Published by Harper - Mystery in April 2011
Originally published as "Ten Little Indians" in 1939/1940
16 chapters (with separating sections)
First, there were ten - a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they're unwilling to reveal - and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.
**Like my review for Velveteen by Daniel Marks, I cannot for the life of me, make this a "proper" review as usual. Because this is a mystery book and I absolutely hate spoilers in any shape or form, I have decided to briefly discuss my thoughts on the writing style, but not as in depth as usual, so that I can avoid giving anyone spoilers. So in case you are reluctant to read on because you are worried about spoilers, I assure you now that this review will be 100% SPOILER FREE**
This is my first go at an Agatha Christie novel and I have to say I had a slight love/hate relationship with her writing style in this book. Her writing style is incredibly and detailed and I definitely found myself getting lost in the story because the writing was just so fluent and easy to understand. The way Agatha writes dialogue is really quite different from what I've ever experienced - she writes the dialogue and announces who is reading in a way that vaguely reminded me of a "play".
"Mrs. Rogers was saying:
'I hope you've got everything you want, Miss?'"
I hope you can see what I mean by the dialogue being written in a very structured manner. I enjoyed this to an extent, after a while it began to get kind of irritating. Although, aside from that, Agatha's writing style was very descriptive, enthralling and addictive, so I definitely loved it more than I hated it.
Agatha creates a very vivid image in the mind of the reader of what is occurring in the book so I felt more like I was in the story, rather than sitting in my room reading it, which is a huge plus for me in any book. Feeling more involved in the story helps the book be much more enjoyable which will make for a more pleasant experience with the book and the story.
If you didn't grasp from the synopsis above what this book is about, it's basically telling the story of 10 strangers who are lured onto an island by a mysterious "U.N. Owen", all for different reasons. Once all the guests are on the island, they are each accused of murder, and then they begin to be killed, one by one. So the mystery part for the reader is trying to figure out who the anonymous killer is throughout the entirety of the book. Agatha is predominantly and famously known for being "The Queen of Mystery" and I can certainly see why after reading this novel. She creates an atmosphere within the story that is so strange, eery and somehow foreign to me in a way that makes for an incredibly written story. I certainly did not guess who the killer was. I tried to guess constantly who the culprit could have been and at by the time I had reached the final pages, I realised that I had accused everyone in my head as being the killer - but I still had NO idea as to who it really was. And that's what makes a good mystery - one that leaves you guessing until the very end.
If you are a fan of mystery novels, I highly recommend that you pick this book up and give it a go, it's definitely worth the time and money! I will most definitely be reading more of Christie's works in the future - one that I particularly want to read is "Murder on the Orient Express".
**If you pick this book up and are one for sneaking a peek at the last page before you even start the book, I warn you now NOT to do that with this book as the last words announce who the killer is! This is not a spoiler but merely a warning as it will ruin the book if you looked!**
5 out of 5 stars