top of page

Fiction featuring Care Experience

looked after.jpg

Ordeal by Innocence (Novel)

Agatha Christie


Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence was first published in 1958.

There are 5 adoptees in the novel, all now adults and adopted into the one family by Rachel Argyle. Rachel was killed 2 years before the story opens.

Rachel Argyle had set up a refuge for children whose homes were bombed during WWII. She was so enthusiastic about her work she adopted 5 children, “those from particularly unsatisfactory homes or who were orphans” (53, 2017, HarperCollins).

A central theme in Ordeal by Innocence is nature vs nurture, whether a privileged environment can overcome hereditary ‘weaknesses’. Christie’s psychological approach was, apparently, much criticised as was an element of racism in the story.

Ordeal by Innocence was adapted for film in 1985 and for television in 2007 (ITV), 2009 (France) France, and 2018 (BBC One).

bottom of page