Thursday, August 29, 2013

And Then There Were None

by Agatha Christie
published: Berkley Books, 1991 (first published
pages: 204

Ten people who have never met are invited to Indian Island by a mysterious host.  None of them knew that they would meet a cruel fate. Shortly after arriving, people begin to die according to the an old nursery rhyme.  As the tension and fear rises, each person tries to figure out who the murderer is before they become the next victim.

Once again, Agatha Christie threw me for a loop.  She always manages to surprise me, even to the very end.  I've said it before, I love trying to figure out the mystery before the book does, but I was stumped.  At one point, I was willing to believe that there was something supernatural at work.  I knew that wasn't the case, but I really had no idea.

I loved that so much of the story was based on a nursery rhyme, "Ten Little Indians".  It makes it creepy and at the same time exciting.  We knew how the next person was going to die, we just didn't know who it would be or when it would happen.  This kept me on my toes.

Rarely do I throw out the word brilliant, but this story itself was, well, brilliant.  All the characters were brought together because they were outside the law.  I thought this premise was incredible and some what understandable in a twisted vigilante justice way.

Each character justified themselves in different ways and went about trying to lay blame on others.  Their thought processes showed a lot of their character in a short period of time.  This book takes place over the span of two or three days, and we only know those characters for that long and yet, we know them.  These characters let their actions speak loudly.  I love that kind of characterization.

I shall be reading much more Agatha Christie in the near future.

Stars: 5/5


"The whole thing is utterly impossible and utterly fascinating.  It is the most baffling mystery Agatha Christie has ever written."
--New York Times

"There is no cheating; the reader is just bamboozled in a straightforward way from the first to last.... The most colossal achievement of a colossal career.  The book must rank with Mrs. Christie's previous best- on the top notch of detection."
--New Statesman (UK)

"The most astonishingly impudent, ingenious and altogether successful mystery story since The Murder of Roger Ackroyd."
--Daily Herald (UK)

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