I am a big police procedural and mystery fan, but I have never read any Agatha Christie. This is so embarrassing, but I did watch the movies – Murder on the Orient Express (1974) and Evil Under the Sun (1982). So I thought I should try one and googled for her best novel. This one came out tops.
Considered the best mystery novel ever written by many readers, And Then There Were None is the story of ten strangers, each lured to Soldier Island by a mysterious host. Once his guests have arrived, the host accuses each person of murder. Unable to leave the island, the guests begin to share their darkest secrets – until they begin to die, one by one.
The big picture is easy – it is a deadly game of slow and clever decimation to zero. It is the execution that is sheer class. How do you make ten people die without it becoming repetitive and ridiculous or the murderer stand out like a sore thumb? Let Queen of Mystery show you. The prose is simple and purposeful. Things don’t happen immediately because each of the ten characters needs a back story, but Christie doesn’t drown you in unnecessary details. When the first body drops things move fast. I love Christie’s use of dialogue between the characters left to address the questions swirling in my mind, and I definitely love her clever misdirection and delicate placement of red herrings. The ending is quite the mindfcuk and it left me stunned out of my senses. Thankfully, there is an epilogue that explains everything in a satisfying manner.
This my first Agatha Christie and it won’t be my last. Any suggestions of which of her other books I should hunt down at the library? I rather hear from the readers out there. In the meantime, I heard great things about the 3-episode mini-series (2015) and I can’t wait to see that, but not until the missus finishes the book.