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Posts Tagged ‘retribution’

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Ten strangers are invited to a remote island off the Devon Coast. with no sign of their mysterious host, U.N. Owen, they are all shocked when on their first night there, they are all accused of heinous crimes. And then the killings start…one by one, each of the ten is killed and with no-one else on the entire island, the horrifying truth becomes clear – the murderer is one of them. As the body count mounts, those who remain start to grow paranoid and suspicious of each other.

Full disclosure – I knew who the murderer was before I read the book, because I had seen the excellent 2015 BBC adaptation (in fact, that adaptation was the whole reason I wanted to read the book in the first place). With that in mind, I did wonder if my enjoyment of the book might be somewhat hampered, and I did try and work out if I could have guessed who the murderer was if I had not already been aware.

To answer both questions – my prior knowledge did not detract from my enjoyment at all, and I honestly don’t think I could have guessed who was the guilty party if I did not already know. This book was recently voted as the favourite Agatha Christie book among her readers, and although it is the first Christie I have read, I can certainly see why it is so popular.

The mystery is told very skilfully with plenty of reasons to suspect almost every character (the first person to die is of course exempt from any suspicion!) It is a very quick and easy read – I found myself reading huge chunks of the story in one go – and the denouement is extremely satisfying; I actually preferred the ending of the novel to the ending in the recent adaptation.

This is one of those rare books – a mystery where I honestly believe the murderer is practically unguessable and would be a total surprise to anyone who did not know what was coming from prior information. This may be the most popular Christie, but it certainly won’t be the only one I will be reading.

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