Author Agatha Christie
Narrator: Dan Stevens
Publisher HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date March 1st 2003
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.
I have a confession, I was an Agatha Christie virgin. For years, fellow readers had recommended Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot but with the exception of the film Death on the Nile these suggestions went unheard. Finally, with the help of Dan Stevens, I listened to And Then There Were None. I was hooked.
Agatha Christie writes nuances like it’s nobody’s business. I could read this novel ten more times and still find intricacies I had previously missed. The characters were all unique and at times verged on the edge of Faulty Towers or the 1985 adaptation of Clue but yet somehow it works and the whodunit factor keeps the suspense level high.
The ending reminded me of the 1985 film Clue in which Mr. Green announces he is “gonna go home and sleep with my wife.” It caught me off guard with a great last line and unpredicted ending.
There may not have been any sleeping around in And Then There Were None but the carefully paced ending and final deduction as to the true murderer were astounding and ended with the reader wanting more, with a tantalizing final statement:
When the sea goes down, there will come from the mainland boats and men.
And they will find ten dead bodies and an unsolved problem on Soldier Island.
This left me with chills and an eerie feeling in the air. A perfect conclusion in my opinion. Like losing your virginity, one never forgets their first time and I know that Agatha Christie’s will be hard to forget with a climax that stays with you long after the cover has closed.