Ten different people are invited by a certain Mr. Owen to Soldier Island near the coast of Devon. Once they arrive, there’s no trace of Owen and they all appear to have been lured to the island for a different reason. Because of a storm they are stuck together for at least a week. Not much later, the first murder occurs, and then another. The murderer seems to follow the lines of the nursery rhyme ‘And then there were none’. Who is trying to kill them? And Why?
This is my very first Agatha Christie. I already knew this story from the excellent BBC miniseries and therefore knew who the murderer was. So maybe this was the wrong Christie for me to start with, but knowing the plot, I could focus on the writing.
The book reads incredibly smoothly. There’s a lot of pace and mystery. But not so much depth. The murders follow each other in such quick succession that there is little time to elaborate on certain characters. I had hoped to get to know them a bit better. I’m a big fan of character development, but this book is extremely plot driven. And this works, because a lot is happening and it’s difficult for us as a reader to find the culprit.
The story is well put together but I found the series a better format to get it across. It’s easier to tell the characters apart when you see them. I found this an entertaining read, but expected to be more blown away by the writing style. Certainly one of the more fun classics I’ve read so far. Maybe I’ll try another Christie later.
Have you a favourite Agatha Christie book?