Destination Unknown

  • Novel
  • 1954

A young woman with nothing to live for is persuaded to embark on a suicide mission to find a missing scientist. When a number of leading scientists disappear without trace, concern grows within the international intelligence community. Are they being kidnapped? Blackmailed? Brainwashed? One woman appears to have the key to the mystery. Unfortunately, Olive Betteron now lies in a hospital bed, dying from injuries sustained in a Moroccan plane crash. Meanwhile, in a Casablanca hotel room, Hilary Craven prepares to take her own life. But her suicide attempt is about to be interrupted by a man who will offer her an altogether more thrilling way to die.

I don't go in for being sorry for people. For one thing it's insulting. One is only sorry for people if they are sorry for themselves. Self-pity is the biggest stumbling block in our world today.

Jessop, Destination Unknown

More about this story

A woman thinks she has nothing to live for – bereaved, divorced – she is saved from suicide by an opportunity to die in an altogether more thrilling way. Nuclear scientists, international intrigue and a touch of romance, Agatha Christie takes her readers on a wild excursion far from the country houses and cosy murders of England.

Bright, busy excursion into this topical and extravagant sphere.
The Times Literary Supplement

Christie based this book partly on the activities of two famous physicists of the early 1950s: Bruno Ponecorvo, who defected to Russia, and Emil Fuchs, who spied for the Russians. It is another of Christie’s light-hearted thriller novels featuring a daring and fearless heroine.

Did you know?

  1. It was first published as a novel in the UK in November 1954 and was published in the US under the title So Many Steps to Death.

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