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And Then There Were None Kindle Edition
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|Length: 257 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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As the story begins we are introduced to the various interesting characters who are making their way to the very remote Soldier Island in Devon. We learn very quickly that there is more to these characters than meets the eye and each seem to possess a significant secret concerning an event from their past. The book is broken into small subchapters and often each subchapter concerns the viewpoint of one of the characters. This is welcome given the amount of characters in this novel and helps make it more readable.
As they approach the Island, Ms. Christie sets up the location perfectly and there is a feeling of inaccessibility about the place. The boat pilot admits that access to the Island is impossible in bad weather and this immediately creates a very tense isolated atmosphere.
Once the guests get settled in and enjoy some dinner (without their host who is mysteriously absent), a mysterious voice booms out accusing each of them of a heinous crime committed some time in the past.
The alarmed guests then put their heads together to try and solve the mystery of who invited them to this isolated destination as they start to meet grizzly ends one by one. As the guests become fewer and fewer the tension builds and builds. Unlike many other whodunits there is a great deal of satisfaction from the tremendous conclusion.
If you are looking for the best mystery story of all time then look no further. You will not be disappointed.
If you enjoyed this book then there are two other books that you may also enjoy. They are both whodunits that I have read recently and are both set in an isolated environment like this masterpiece. They are Murder in Bermuda: An Anna Winters Cozy Mystery (Murder in Paradise Book 1) and Dying for Murder: A Cordi O'Callaghan Mystery and both are well worth a read also.
The mystery is okay, although the general idea of it is obvious. Because of that, the story is rather plodding, predictable, and relentless. Christie doesn't give us a single character to really care about. And, it is too easy, in general, to know what is going to happen next. I was disappointed, however, that who did it is not revealed until an epilogue at the end of the book. No one ever solves the mystery; the solution is simply told. This was dissatisfying. Beyond that, I also felt that the solution as revealed depended much too heavily on things happening and people behaving exactly as the perpetrator planned, making the story implausible.
**Possible spoilers to the end of this paragraph** To give a few out of many possible examples, The story largely depends on the characters becoming isolated on an island and out of touch with the mainland because of a storm. But what if the storm hadn't happened? As explained at the end, when they used a mirror after the storm to signal the mainland, it did get results. If there had been no storm, they could have used the mirror to signal days earlier and been rescued. There is no way the murderer could have depended on the storm. And how could the murderer depend on exactly how Vera Claythorne would behave at the end? How could the murderer know she would successfully get the gun from Lombard and shoot him? Even if she did this, she might then have thrown the gun into the sea, ruining the murderer's plans for using the gun. She then walks into the house and does exactly what the murderer planned for her to do. And then the way the murderer ends everything--depending on the elastic and door handle, etc.--is completely ridiculous. **End of spoilers**
On top of all of this, I found the writing style annoying. It was full of short, choppy sentences that made it sound like a children's book. And why did she so often use this type of wording? "General Macarthur said:... Vera said:... Lombard said:..."? Also, she often tells us instead of shows us that someone is frightened, startled, weary, etc. This is not the Agatha Christie I know. If you are used to Agatha Christie's other books, be prepared for a different writing style.
Christie admits that she wrote this book because it was difficult and the idea fascinated her. I agree that it is a difficult concept and would be hard to successfully pull off. Unfortunately, I don't believe Christie was successful.
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