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In the novel Appointment with Death, Raymond Boynton is the stepson of Mrs Boynton. He is smitten with Sarah King. They later marry.

Before the events of the novel, Raymond had spoken to Sarah King on the train from Kantara. She got the sense that he was excited "out of all proportion", and "quite absurdly apprehensive at the same time".

At the beginning of the novel, Raymond has a conversation with his sister, Carol, where they plan to kill their stepmother. Part of this conversation is overheard by Poirot.

Raymond is described as having "almost a Greek head". There is a resemblance between him and Carol, as they are both "of the same racial type, small-boned, well-shaped, aristocratic looking". They have the same "slender well-formed hands, the same clean line of jaw, and the same poise of the head on a long, slender neck".

Dr Gerard judges that Raymond is "sensitive, perceptive, diffident and intensely suggestible". He also observes that although Raymond's physical health is obviously good, he is in a state of high nervous tension. He judges that Raymond is about twenty-three or four, but that he seems younger, because of mental maladjustment, which causes the child factor to persist.

In the lounge at the Solomon Hotel, Sarah speaks to Raymond, causing him to flush and shy "like a nervous horse". He hurries back to his family. When Sarah passes him on her way out of the room, he turns his head away from her. This action conveys to Dr Gerard the idea that Mrs Boynton had pulled an invisible string.

At the camp at Petra, Raymond encounters Sarah again, and looks at her with "an unbelievable joy", "as though he had seen a vision of Paradise". He tells her that he loves her, and that when Mrs Boynton tells him to do things, he does them because his nerves make him.

On the afternoon of the murder, Raymond goes for a walk together with other members of the Boynton family, Jefferson Cope, Sarah King, and Dr Gerard. Raymond chats to Dr Gerard, and later drifts apart from the others, together with Sarah. He tells Sarah that he wants to return to the camp on his own, and needs to prove to himself that he is not a coward, before he can come to her and ask her to help him.

Raymond later tells Poirot that the conversation between him and Carol where they planned to kill their stepmother was "the madness of an evening", and he never thought of the matter again. He says that he returned to camp on the day of the murder, and spoke to Mrs Boynton just before six o'clock. However, this contradicts Sarah King's statement that when she examined the body at half past six, Mrs Boynton had been dead for at least an hour.

It is later revealed that Raymond had returned to the camp, and found Mrs Boynton dead. This was a shock to him, as he had been planning to "have it out with her", and tell her that he was now a "free agent". He suspected that Carol might have carried out their plan to kill her.

Raymond explains that his plan was something he had read in an English detective story, where someone was killed by sticking an empty hypodermic needle into them. He had stolen Nadine Boynton's hypodermic syringe for this purpose.

At the end of the novel, Raymond and Sarah are married, and attend a production of Hamlet, in which Ginevra Boynton is performing. They later go to the Savoy for supper, together with other members of the family. Poirot is also there, and mentions that Raymond is becoming very eminent, and that he has read an excellent review of Raymond's latest book.

Portrayals

Appointment with Death (1988 film)

In the 1988 film adaption of Appointment with Death, Raymond Boynton is portrayed by John Terlesky. This portrayal is fairly faithful to the original novel. His conversation with Carol Boynton about their mother needing to die is depicted, as is their plan to kill her by injecting her with a syringe of air, something which he read about in a mystery magazine. Like in the original, he pairs off with Sarah King at the end.

Appointment with Death (2008)

In the 2008 ITV adaption of Appointment with Death, Raymond Boynton is portrayed by Tom Riley. In this case, he is adopted rather than a stepson. Leonard Boynton does not live with the others in the family. Raymond appears to assist Lady Boynton in her business affairs. At one point he says to her that he is uneasy being so far away and out of touch with developments on Wall Street. He first meets Sarah King when he comes forward to help her after she collapses from heat exhaustion near in a marketplace near their hotel. His conversation with Carol is depicted in abbreviated form but there is no admission of a plot to kill their adoptive mother during the denouement. In this adaptation, Raymond also pairs off with Sarah King at the end.

Les Petits Meurtres d'Agatha Christie

In Rendez-vous avec la mort, the French Televisions adaptation of the novel, the parallel character is Louis Berg.

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