And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie book review

Agatha Christie is widely considered the greatest crime writer to ever do it. Not only did she end up writing an incredibly large number of them, but some of the “cliches” and “tropes” that we experience in crime today were literally formed by her. This last point is no more true than the incredibly popular story of And Then There Were None. Oh and when I say popular, apparently only about five other books have ever sold more than this one book which is impressive for a woman who penned 75 books, 66 of which were full-length detective novels.

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There’s something to be said for a fiction novel selling over 100,000,000 copies but what’s more of a testament to the book is that you could have nearly anybody (over a certain age of course) try and explain the plot of And Then There Were None and they’d understand the plot.

Or at least once you’d told them, they’d say “oh yeah, i’ve heard that.” In fact, after finishing the novel, I watched the 2015 BBC adaptation with my partner and she kept saying everything felt “cliche” and I had to explain that’s because Christie literally invented the cliches.

Anyway, on to my review. This is my first Agatha Christie novel. I know, shocking, considering I’m 29 years old, have reviewed over 250 books here on my blog and have been consistently talking books now for nearly four years across social media channels!

Let’s get into this then… my review of the best-selling mystery novel of all time.

And Then There Were None plot – 4.5/5

Now, for those of you who’ve never heard of the plot of And Then There Were None, a group of people are invited to an island by a mysterious couple who have told them they will meet them at the large house they’re due to meet in.

One by one, each of the ten guests is killed by mysterious means. What we find out is that there’s a little poem about ten little solider boys and how they each die and that this is in fact how each of the guests ends up dying too. That’s the basic premise.

What’s clever about the way this is written is that we never witness any of the initial murders – as is the case with any good murder novel. What this then causes is not only the reader to constantly be trying to work out who it is and what motive they might have but also how, despite no one else being on the island, everybody ends up dead and the killer is never truly found out until the very very end.

The suspense in And Then There None was fantastic. It starts out slower but once they work out that in fact the killer must be one of their own group, it becomes a fascinating game of nobody trusting anybody and tensions heightening with each passing moment where somebody could be killed.

And Then There Were None characters – 4.5/5

When your whole story is based around the group of same people, you need to make sure that those people have identifiable personalities and that you enjoy reading about them. Well, do not worry with And Then There Were None, Christie has written some iconic characters.

Each character obviously has a name but a huge part of the plot is around each of their occupations and why this could mean that they’re the killer. This creates an interesting dynamic between them as you make assumptions on people based on what they do for a living.

The interactions between the characters is also fascinating due to their class and gender too. During the time this book was written women were obviously treated differently to how they are today and so often there being women main characters is brought into contention as to why they couldn’t possibly have commited certain murders. Being of different classes is also suggested with the idea that ebing of a lower class may mean you’re more likely to commit murder. And so on and so on.

And Then There Were None final rating – 4.5/5

And Then There Were None is one of the greatest crime novels of all time for a reason. Christie manages to perfectly balance suspense with the constant want to find out what’s going to happen next. With some clearly defined characters, a cosy setting and a story that will continue to keep you on your toes, And Then There Were None is a classic for a reason. If you’re one of the last four people in the world to not have read the And Then There None yet, then I can guarantee you, you’ll have a great time reading it.

Pick up a copy of And Then There Were None

One thought on “And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie book review

  • Martin Dukes

    I haven’t read this but on the strength of this excellent review I feel that I really ought to. Thanks!

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