Book Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

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“And Then There Were None” by Agatha Christie.

     Often considered the first murder mystery novel, Agatha Christie’s timeless masterpiece, And Then There Were None, chains readers to a sense horror and dread from start to finish. The novel is a quick and relatively easy read, but the implications surrounding the events of the book resonate deeply with readers of all generations.

     In And Then There Were None, ten strangers are invited to the isolated Soldier Island by a mysterious couple named Mr. and Mrs. U. N. Owen. Upon their arrival, however, the guests find their hosts nowhere to be found. At first, they believe the situation to be a mistake, but as the night progresses, they soon realize a chain of events unlike anything they could ever imagine has already been sparked. No longer will the guests be concerned about comfort; instead, they will be forced to survive in the midst of a psychological terror.

     The best part about this novel is by far the character development. Christie’s genius manipulation of perspective throughout allows the reader to engage in an intimate understanding of each character. Additionally, the perspective changes are strategic in hiding some of the events that occur, or obscuring their origins just enough to create intrigue. The secrets kept by each member of the group are dastardly and despicable in their own ways, but the true pressure points come from memories of their misdeeds. The novel begs the question: how ethical is the doctrine stating that the punishment must equal the crime, when the crime is murder?

     If you’re looking for a quick, enjoyable, and deeply fascinating read over winter break, And Then There Were None is the perfect choice.