And Then There Were None is a mystery novel written by acclaimed author Agatha Christie. It is widely considered the greatest mystery novel of all time and was published in 1939. The setting takes place on Soldier Island, a mysterious place off the coast of Devon. Ten people are invited to the island, which has only one building, a mansion, and they soon realize that one of them is the killer.
I know what you’re thinking, that this kind of story has been done a million times before and is nothing special, but this is the original. Christie was the first to come up with this concept, and all others were inspired by her work.
The characters are all very different and are easy to distinguish, so you won’t be forgetting who’s who. I noticed how complex and flawed each character is, which is a really good thing for a mystery because anybody can be the killer. They’re all crazy in their own ways, yet are all sane. For a while, Christie uses the method of jumping back and forth between characters’ perspectives, and at first this seemed like an issue, especially since we could hear their thoughts. It’s not. We get an understanding of each character’s psyche, yet we don’t really get any hints as to who’s the killer. Each character is suspicious at some point in the story, some more than others, but you can never be too sure. A small twist at the beginning heightens the tension even more.
The pacing is phenomenal as well. It starts out slow and calm as each character is being introduced, and as secrets begin to unravel and characters begin to die off, the tension rises. The suspense makes this a real page-turner, and by the second half your eyes will be glued to the pages trying to figure out who it is. And as hard as you try to find out, once it is revealed you’ll be in a state of absolute shock.
All in all, And Then There Were None is the epitome of what a great mystery should be. It’s got compelling and suspicious characters, a fantastic atmosphere, and is very suspenseful. Anybody who is looking for a tense, suspenseful mystery should look no further than And Then There Were None.
-Ahmed H., Grade 11