And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie – Book Review

And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

And Then There Were None has a special way of getting under my skin and making me look over my shoulder. It’s what all good suspenseful psychological murder mysteries will do. This book  creeped me out as a child and didn’t fail to do so this time around.

And Then There Were None begins with ten strangers  journeying to spend time on Indian Island. Each of them has received a carefully worded invitation sure to draw them to the island. None of the travelers have a true understanding of who will meet them (each only vaguely remembers the friend from whom they have received their correspondence), but they have heard rumors of an actress that may or may not own the property, and of wild goings-on at the property. They also all have a strong motivation for wanting to be anywhere but home.

The visitors to the island are surprised when they realize that neither host nor hostess are on the island, and then a terrible recording comes on at dinner announcing crimes that they have purportedly committed. Shortly after mysterious deaths start to occur. It doesn’t take the group long to figure out that they have been lured to Indian Island to be executed for crimes that have gone unpunished. They realize that the executioner has to be one of them.

The beginning of the novel bored me a bit as all the characters were being introduced. They were hard to keep track of, and my adult self found myself in agreement with my twelve-year-old self in wanting them to get along with it. I was grateful when some of the characters were picked off because there were just too many stories. It was a curious experience to watch events unfold because while I didn’t like any of the victims, there was a  terror in imagining myself in their position, and that occupied me more than caring about them. I also wanted to see who was next, and in what unexpected way their murder would occur and match up with the nursery rhyme.

And Then There Were None has a terrifying premise, and Christie proves to be the master of suspense – she is able to build the spine-tingling factor in spite of a rather implausible plot. Would you really go traipsing off to some island without talking to your host? Without knowing them well? Without having spoken to them in years? All of these folks do and while I didn’t buy it completely, it ultimately doesn’t matter. The story works anyway. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading.

I’m not sure if this is one of these novels where you actually have the clues to figure it out beforehand. In spite of having read this book before, it was long enough ago that while I remembered how the killer was doing things, I didn’t remember who it was. I had a strong suspicion, though. The manner in which the killer is revealed did leave something to be desired, but the beauty of what Christie accomplished with this one still remains intact and is definitely worth a read.

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 Shutter Island, by Dennis Lehane

Read More Reviews At:  Bookarama – Thoughts of  Joy

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19 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh, I can’t believe you reviewed an Agatha Christie book…..I just *knew* there was a reason I love you!!! I have the entire Christie collection (leather bound, no less, LOL) and I worship her mysteries. They are one of my guilty pleasures in life!

    1. I loved Agatha Christie growing up. I had a very overactive imagination, so I could only read her as much as that imagination was behaving itself. Did you have any favorites ? I also really like Murder is Easy. I forget what the other name. Christie novels are queens of the dual name.

    1. Wow! I am standing in the aghast section of the room with your mother. I cut my adult reading teeth on Agatha Christie. I can’t imagine not reading her, even though when I read the back cover of the book I found out that she was already dead by the time I was born.

  2. Every time I see Agatha Christie’s name I fondly recall my obsession with her Hercule Poirot books. I haven’t read one in years, but I still remember loving them. Perhaps I should try out some non-Poirot Christie books now.

    1. Hercule Poirot was a set of books that I avoided. I didn’t like the look of him from the movies, so I was never interested in the books. How shallow, but true. Try some non-Poirot!

  3. I often find Christy’s endings to be pulled out of the air, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think she’s an amazing storyteller.

  4. Although I don’t like being creeped out, I’ve heard so much about this Christie novel I think it is the one I’ll have to read next when I get in a mystery mood! Thanks for this.

  5. This was an excellent choice for my first foray into Christie and I’m so glad you helped to get me enthusiastic for it!

  6. I had to read this for English class in 8th grade, but I remember getting so sucked in that I finished it in one day AT school, reading in math class while pretending to take notes. I was so damn smooth.

  7. This one sounds so good! BTW, I finally watched Shutter Island this weekend but still haven’t read the book. I thought I needed to read the book first and then see the movie but I actually think it will work better in reverse. I’m really curious to see if Lehane left any ambiguity about what was really happening.

  8. I must admit I began reading this book out of sheer curiousity over the original title which is very offensive to me. Having actually begun it, after a leaf-thru and reading various articles about the title changes, however, the current title is truly a better fit. I’m actually enjoying this book. I recall my mom reading a lot of Agatha Christie’s books when I was coming up. I thought the books were for “old ladies.” Imagine.

  9. I remeber watching the movie based on this years ago. Something about Indians? I’d love to read this one someday when I start working my way through Agatha Christie.

  10. I just finished reading this book for my 9th grade English Class and it was creepy,brilliant,and great!
    Best mystery book I’ve ever read hands down!
    Agatha Christie is a brilliant mystery writer and storyteller,I loved the psychological twist that she put in the book it that made it extra-creepy and suspenseful,it made me afraid to fall asleep at night,and I just couldn’t put it down!

    1. Grace, I first read this in high school too and it was deliciously creepy. I felt the same way that you did. I couldn’t put it down even though it had me scared and looking all around my house with a little fear.

  11. i just read agtha for mahhyy 9th grade english class and its was one good read i honestly loved the mystery and the motivation to always read ahead of my class!!! i loved agtha writting style and im going to read her outside of school i love that girl !