Ever since I read Murder on the Orient Express, I've been itching for a mystery not jut as good and confusing as that one, but even better and perhaps a bit less confusing. Mystery novels never came to my mind before that one did, and this is by the same author.
The way Murder on the Orient Express was put together was a chain of events happened in one night that left a dead body and every suspect still on the train, leading to a dozen interviews and some more requisitioning afterward, and then a surprising denouement at the end. And Then There were None is very different: In the first chapter, we hear from ten different people how they got an invitation to go to a mansion on an island for a trip. Many readers will probably have lots of trouble remembering each of these characters when the book starts, too many all at once with different pointless details, but it doesn't go like that too much. The person we get to know the most I'd say, is Vera Claythorne, who keeps an Italian poem that ends with "And Then There were None." All is well and fine until a giant voice comes out of a boom box saying every passenger is responsible for the death of a friend or relative of theirs, and a murder takes place right in front of everyone's eyes, but not physically, but more with poison, and I'm not going to say how. And only one thing's for sure: After a thorough search by the island's nine remaining guests, because of the island's tiny radius, the conclusion is that there's no one else on the island, therefore the murderer is a man named U.N. Owen and he is one of the passengers. But who is it? And in case another murder takes place, who will it be, and how will they keep themselves safe and make sure if one does take place, they'll know who did it? And when will they be able to get back to shore?
This novel was a very quick and easy read, and halfway through, I was certain this would end up the Mystery I was looking for; one I could dissolve myself into and look at the facts from my own perspective. Agatha Christie apparently likes to use the quote, "But surely-" before cutting off. It gives readers a chance to think about how 1) The suspect who said "But surely-" knows something about the case that he doesn't want to share. 2) Something was supposed to happen and didn't. And I had a few suspects on my list, and there was a "But surely" on page 41 that I kept in mind, and I got a suspect who ended up writing a significant name in a journal, and I was sure the name sounded familiar, so I turned back a few pages to double check, and I was actually right.
However, I was worried to start this book, because there are several things all around it that give away the ending, though not giving away the murderer exactly. I still read it and as the book was going on and on and I devoured chapter after chapter, I was certain I would find some incredible twist, but I ended up disappointed. The first half is gold, but the other second half is a complete mess. I understand the water may be dangerous, but why doesn't anyone try or at least mention swimming to shore? And that "But surely" part and a plot element I was sure would make through in the end was just completely forgotten about.
By the end, I really understood these characters. And it was easier and faster to read than Murder on the Orient Express. But I'm still looking for the perfect mystery. I felt I found the perfect one at the start, but then, even with one book, Agatha Christie jumps the shark.