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|“||As it was always your intention that she should. You wanted to crush the very soul of this simple Catholic girl. To make her so terrified by the state of her own life that she would deliver it to you. Maintained by morphine, ruled by terror; Eileen Corrigan would do whatever you told her to do. Why? WHY? Because you, Monsieur, offered her salvation if she did. And... the fires of hell if she did not.||„|
|~ Poirot accusing David Hunter for taking control over Eileen Corrigan (TV series).|
David Hunter is the main antagonist of Agatha Christie's 1948 Hercule Poirot novel, Taken at the Flood, and the brother of Rosaleen Cloade. He was a daring commando in the war and a gambler in life, and a golddigger who intentionally take over the Cloade fortune.
After the subsequent death of Gordon his sister during the German Air Force's aerial bombing, he persuaded Gordon Cloade's housemaid Eileen Corrigan to pose as Rosaleen, since none of Gordon's relatives had ever met her. However, he later killed Eileen so that he could marry Lynn Marchmont, whom he genuinely loved. In the TV series, he committed the murder of Gordon Cloade and the real Rosalin by the bombing.
He was portrayed by Elliot Cowan in Agatha Christie's Poirot, who also portrayed Ah Ling. In the BBC Radio 4 adaptation, he was voiced by Tom George.
In the Novel
In Agatha Christie's Poirot
In Agatha Christie's Poirot, David is even more sinister, malevolent and cruel than his novel counterpart. His murder of Gordon Cloade and Rosaleen is upgraded into a mass murder, during a guest party with 13 other people presented at the scene.
In this version, David was having incestuous feelings towards Rosaleen and was jealous when she married Gordon instead, merely excluding her brother as her "first love". He then forced Eileen to submit over his command by raping her and forced her to undergo an abortion, so that she could become his obedient puppet in and out. After making Eileen to look like Rosaleen and faked their injuries, David killed Gordon with a bomb that killed 13 people in all, way more than just one man in the original novel.
In addition, David's attempt to poison Eileen with an overdose also failed due to Dr. Woodward's addiction to the drug leading him to steal some morphine from her and replaced it with castor oil.
After David was denounced for his crimes in the Stag Inn, he threatened to blow it all up with everyone inside it. However, Lynn talked him into sparing all of them because he could not afford to kill her, since she knew he was genuinely in love with her. David then relented and revealed he placed no dynamite in the room, as he only wanted to trick Poirot as a cruel joke and gloated how the detective fell for it. After his arrest, David was hanged for murder.
- David Hunter, particularly his TV series counterpart, is one of the most evil and manipulative murderers in Agatha Christie's Poirot series. The TV series had him crossed the Moral Event Horizon through rape and mass murder that costed 12 lives, including the real Rosaleen Cloade. His only "redeeming" factor is that he genuinely loves Lynn Marchmont.
- As a result, his body count in the 2007 TV film adaptation even exceeded Lawrence Wargrave, who has most of the onscreen body counts in Agatha Christie's novels.
- David Hunter is one of the most notable example of a double twist used in Christie's novels.