I’ve watched the TV shows Poirot and Miss Marple, but I never did read any Agatha Christie before. Her books have always just been on the periphery of my mind. But I was just getting restless because I couldn’t decide what to read and so I thought, let’s pick up an interesting murder mystery. It’ll be a nice change of pace from my usual books. And it was definitely a great decision, because this was an impressive read.
The author is so successful at creating an eerie atmosphere throughout the novel. An isolated island cutoff from the world, stormy seas and howling winds just adding to the dread factor, ten people who are feeling the weight of the guilt of their past actions, and each murder making them even more suspicious of the others – all of this just keeps the reader on their toes, turning each page frantically on our own quest to find the culprit before the truth is revealed. The writing is sharp and clear, with short chapters somehow accentuating the drama. The author is also so awesome at keeping us guessing throughout, we keep changing our suspicions from one person to the other pretty quickly but can never decide on one. Even the way each character’s past action is revealed is masterful, and the way the guilt creeps up on them and they handle each murder is pretty nightmarish to read about. And the nursery rhyme which forms the basis for the whole story is damn terrifying in itself. I’m already quite bad at guessing the bad guy, so it was no surprise that I could get no handle on the murderer who planned this whole clever plot, but I think this will be the case for most readers as well. Christie just doesn’t give us many chances to unravel the mystery.
I’m sure many already know about the marvels of Agatha Christie’s writings, so I don’t need to do any recommending. But if you are a newbie, then this would be a great book from the author’s canon to start with. It is atmospheric, has an eclectic group of characters and an almost perfect unsolvable murder mystery. I can’t wait to jump into some of Poirot’s books which my friends have duly suggested and vouched for.