Title: And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie
Publication Date: November 6, 1939
First, there were ten—a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal—and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.
Obviously I had heard of Agatha Christie before. My grandfather was an avid reader of her books. But, I was under the impression they were just old, boring mysteries. I know right? Why would I even think that? To be honest, I’m completely embarrassed to even admit that, and I’m angry to think about everything I missed out on all those years of judging books by the cover. Thankfully a few months ago, the wonderful Book of the Month had a special edition of When There Were None, and I thought the cover was deliciously creepy so I picked it up. I started it late one night, and struggled to put it down to go to sleep. I had a notebook chocked full of clues, and character notes, and I was determined not to let the killer get by me. Spoiler…they did…
Then There Were None is simply written, but in no means is it a simple story. I will note, the first few chapters were a bit confusing for me, and I had to keep really specific notes to keep the characters straight. However, once I got used to the style of writing, and the tone of the story, I become comfortable and began to fly through the pages. Very quickly, because there is such a small pool of people to choose from, everyone becomes a suspect. Every word that is spoken, movement made, and thought noted is analyzed and digested. No one is safe from suspicion .
One thing that I wasn’t expecting from this one was the creep factor. The atmosphere that Christie created was eerily scary. It wasn’t due to over the top theatrics either, but the simple use of a children’s poem, an abandoned island, and ten tiny soldiers that disappear one by one. Overall, this book was an absolute thrill to read, and I enjoyed every minute of it. And despite all of my best intentions, the ending left me stunned. I had no clue what I was going to find in those last few pages, but Christie knocked my feet right out from under me, and I can’t wait to try some of her other works and see if they’re just as entertaining.