Tuesday, 12 April 2011
Author: Agatha Christie
Release Date: Reissue edition 3 Sep 2007
Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide. The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again! and again!
I have never read a crime novel before, well I suppose Sherlock Holmes would count in there somewhere, but apart from that it tends to be a genre I avoid. Why? because I can't stand blood or gore or murder or really any discriptive violence. So why am I reading Agath Christie you ask? Well, I am currently doing a Novel Writing course and as homework this week we were given 2 novels to read to compare. One had to be anything by Agatha Christie and the other was to be chosen from a list of Crime authors. The idea is to compare the authors use of Characterisation.
Luckily for me Christie isn't too violent or gory, so I picked the first book I came to off the shelf at the library and settled down to read. The plot for this book is very clever, the murders are based around an old nursery rhyme. 10 strangers each receive a letter asking them if they would like a free holiday on Scorpion Island, a private island. Each persons letter gives personal information, that makes the recipient believe it was sent by someone they know. All are signed by a mysterious U.N. Owen.
Shortly after they all arrive things start to get dangerous, a mysterious recording accuses them all of a murder, and then one by one they get picked off.
You don't really get to know much about the characters, there is a brief introduction to each of them making their way to the island, and then you find out what crime they commited in the past, and you get a slight taste for their personalities, but thats about it.
I have to say, I didn't find the mystery particularly mysterious, by page 178 (just under half way) I had decided who the murderer was and had suspected it for quite a while before. By the time I got to the end my suspicion was confirmed.
These are clearly designed as light, quick reads. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, but as I say very predictable.
I can certainly see the appeal though and if I was ever in need of a quick mindless read I would pick up another one, so I suppose she has achieved her goal.
I would give this book 6.5/10 a good idea, simple read but a bit too obvious.
Posted by barmybex at 19:47