"The Witness for the Prosecution" is a short story and play by British author Agatha Christie. The story was initially published as "Traitor's Hands" in Flynn's. The Witness for the Prosecution book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Previously published in the print anthologies The. Agatha Christie's Witness for the Prosecution has been thrilling audiences since the early s. The play started life as a short story, The.
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Witness for the Prosecution and Other Stories is a collection of eleven tantalizing tales of murder and other criminal pursuits—including the classic title story, the. Overview. The Witness for the Prosecution, by British author Agatha Christie, is a short story which was later turned into a play. It was originally. You see, the first aim of the prosecution will be to establish that Charles called his few witnesses, the prisoner himself went into the box and told his story.
Romaine is the young woman Leonard met in the trench — an image Phelps returns to to open the second part of the drama, as the pair emerge from the trench to face the desolated world together. Money changes everything and viciously Romaine testifies against him.
The two-parts grip from beginning to end, with a heavy film noir influence created by a dark and foggy portrayal of London. The period details of the era are exact and the intricate storytelling, playing with memories, flashbacks and multiple perspectives, make for a compelling mystery.
The courtroom climaxes with women at the centre of the manipulations and distrusted by the prosecution. But in true Christie form, the story is far from over. Sunny France is where we eventually find out the truth, as Mayhew is reunited with Leonard and Romaine Vole, and at his lowest ebb forced to confront the ghosts of his own past.
And with quality drama like this, long may it continue. Vole though is delighted to hear of Miss Mackenzie's testimony about the visitor at nine-thirty as he was with his wife, Romaine , at the time and she can provide him with an alibi.
Mayherne has already wired Mrs Vole to return from a trip to Scotland to see him and he goes to her house to interview her. He is surprised to find that she is foreign and is staggered when she cries out her hatred of Vole and that he is not her husband — she was an actress in Vienna and her real husband is still living there but in an asylum.
She alleges that Vole returned from Miss French's an hour later than he claims and, not being her lawful husband, she can testify against him in court. Romaine Heilger does indeed appear as a witness for the prosecution at the committal hearing and Vole is sent for trial. In the intervening period, Mayherne tries to find evidence that will discredit Romaine but he is unsuccessful until he receives a scrawled and badly-spelt letter which directs him to call at an address in Stepney and ask for Miss Mogson if he wants evidence against the "painted foreign hussy".
He does so and in a reeking tenement slum meets a bent middle-aged crone of a woman with terrible scars on her face caused by the throwing of sulfuric acid. This attack was carried out by a man by the name of Max who Romaine Heilger is now having an affair with.
Miss Mogson herself was involved with Max herself many years before but Romaine took him away from her. Meyherne is passed a series of letters written by Romaine to Max, all dated, which prove that Vole is innocent and that Romaine is lying to be rid of him. Mayherne pays the crone twenty pounds for the letters which are then read out at the trial. Witness for the Prosecution follows the tale of Leonard Vole, a young man accused of the murder of the elderly Emily French in London.
The story was first published in the s and later appeared in collections in the UK and the U. Its late-in-the-day plot twist is legendary, though Christie herself later added a small fraction to it, as she was unhappy with it. As with every time I read Christie, I invested in the play by envisioning what it must have been like in the s, when the world was simpler and less dark.
Does his wife love him, or does she loathe him? What of the murdered woman, at points referred to as competent and at others referred to as struggling? In the game of a trial, what does it mean to win or lose?