In the novel Appointment with Death, Sarah King is a young English doctor travelling in the Middle East. She meets both Hercule Poirot and the Boynton family, an American family tormented by the sadistic Mrs Boynton.
She later marries Raymond Boynton.
Appointment with Death (1988 film)
In this adaptation, she is a friend of Hercule Poirot and they meet at Trieste before boarding the ship for Jaffa. While en route, she prescribes hyocine for Poirot, presumably to treat sea sickness. It was also in Trieste that she first meets Raymond Boynton and they strike up a relationship which continues on board the ship.
At Jerusalem, she and Raymond planned to meet at the Cafe El Arish but Raymond is prevented by Mrs Boynton and Carol Boynton comes to convey his apologies. She also gives Sarah the background about her family. A number of scenes in which Sarah appears in the novel are also depicted, notably one in which she was turned away from a church because she was wearing a dress without sleeves.
The same confrontation between Sarah and Mrs Boynton takes place as in the novel where Mrs Boynton appears to look past her and says that she never forgets a face.
At Qumran she plays the same role as at Petra in the novel. She examines the dead body of Mrs Boynton, and also discovers that her medical bag had been opened and her bottle of digitalis had been emptied.
There is then an additional side plot she is involved in. At Jerusalem, Hassan, a servant boy from Qumran wanted to meet Poirot because he thought he had seen something significant. During the meeting with Poirot, Hassan inexplicably runs away. Sarah offers to get him and runs after Hassan into the old city of Jerusalem. Rounding a corner, Sarah hears a shot. Hassan is dead on the ground. She picks up the pistol and is soon surrounded by locals who believe that she had killed Hassan. They draw knives and close in to exact revenge but are driven away by the timely arrival of the police. Sarah finds herself arrested for a while on suspicion of having shot Hassan because the only fingerprints on the gun were hers. However Poirot persuades Colonel Carbury to release her. He reasoned that Sarah was wearing a thin dress and could not have concealed a gun on her.
Like in the original novel, Sarah pairs off with Raymond Boynton at the end.
Appointment with Death (2008)
In the 2008 ITV adaption of Appointment with Death, Sarah King is portrayed by Christina Cole. Her role is fairly similar to that of the original novel. Here she first meets Raymond near the hotel when she collapsed from heat exhaustion and is rescued by him. She seemed an unlikely traveller to the archaeological dig at Ain Musa. Theodore Gerard remarked to Poirot that she looked like someone who simply stuck a pin on a map and decided where to go. Later, she told Poirot that she was travelling because she was inspired after reading the books of Dame Celia Westholme who in this adaptation was a famous traveller and explorer.