Name: And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie
Number of Pages: 276 (E-Book)
Published: 14th October 2010 by Harper
Genre: Mystery, Crime
Agatha Christie’s world-famous mystery thriller, reissued with a striking cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.
Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.
The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again… – from Goodreads
I can’t believe it’s taken me until now to finally read an Agatha Christie story.
I’ve wanted to read one for a while, and chose And Then There Were None as it is a standalone book, and one that came highly recommended when I mentioned that I’d never read anything by this author before. I also watched the recent tv adaptation (more on that in Beyond the Books) and really enjoyed it. So, onto the book…
A group of ten strangers from different walks of life are invited to Soldier Island for various reasons. What begins as innocent enough intrigue soon takes a sinister turn as their mysterious host is nowhere to be found and a series of accusations are levelled at the party. Apparently someone is determined to see these people pay with their lives for their alleged wrongs. I don’t want to say too much more about the story, because experiencing it is wonderful.
It’s a tightly knitted plot, and almost seems like the perfect crime as every explanation or conclusion is debated and proved or disproved.
Literally everyone becomes a suspect, until they themselves fall victim to the killer, which builds great tension as the group start to lose trust in each other as they fight for survival, realising all the time the chances of them escaping the island are becoming more and more remote. They guess and second-guess, scouring the island for some unknown person, hoping beyond hope that the boat will arrive to take them away from the nightmare.
The writing is atmospheric and you really feel the sense of claustrophobia, almost as though you’re trapped alongside these people as the storm comes in. The creepiness of the whole affair is accentuated by the addition of the Ten Little Soldier Boys nursery rhyme, which the group come to realise is linked to the manner in which they are being picked off, and the ten china figures shaped like soldiers, which diminish in number with each new murder.
I did watch the tv adaptation before I read the book, so this comment applies more to the show than the book but I had no idea how it would all turn out in the end. I never saw THAT coming, not for one moment.
I’m glad I chose And Then There Were None for my first Christie, and I would definitely pick up another book by this author.