“Ten little indians boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self, and then there were nine”.
A desert island.
A mysterious host.
That’s the setting of the Agatha Christie masterpiece, And Then There Were None. The plot of this amazing detective novel, which is the world’s best-selling mystery ever, has as its starting point a rhyme entitled “Ten Little Indians”. After being mysteriously invited by an unknown host to stay at a mansion on a deserted island, the ten guests are invited to listen to a disc on which the voice of the owner of the house is recorded. The voice tells them that they were gathered there to expiate their crimes: in fact each of them is accused of a terrible crime for which they were never punished. It is with horror that, one by one, the characters in the house begin to die. And every death reflects a verse of the nursery rhyme…
The power of this novel lies in the suspense. In fact, as each character progressively dies, the circle of suspects narrows down and the tension rises. Trusting people becomes more and more dangerous and, as a macabre signal, each of the guests finds a copy of the rhyme in his room. Who’s going to be the next one? And, more important, under whose identity is the murderer hiding? But the writer manages to surpass herself. Clues, hidden symbols, amazing twists: Agatha Christie manages to write a finely crafted thriller where nothing is taken for granted and anything can happen.
If you like detective stories and thrillers, this is the book for you! Furthermore, several movies were made from the novel. The first film adaptation was in 1945 by director René Clair. Even though the film is not the most recent, in my opinion, it is extremely well done and could be an excellent way to complement the reading of the book. – Thanks to Bianca S., Year 12 student, for writing this book review.