|“||Simon was mine and he loved me, then she came along and... sometimes, I just want to put this gun right against her head, and ever so gently, pull the trigger. When I hear that sound more and more...||„|
|~ Jacqueline de Bellefort to Poirot, on the terms of Linnet (in 1978 film)|
Linnet Doyle, née Ridgeway, is the a major character of Death on the Nile, a Hercule Poirot novel written by the late Agatha Christie, which one of the most legendary works by Christie herself. She is also the novel's first and central victim.
Linnet Ridgeway is a rich and successful socialite, and the former best friend of Jacqueline de Bellefort and the wife of Simon Doyle, whom she intentionally stolen from Jacqueline and broke their friendship apart. It fueled the hatred from both Jacqueline and Simon, motivating them into killing her and take her money for revenge.
- In the 1978 film adaptation of Death on the Nile, Linnet was portrayed by Lois Chiles, who also portrayed Millie Bingham Stafford in Murder, She Wrote.
- In the 2004 TV episode adaptation of the novel, featured in Agatha Christie's Poirot, she was portrayed by Emily Blunt, who also voiced Tempest Shadow in My Little Pony: The Movie and played Freya in The Huntsman: A Winter's Tale.
- In the upcoming 2020 film adaptation, she will be portrayed by Gal Gadot, who also portrayed Gisele Yashar in Fast & Furious franchise.
Linnet first appeared in the novel requesting Poirot for help, since she discovered that her former best friend, Jacqueline, was in a fit of murderous hatred towards her due to marrying Jacqueline's ex-lover, Simon Doyle. Although initially presented as a victim of the story, Linnet Ridgeway is actually considered as a villainous victim, like many other victims in Agatha Christie's works that are even worse and more despicable than their killers. In the 1978 film, it became more explicit since during her journey in Egypt in three days, there were three people (including Jacqueline) had obvious motives to kill her off out of despise.
Vainglorious, spoiled and deceiving, Linnet betrayed the friendship between her and Jacqueline by stealing Simon for herself, fueling both Jacqueline and Simon's motive into killing her for revenge and her money. In addition, Linnet had several other people's houses being demolished because she considered them to make her own property looked very unsightly. Even though most of the people agreed with her decision, there were others who refused to move. Linnet later compensated them to build new houses.
Alongside her maid Louise Bourget, because of her actions, Linnet is shown as one of the two unsympathetic victims of Death on the Nile, while Simon and Jacqueline are considered as two of the most sympathetic murderers in Agatha Christie's works. Even so, there are hints that Linnet is remorseful over her actions and treachery towards her former best friend. She was eventually killed by Simon, who already tried to steal her fortune and planned the murder alongside Jacqueline by faking his romantic feelings towards her.
- In Agatha Christie's Poirot, while Simon and Jacqueline's plot remained the same to the novels, it showed that Linnet fell for Simon immediately after Jacqueline introduced him to her. Therefore, as hinted in this adaptation, she stole Jacqueline's lover anyway even without noticing Simon's original intention.
- In addition, in the very same adaptation, Linnet was shown to snort coccaine, while in the original novel, she was never suggested to be a drug addict.