ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie became, and still remains, the best-selling mystery writer of all time. She is best known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections. Christie is also credited with the world’s longest-running play – The Mousetrap. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language alone, and another billion in translation.
And Then There Were None is the story of ten individuals who are invited to an isolated house on Soldier Island, Devon. During their first dinner together, a recorded message accuses each one of them of a terrible crime. One by one, they begin to die. One of guests must be the killer, and the story progresses as the list of suspects narrows down.
In the midst of life, we are in death.
The well thought-out and organized plot underlines the detail-oriented approach of the gifted author in Christie. A common occurrence when readings books regarded as classics, is that they can be overly descriptive in nature. And Then There Were None is nothing of the sort and has the perfect length for a murder mystery novel. Slightly shy of 240 pages, this book is pretty easy to read, direct and easily keeps the reader engaged throughout.
Toward the end of the novel, there are moments that leave the reader wondering if the story is an open-ended one. Hardcore readers of murder mystery novels will attest to the frustration that follows unanswered questions at the end of a riveting read. And Then There Were None, however, leaves nothing to chance. Christie adroitly piques the readers’ curiosity throughout the book. But, by the end, she pulls things together in a casual manner and answers all the questions without being excessively outrageous.
By and large, the plot is fairly easy to follow. It has enough mystery and thrill to keep the readers entertained from start to finish. After every assassination, the reader is quite sure about the killer’s identity, only to find out how erroneous their assumption had been. Multiple perspectives are essential to a novel of this literary level, for it adds to the air of suspicion prevalent among the characters. The strong background of the story is bound to take every reader along on a breathtaking journey.
I don’t know. I don’t know at all. And that’s what’s frightening the life out of me. To have no idea…
Probably the only downside of this masterpiece is that the characters are very hard to relate to. Some readers have an innate tendency to feel sorry for some of the characters. Others might like to pick a favorite and hope that they somehow survive to the end. However, one of the darkest aspects of And Then There Were None is the glaring absence of a “good guy”. All the characters appear equally guilty in more ways than one.
And Then There Were None is a grim but captivating mystery. Characters are first introduced just so that readers can distinguish them. But, as the book progresses, one gains deeper insights into the inner workings of their minds. This, in turn, builds the suspense and sets the stage for an engrossing ending. Notwithstanding its grisly nature, this is an exciting book by all accounts. It stands out for its page-turning plot and Christie’s masterful construction around the spooky nursery rhyme. Grabbing 3.8 stars out of 5, it is the perfect book for someone looking for a mentally stimulating yet quick read.
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