Review: And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie
‘Beyond the intensity of the suspense, and the remarkable style of writing, the best part about the book is the controversy it raises: is murder ever justifiable?'
If you're after a masterpiece of crime fiction - look no further. There's a reason why Agatha Christie is unanimously hailed as the queen of crime, and in my opinion, And Then There Were None is her best.
The book tells the story of ten strangers who find themselves, through one way or the other, on the desolate Soldier Island, off the coast of Devon, after each receiving a mysterious invitation. Suspicions start to arise when their host fails to show up, but panic only strikes when the guests unexplainably start showing up dead one after the other.
In terms of whodunnit excellence, there's no question that this book ranks right up there at the top. The mystery of the murders is impossible to crack, and it keeps going till the very last moment.
Beyond the intensity of the suspense, and the remarkable style of writing, the best part about the book is the controversy it raises: is murder ever justifiable? Is inflicting death excusable if the victim is himself or herself a murderer? And if so, who gets to be the judge of the right punishment for one's sins?
Agatha Christie's And Then They Were None is a must-read in my view, if not for the incredible entertainment factor of the story, then at least for the lesson in writing, character building and plot design.
The audiobook version read by Hugh Fraser is absolutely stunning, very well produced and adds to the experience immensely.
If you're new to Agatha Christie's work, here's where I recommend starting your journey:
And Then There Were None
Murder on the Orient Express
The Mysterious Affair at Styles