Status: Read from July 9 to July 10, 2017
My rating: /5
Author: Agatha Christie
‘Ten…’ Ten strangers are lured to an isolated island mansion off the Devon coast by a mysterious ‘U.N.Owen’.
‘Nine…’ At dinner a recorded message accuses each of them in turn of having a guilty secret, and by the end of the night one of the guests is dead.
‘Eight…’ Stranded by a violent storm, and haunted by an ancient nursery rhyme counting down one by one…as one by one …they begin to die.
‘Seven…’ Which amongst them is the killer and will any of them survive?
This is my third Agatha Christie book. And Then There Were None is considered to be the masterpiece and the most successful novel by Agatha Christie. I did had some expectations set on this book after reading two of her books earlier. And i have to say that this was an amazing experience. Such a great plot, to keep the reader hooked and keep guessing the culprit. It was a easy and interesting read, the writing so smooth and precise , the plot keeping the reader engaged with no unnecessary stuffs.
The story begins with eight strangers being invited to an isolated island called the Soldier Island under different pretext. None of them have ever met their host and when these reach the Soldier Island, their hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Owen, are not present to receive them. Instead they are greeted by the butler and his wife. The huge mansion, is well furnished and is stocked with all the things required for these guests. All these people were guilty of such act, at some point in their life, that resulted in the death of some person. These were such actions – cases of deliberate murder – and all quite untouchable by the law.
This person knows about the dark secrets of these guests. And there is this old nursery rhyme framed and mounted on the walls of all the bedrooms. And all the murders are committed in the same order following this rhyme. First killing is considered as an suicide. But as the killings proceeds, it becomes clear that there is a person with a well planned agenda to commit there murders. But who is he/she? And what is the motive? These ten people are now stuck in this isolated island. There is no chance to escape from here. The characters keep guessing, as the suspicion moves from one person to another. As the suspicion becomes strong on a particular person, that person is murdered. So again the guessing game begin with the persons left alive. After the end of novel, it’s difficult to find who is the person behind all these murders and why would someone want to kill these guests for the crime that are long forgotten and could not even be proved guilty by law.
This is one enthralling mystery that will keep you hooked. You will find answers to all your questions only after reading the manuscript document at the end of the story.
“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.”
About the Author:
Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is the creator of the two most enduring figures in crime literature-Hercule Poirot and Miss Jane Marple-and author of The Mousetrap, the longest-running play in the history of modern theatre.
Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha’s senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880–1929), called Monty, ten years older than Agatha.
During the First World War, she worked at a hospital as a nurse; later working at a hospital pharmacy, a job that influenced her work, as many of the murders in her books are carried out with poison.
On Christmas Eve 1914 Agatha married Archibald Christie, an aviator in the Royal Flying Corps. The couple had one daughter, Rosalind Hicks. They divorced in 1928, two years after Christie discovered her husband was having an affair.
Her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, came out in 1920. During this marriage, Agatha published six novels, a collection of short stories, and a number of short stories in magazines.
In late 1926, Agatha’s husband, Archie, revealed that he was in love with another woman, Nancy Neele, and wanted a divorce. On 8 December 1926 the couple quarreled, and Archie Christie left their house Styles in Sunningdale, Berkshire, to spend the weekend with his mistress at Godalming, Surrey. That same evening Agatha disappeared from her home, leaving behind a letter for her secretary saying that she was going to Yorkshire. Her disappearance caused an outcry from the public, many of whom were admirers of her novels. Despite a massive manhunt, she was not found for eleven days.
In 1930, Christie married archaeologist Max Mallowan (Sir Max from 1968) after joining him in an archaeological dig. Their marriage was especially happy in the early years and remained so until Christie’s death in 1976. In 1977, Mallowan married his longtime associate, Barbara Parker.
Christie frequently used familiar settings for her stories. Christie’s travels with Mallowan contributed background to several of her novels set in the Middle East. Other novels (such as And Then There Were None) were set in and around Torquay, where she was born. Christie’s 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express was written in the Hotel Pera Palace in Istanbul, Turkey, the southern terminus of the railway. The hotel maintains Christie’s room as a memorial to the author. The Greenway Estate in Devon, acquired by the couple as a summer residence in 1938, is now in the care of the National Trust.
Christie often stayed at Abney Hall in Cheshire, which was owned by her brother-in-law, James Watts. She based at least two of her stories on the hall: the short story The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding, which is in the story collection of the same name, and the novel After the Funeral. “Abney became Agatha’s greatest inspiration for country-house life, with all the servants and grandeur which have been woven into her plots.
During the Second World War, Christie worked in the pharmacy at University College Hospital of University College, London, where she acquired a knowledge of poisons that she put to good use in her post-war crime novels.
To honour her many literary works, she was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1956 New Year Honours.
Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Marry Westmacott.