Ordeal by Innocence, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Evidence that clears the name of a boy sentenced for killing his adopted mother arrives too late to save his life - so who did kill her? According to the courts, Jacko Argyle bludgeoned his mother to death with a poker.

The sentence was life imprisonment But when Dr Arthur Calgary turns up a year later with the proof that confirms Jacko's innocence, he is too late - Jacko died behind bars from a bout of pneumonia. Worse still, the doctor's revelations re-open old wounds in the family, increasing the likelihood that the real murderer will strike again...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic crime
  • ISBN: 9780007154913

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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

Another of her books without Poirot or Miss Marple. Jacko Argyle died in prison having been convicted for killing his mother, except he is innocent and Dr Calgary, the man who proves Jacko innocent, is stunned by how disturbed Jacko's family are by his revelation as this means that one of them must be guilty. Lots of twists and turns to this plot and, of course, more death, but the revelation of the murderer and the motive is satisfactory.

Review by

I started reading this on a plane and thought how much more appropriate it would have been to read "Death in the Clouds".... the book started off in a style which to me as an avid Christie fan was unfamiliar. Nevertheless the book did contain a good deal of the wit and humour that is expected in Christie's novels and presented an interesting "closed room" murder mystery. The problem was the room was too tightly closed and everyone had an alibi as tight as a drum. Backed into a corner many second rate writers resort to the device of deus ex machina to resolve the unresolvable.I was disapponited that Christie fell back on this unsatisfying method of storytelling. The evidence of a child came out of the blue and was so nebulous as to signify very little in the unfolding of the tale, whilst the reader does not get to share in the detections of Dr. Calgary, and the ending of the novel was rather dubious. As an entertainment this was a perfect piece of airport reading.