Saturday, February 12, 2011
And Then There Were None
In the corner of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr. Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interesting eye through the political news in the Times. He laid the paper down and glanced out of the window. They were running now through Somerset. He glanced at his watch--another two hours to go.
Ten men and women arrive on Indian island never suspecting the dangers and thrills that are to come. None will leave the island alive. Mr. Justice Wargrave, Vera Claythorne, Captain Philip Lombard, Emily Brent, General MacArthur, Dr. Armstrong, Anthony Marston, Mr. Blore, Mr. and Mrs. Rogers. It seems each has been lured to the island without really knowing their host or hostess. Mr. and Mrs. Rogers being engaged as servants. Miss Vera Claythorne being engaged as a temporary secretary. The others all received letters of invitation. It soon becomes clear that not everything is as it appears.
from this site, though it's not an easy read, it seems it's a combination of two poems, one from 1868 and the other from 1869). There are also ten little figurines--as each guest dies, a figurine from the table vanishes as well.
Readers get a chance to learn a little about each character. Especially the ones that survive the first few deadly days. None of the characters are particularly likable--none so delightful that you'd want to know them--especially not under these circumstances.
I would say this Christie novel comes the closest to inspiring fear and horror in its readers. There isn't anything particularly cozy or delightful or charming about this one. There are no clever detectives--arrogant or not--to counterbalance the violence. Almost everything that I love about Christie's mysteries seems to be missing in this one. But even though I don't especially "like" this one, I can't deny that it was cleverly written.
© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews