Book Review: And Then There Were None

Title: And Then There Were None

Author: Agatha Christie

Genre: Crime, Mystery

Publication date: November 1939

Pages: 272

Source: E-book download

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Synopsis:

And Then There Were None tells a story of ten individuals who are invited to an isolated island, called Indian Island by a mystery person called Mr. U.N. Owen.  During their first dinner, they hear a recorded message, each accusing them of a crime that they committed. As each of them begin to die one at a time, they start to suspect one another and come to the conclusion that among one of them, he/she is the killer.

Thoughts:

I finally got a chance to finish the book and since the story is somewhat still fresh in my memory, I decided to write a review now. So after reading the plot of the book, I was already hooked.  I mean 10 people trapped in a mansion at an isolated island, and each of them starts dying one at a time, following a chilling nursery rhyme:

“Ten little Indian Boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine little Indian Boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little Indian Boys travelling in Devon;
One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little Indian Boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six little Indian Boys playing with a hive;
A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little Indian Boys going in for law;
One got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four little Indian Boys going out to sea;
A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three little Indian Boys walking in the zoo;
A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two little Indian Boys sitting in the sun;
One got frizzled up and then there was one.
One little Indian Boy left all alone;
He went out and hanged himself and then there were none.”

 This is my first Agatha Christie novel and I’m sad to say that this is the first time I have heard of her.  I mean she’s suppose to be the queen of mystery, yet I do not know the existence of her books.  However, I am glad that I finally read her most well-known mystery novel, and will definitely look forward to reading the rest of her works.

I really liked this book a lot.  It’s definitely one of the best mystery books that I have read so far.  The book is short and really fast-paced so there were moments that I had difficulty keeping up, especially in the beginning where the characters are introduced. In a span of a few pages, we get to know most of the characters; but someone like me who is terrible with names found myself a little frustrated.  I sometimes had to go back a few pages to refresh my memory on who each person was. A GIF of Jimmy Fallon saying "Wait... who are you again?"

However, I couldn’t keep the book down. The idea of the book is clever.  Agatha Christie provided a great description of each character, giving enough details so that someone could know the person, but not too much that it was blatantly obvious who the murderer was. I also liked that the group was really diverse- each coming from different backgrounds and that they do have secrets, and probably preferred be kept hidden forever until they get to Indian Island.  All of them were enjoyable to read about.  As for the actual mystery, when you think that you finally solved it, you are dead wrong.  I had an idea of who the murderer was (a lot of the causes of death can be pointed out to that particular individual); however, only to be thrown out after reading the upcoming pages.

This book was unpredictable.  It is packed with suspense and keeps you at the edge of your seat as you anxiously await for who the next victim will be especially when you already know how they will die.  The story is really simple, in terms of the plot, but well-written at the same time–keeping it complex and  difficult to figure out.  And when I finally find out who the actual murderer was  jaw drop animated GIF

I also liked the writing and the dialogue among the characters. I gave this a 4.5 stars because I was a little bit unsatisfied with the ending, but overall this is a great read and I would definitely recommend it.

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