Ten strangers are lured to a deserted island under false pretenses, each accused of heinous crimes but untouchable by the law. There, they’re murdered one by one. There’s no one else in the house or on the tiny island. Who is murdering them, and how?
And Then There Were None is my first Agatha Christie. I can’t believe I’ve been on this earth 25 years without reading Agatha Christie until now. It brings me back to my Nancy Drew days—boy, I used to love those mysteries. I was a regular Claudia Kishi!
That being said, I’ve sort of grown away from mysteries as I’ve gotten older, drawn more toward thrillers and horror stories. I guess you could probably call a story about 10 people mysteriously getting murdered a thriller, though, so And Then There Were None wasn’t so far off the beaten path for me.
One thing I can absolutely say is that it’s a masterfully written story, and maybe I’m just not the most observant but I had no idea how it was going to turn out. I’m really glad there was an epilogue that explained everything; otherwise, I would have been scouring the internet for spoilers. (Do they count as spoilers after you’ve finished the book?)
Something I really enjoyed was getting some point of view from all of the characters. That made it even harder to figure out who it was—how could it be any of them, when you had some perspective from each? Bouncing back and forth between the dwindling narrators also mirrored the urgency the characters felt as they wondered who would be next. Even as the last few characters got picked off, you’d think it would be clear who the perpetrator was…but it was only more confusing.
The only thing I could say against it—and this is purely due to personal taste and experience—is that it was much more tame than I expected based on what I heard about it. Don’t get me wrong, it was a great story, good and suspenseful, but it wasn’t really…scary. Reading it and expecting it to be scary was sort of like watching the old House on Haunted Hill with Vincent Price as a 20-year-old and expecting to be as terrified as I was when I was 10. But I mean, it was written in 1939—of course it’s going to be tame by today’s standards.
If you want a good mystery, definitely read And Then There Were None. And then come back and tell me if you had any inkling about who the murderer would turn out to be before you read the epilogue, because I’m really wondering whether I’m just dumb or what.by