Review: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

“There was something magical about an island—the mere word suggested fantasy. You lost touch with the world—an island was a world of its own. A world, perhaps, from which you might never return.” 

 First off, I’m a huge huge Christie head and have been reading a lot of her books lately. It’s safe to say that ‘And Then There Were None’ is easily my favourite as yet. The story begins with a creepy epigraph: the Ten Little Soldier Boys poem. Really sets the mood, doesn’t it?

Let’s get to the plot (NO spoilers for you guys); ten individuals who have committed crimes at some point in their lives have been invited to a mysterious ‘Soldier Island’ on a supposed holiday by an anonymous host who is nowhere to be found. They find themselves trapped on the island with nowhere to escape. One by one, the group is murdered, the island is searched, and the dwindling group realizes that there is a murderer in their midst. It is up to the remaining people to identify the murder and only the dead are above suspicion.

Christie really nailed this plot and the kept up the suspense till the very last page. Even someone as myself who reads a fair number of mysteries was left guessing as to  ‘whodunit’ until the very last page. And well… I didn’t see that ending coming. Surprised me yet again didn’t you Dame Christie? The characters are a mix of all walks of life and you’ll love some and absolutely hate some.

Unlike Christie’s usual mysteries, ‘And Then There Were None’ didn’t feature the famous detective Hercule Poirot solving the case as the readers are taken through the clues and other suspicious occurrences one by one. Instead, we read each character’s point of view, how they feel and who they cast their suspicion on. Although I missed Poirot’s humour, reading the trapped inmate’s perspectives really hit home and gave the story very intense and dark vibes which kept my pulse pounding.

If you haven’t read an Agatha Christie book, this needs to be your first. I highly recommend this book and give it straight 5 out of 5 stars.

–Ravija Maheshwari.

 

 

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Review: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

With a backdrop of Taliban ruled Afghanistan, The Kite Runner is story about the immensely touching friendship of Amir-belonging to royal ‘Pashtun’ blood and Hassan- a mere ‘Hazara’ servant boy. The story is setup in Kabul in Afghanistan and partly in America.

This book is a masterpiece in more ways than one. Khaled Hosseini has beautifully woven the friendship of Amir and Hassan right from their days of childhood. The story goes on to tell how one irreversible decision can haunt a person for their entire life, how one lie can form huge boundaries, how friendships are formed and broken, how distances can crush relationships, how killing people in the name of God suddenly becomes acceptable and finally how just a single step towards the truth can help in erasing all the guilt away!

It is a very fast paced novel with no loose ends. Every time I kept the book down , for a  break, I felt the urge to pick it up and continue reading it until I reach the ending. The last chapter of the story is very well written and the story has quite a satisfying ending. It is truly an amazing story that will stay with you no matter how heartbreaking.

~~ Ravija Maheshwari.

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