Rating: 4 Stars ★★★★☆
In the corner of a first-class smoking carriage, Mr Justice Wargrave, lately retired from the bench, puffed at a cigar and ran an interested eye through the political news in The Times.
First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.
I just love Agatha Christie. She’s the queen of plottwists and I did not see this one coming. As I rarely do. She creates such an absolutely creepy atmosphere in this book, a feeling that anything could happen. I kept guessing at the killer, changing my mind, suspecting everybody.
“My dear young lady, this is no time for refusing to look facts in the face. We are all in grave danger. One of us is U.N. Owen. And we do not know which of us.”
This book lives a lot from the atmosphere. Ten people are lured to an island and start dying one by one, in ways that resemble the lines of a poem. The island is cut off from the mainlaind through a storm, there is no help coming and each one of them is caught there with a group of strangers that are accused of murder.
Illuminated by the setting sun, they had their first glimpse of Soldier Island jutting up out of the sea to the south.
She had pictured it differently, close to shore, crowned with a beautiful white house. But there was no house visible, only the boldly silhouetted rock with its faint resemblane to a giant head. There was something sinister about it.
I loved the atmosphere and I loved the twisted way each of these people died, all according to the nursery rhyme of the ten little soldiers.
All in all, it was an amazing book, one of Christie’s great ones.
An awesome thriller. It’s no wonder it’s a classic.