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Patrick Redfern in Evil Under the Sun (Agatha Christie's Poirot)

In the novel Evil Under the Sun, Patrick Redfern is the husband of Christine Redfern. He and Christine stay at the Jolly Roger Hotel. In the hotel register, their address is given as Crossgates, Seldon, Princes Risborough.

Patrick is described as being a "good specimen of humanity". He is lean and bronzed, "with broad shoulders and narrow thighs". He has black hair. He has a "kind of infectious enjoyment and gaiety", and a "native simplicity" which endears him to all women and most men. He smokes cigarettes.

According to Poirot, Patrick is "a magnificent swimmer, a good tennis player and accomplished dancer".

At the beginning of the novel, Poirot and other hotel guests see Patrick on the beach, where he sits with Arlena Marshall instead of joining his wife as he had originally intended.

Patrick and Christine later have an argument where she says that he wanted to go to the Jolly Roger Hotel, knowing that Arlena would be there. He tells her not to have such a suspicious attitude. When she tells him that she wants to leave, he refuses. This argument is overheard by Poirot.

Patrick enjoys sailing, which he says is the best fun in the world. He mentions that he used to spend most of his time as a boy in a sailing dinghy in the area where the Jolly Roger Hotel is presently located. He tells Poirot that he knew the area before the hotel had been built, and was always looking for secret passages from the old house to Pixy's Cave.

On the morning of the murder, Patrick sits on the beach, and seems impatient for Arlena to arrive. According to Mrs Gardener, he begins to look "just like a thundercloud", and when he begins pacing up and down the beach, she describes him as being "like a tiger".

Patrick later asks Miss Brewster if he can join her on her morning row, and proposes that they row right around the island. He rows with a powerful stroke.

After seeing Arlena at Pixy Cove, Patrick rows inshore, telling Miss Brewster that there is plenty of time. He gives her "a naïve pleading look rather like that of an importunate dog".

Patrick finds that Arlena has been strangled, and he stays with the body while Miss Brewster goes to notify the police. As Miss Brewster is rowing away, she sees him drop down beside the body, with his head in his hands. She thinks that he looks like "a dog watching by its dead master".

Patrick later tells Colonel Weston, Poirot and Inspector Colgate that he was infatuated with Arlena, and she had wanted him to go to the Jolly Roger Hotel. He had not considered a divorce, because of Christine, and he was also sure that Arlena had never thought of such a thing as well.

When Colonel Weston suggests that Christine might have killed Arlena out of jealousy, Patrick says that it is impossible, as Christine has no violence in her. He also says that Arlena was physically twice as strong as Christine, and that he doubts Christine could even strangle a kitten.

While searching the rooms of the hotel guests, Poirot notices the "traces of two different individualities" in the Redferns' room. There is a neatness which Poirot associates with Christine, and a "picturesque disorder" which he associates with Patrick.

Patrick later shows Colonel Weston, Poirot and Reverend Lane the entrance to Pixy's Cave.

Towards the end of the novel, Patrick and Christine join Poirot and other hotel guests on a picnic. Poirot observes Christine springing from rock to rock, and sees that Patrick is never far from her. Patrick also helps Miss Brewster when she experiences giddiness while crossing a narrow plank bridge over a river.

Spoilers ahead

He murdered his first wife Alice Corrigan and his lover, actress Arlena Marshall. He appeared to have found Arlena's dead body at 11:45, but it was actually his wife posing as a corpse. Arlena was strangled after her body was discovered, an unique twist in the bibliography of Agatha Christie.

When Poirot tells Patrick that he and Christine were recognized by the Surrey police from a photograph, he becomes enraged, and attacks Poirot.

Portrayals

1982 film

In the 1982 Evil Under the Sun movie, Redfern was portrayed by Nicholas Clay.

Agatha Christie's Poirot

In the Agatha Christie's Poirot episode adapted from the novel, he was portrayed by Michael Higgs.

Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie

In Ding Dingue Dong, the France Télévisions adaptarion of Evil Under the Sun, the parallel character of Patrick Redfern is Nathan Steiner. Here he murdered Arlena (named Clarisse Rodier), but there is no mention of a previous murder.

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