‘I appeal to you all. Tell me the truth – the whole truth.’ There was a silence. ‘Will no one speak?’
Agatha Christie is known for providing a stunning end in her books. Sometimes, she surprises you so hard that you found yourself thunderstruck. This is what you feel after reading ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’, alongside ‘Murder on the Orient Express’, ‘And Then There were None’ and many other titles. The endings in these books will take you by surprise and you will start pulling your hair. At the same time, you will laugh at yourself and realize what a good mystery writer Agatha really is.
Stumbling upon a review at Goodreads, I found that this is the only book by Christie which features on the list of ‘1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die’. This book truly deserves to be in this list. The book was first published in 1926 and created quite a stir amongst the readers. The ending of this book became infamous and even Christie’s technique of revealing the main culprit was questioned by a number of people. However, I did not find any wrongdoing from author’s side. For me, it was just superb. I not only loved this book but also consider it as one of the masterpieces of all time. In fact, it is the ending which makes this book a ‘5 star book’. The people who cried foul over this book were those who try to play a detective by themselves. These people tried their best to identify the murderer ahead of the ending but couldn’t. For them, it was a cheating from author’s side. And, that’s why; they questioned Christie’s technique as they felt cheated. However, this is not true. The truth is right there, though hidden so innovatively that you just don’t see it. Christie just manipulates the readers on multiple levels. And, that’s why, she is known as the ‘Mystery Queen’. Isn’t it?
I will not tell you anything about the storyline. Sorry, I simply can’t do that. Why? You may ask. The answer is simple. I don’t want to risk ruining the treat you have in store. Suffice it to say that Hercule Poirot with his idiosyncrasies is superb. While he pays great attention to his moustaches, his grey cells are working with great speed. He leads you to an excellent journey and solves an interesting murder mystery. Hercule Poirot does not end with a failure. Does he? The narration of the book is fast-paced. The narration not only gives distinctive voices to different characters but also beautifully expresses the emotions that go along with these characters.
This book is for anyone who likes an orthodox detective story, murder, inquest, and suspicion falling on everyone in turn. Believe me, you won’t regret reading it. And, most importantly, at no point you will feel that the book was written almost 90 years back.