“The murder is the end. The story begins long before that — years before sometimes— with all the causes events that bring people to a certain place at a certain time on a certain day. All converging towards a given point…. And then the time comes — over the top! Zero hour.”
These lines are said by the family lawyer in Zero Hour. What is ironic that he too is killed by the crafty murderer who posts an “out of order” sign on a perfectly functional lift. The elderly lawyer who suffers from heart disease climbs up three storeys and dies of a heart attack. This quotation can be true of any murder particularly one in a country house setting. Apart from favourite Agatha Christie motifs like a closed circle of suspects, family quarrels etc., Towards Zero features one of my favourite sleuths : Superintendent Battle
Superintendent Battle of Scotland Yatd is the complete opposite of Agatha ‘s most popular detective Hercule Poirot. Battle is serious ,solid and reliable. Superficially seeming wooden and unimaginative he has a sense of humour and what is most useful to a detective, a thorough understanding of human nature. You can find the Superintendent in two other books, The Secret of Chimneys and The Seven Dials Mystery.