And Then There Were None,
by Agatha Christie
What a fascinating, quick, gripping read. I have not made a habit of reading murder mysteries but this story was fabulous. Agatha Christie was a name well known to me, although I had never read one of her novels; in college I enjoyed a number of her short stories. From an early age Christie had a vivid and creative imagination, unlike many creative children, she was able to turn her stories into a major success. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Agatha Christie is the bestselling novelist of all time. Her play The Mousetrap opened in London on November 25, 1952 and is STILL playing (2011), making it the longest run stage play in history.
And Then There Were None was unlike most mystery novels in that the author gave the reader no clues as to who the murderer actually was. The entire time I was reading I would ask myself which of the criminals stranded on Soldier Island was the mastermind. I even considered the possibility of a staged death somewhere in the mix but was never given any concrete clues as to who the killer could be. My ultimate conclusion was that U.N. Owen was hiding on the island in some hidden room under the house, or some other such discrete location. Every time I turned towards a specific individual I almost immediately changed my mind. Christie was not about to share her secret.
I enjoyed this read simply because it was written just to be enjoyed. There was no underlying political agenda, no moral point to make (I really don’t think Christie was arguing FOR the idea of killing murderers to fulfill an unlawful justice), and no economic ramifications to analyze. As a child I spent a great deal of my life visiting worlds in which I did not, would not, and most likely could not live in. I often find myself in desperate need of an escape. Agatha Christie has the ability to provide this escape.