she would explore all possibilities. Jason Rafiel saw Miss Marple as one who was merely about the facts and like a bloodhound would go to any lengths to get it. And even if Jason Rafiel mentioned the case of his son in the letter what more could he say? What could he offer that would be of importance? In some sense it would have been colored with bias anyway. As we read later on in the story Mr. Rafiel tried to help and assist his son numerous times so he did care about his welfare. No, he wanted MIss Marple to work from the ground up, hear the facts and what others had to say -- those who had no emotional family connection to Michael -- and sort through that.


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • ChristieFanForLife ChristieFanForLife ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2016
    When Agatha wrote Nemesis, her imagination and ability to plot a story was still there, even at an advanced age. It's not the perfect mystery but it's surely an interesting one. I would much rather have this mystery in the Christie canon then not at all. Sure it's flawed in many spots. Some of the writing is a little heavy, burdensome and repetitive. There are some scenes that I felt could have been omitted or shortened. If only her editors revised and tightened the story, I think Nemesis could have been a grand slam, though different from her earlier works. Usually her later books are not talked about as fondly accept Endless Night which many say is the best of her later works. Nemesis could have easily been in the same category as Endless Night. There are some plot holes and shockingly her editors didn't notice it . . . .or maybe they did. It's a great possibility that her editors were focusing more on churning out the next "Christie for Christmas". But I know that later in Christie's life her books were mostly transcribed from a dictaphone that she used, resulting in her wordy narrative and dialogue. I remember a quote in which she said: 

    “There is no doubt that the effort involved in typing or writing does help me in keeping to the point. Economy of wording, I think, is particularly necessary in detective stories. You don’t want to hear the same thing rehashed three or four times over. But it is tempting when one is speaking into a dictaphone to say the same thing over and over again in slightly different words. Of course, one can cut it out later, but that is irritating, and destroys the smooth flow which one gets otherwise.”
    Maybe Christie's editors were willing to revise and tighten the story but she didn't want to go through all the trouble and at the risk of ruining what she already wrote -- the risk of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Who knows, but it's sure interesting to think about.


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • ChristieFanForLife ChristieFanForLife ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2016
    I'm sorry I'm talking so much about this book but I'm currently reading it and I'm excited about it. 

    I have heard from many that the reason why Jason Rafiel didn't mention the case or anything about his son to Miss Marple was so that he wouldn't influence her. But Miss Marple wasn't a woman who could easily be influenced by anyone, even as someone she knew like Rafiel. Miss Marple is a woman who explores all avenues, not taking what anyone say, including their biases at face value. All throughout the Miss Marple books, she mentions numerous times of not trusting others so easily. Not that she didn't trust Jason Rafiel but she sure wasn't going to take his opinion of his son Michael being innocent if he addressed that in his letter and run with it, without questioning and picking through that. And Mr. Rafiel had enough sense and knew her well enough to know that.


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • I think there is another reason, or rather background, to Jason Rafiel's reticence - that he is used to playing a lone hand. He is a "poor boy who made good" - that is, advanced professionally and got rich. A person like that tends not to trust other people any more than he has to, and to keep control in his own hands as much as possible (like the grandfather in "Crooked house").. So - he doesn't tell Miss Marple anything, but sets up a series of meetings - with the professor, the teacher, the weird sisters, the archdeacon - to let her gather information - controlling her actions and discoveries from the grave. But the actual result of his manipulation and lack of information may well be the death of the schoolteacher. Perhaps if Miss Marple had known in advance what she was looking for - e.i. information about Michael Rafiel and Verity Hunt - and that Elizabeth Temple had been Verity's teacher - she would have interrogated Elisabeth Temple more fully at an earlier point, and gained at least a suspicion of the true killer, which could have saved Miss Temple's life. A similar idea, but twisted around, is used in "Halloween Party" where Rowena Blake tells Poirot she didn't see anyone at the library door, and after Leonard is killed, she says she did see him but thought it better not to say anything... and she was wrong. (But in that story, there is a double twist to the manipulating behavior...Read it!). 
  • ChristieFanForLife ChristieFanForLife ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2016
    @taliavishay-arbel, good point and makes perfect sense as to why Jason Rafiel didn't reveal anything to Miss Marple. But I think there's also another reason, or another angle to look at why he didn't reveal anything to Miss Marple in his letter. He knew that Professor Wanstead, Elizabeth Temple, the Bradbury-Scott sisters, and the archdeacon with great possibility knew and possessed certain insights and opinions -- insights that I think that Jason didn't have and wouldn't have access to. Even if Jason lived, I don't think he would have snuffed out the truth on his own. He would have still used an outsider to do that. People would be more willing to talk to an outsider and Miss Marple was that outsider. She possessed such a perfect camouflage. 


    “People in the dark are quite different, aren’t they?”  ― A Murder Is Announced 
  • ChristieFanForLife, I agree, but he could have told her to approach them. This reminds me of a personal case: My daughter was attacked and threatened at school, by the mother of another pupil, during English class. She came home and said nothing. That evening, her English teacher called me, told me something had happened, she couldn't report to me, but I should talk to my daughter. I talked to my daughter, got the story, went to the principal the next morning and that mother was ordered to stay away from school on threat of a complaint to the police. In the same way, Jason Rafiel could have given Miss Marple the names of the people she should approach, without any additional information. As I said, it might (or might not) have saved Miss Temple's life.
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