AND THEN THERE WERE NONE Review

And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie

Synopsis: In this suspenseful mystery tale, 10 strangers are summoned to a remote island. While they are waiting for the mysterious host to appear, a recording levels serious accusations at each of the guests, and soon they start being murdered, one by one. As the survivors try to keep their wits, they reach a disturbing conclusion: one of them must be the killer.

 

*****

 

What could possibly be said about this book, a work that is often considered one of the finest in its genre? An all-time bestseller, its reputation speaks for itself and reviews (of which there have been innumerable since its release decades ago) written of it today are almost irrelevant. It's a bona-fide classic, and with good reason. And Then There Were None is a marvelous read. 

 

This was my first Agatha Christie novel, but it certainly won't be my last. With this tale of ten strangers secluded on an island, being killed off one by one, Christie has woven a fabric that is equal parts mechanical and organic, making for a spellbinding mystery that keeps the reader on the edge of his or her seat. I'm not just blowing smoke -- I did not want to put this book down! 

 

The author does an excellent job of keeping the reader (and her characters) in the dark and it is not until the final pages that it is revealed who is behind the happenings on the island. You might be shocked at who it is -- I certainly was. 

 

This is fast-paced tale that relies mostly on quick and crisp dialogue, but Christie gets some excellent exposition (but not too much, mind you) in there as well. By the final pages the claustrophobic sense of the mansion almost becomes unbearable -- especially when the body count starts to rise. Somewhere along the way this novel bursts out of the mystery genre and becomes an outright horror novel -- something I was pleasantly surprised about.

 

This is the work of writer who knows her craft, and it will certainly not be my last Agatha Christie novel. If you are looking for a book to fill a pleasant evening or two, you could do much worse than this.