Final Ruling: 4.5/5 stars
Here we go again with an absolutely phenomenal book! Now, I have heard so many things about this book from so many different people (probably because it was an option to read it in Freshman English class…) and, to be fair, I tried my very hardest not to let this influence me. However, opinions of this caliber are not easily cast aside. Again, in the name of fairness, I have to disclose that most of these opinions were negative, seeing as I inexplicably surround myself with so many non-readers.
Okay, now onto the actual review part of this (and here, as expected, is your friendly neighborhood reminder that all of the spoilers are written in italics so if you would like to avoid the spoilers, please don’t read the italics).
And we’re off! After a lot of consideration, I have decided upon my favorite part of this book. Drum roll please…….the mystery! (as if that was a surprise…). So many murder mysteries nowadays are dull and predictable, and not to be that person, but I get irritated by the fact that I can usually figure out ‘whodunit’ before any of the book characters do. I am overjoyed to say that this was not the case here! I had absolutely no clue who the mastermind behind this horrific ordeal was, even when all was said and done. I didn’t actually figure anything out until the very last chapter which, I guess, was the entire point.
(Caution : Spoilers Ahead!)
I had seriously no clue that it was the Judge! NO CLUE! It totally caught me off guard. I had to read the epilogue thing twice over before it actually sunk in. Because he had died, I had thought, “oh, there’s no way he could have been the culprit because why would he do all that just to die before his entire plan was even carried out??” In hindsight, it was a stroke of genius on Christie’s part to do that, because I doubt anybody else figured it out so early on either, especially because the characters kept saying that those who had died were the only ones they knew were innocent… well they were dead wrong (pun absolutely intended!). Speaking of genius, Wargrave’s plan was also most definitely that. It was extremely clever and even more twisted (especially when it came to the nursery rhyme). Okay, now let’s talk about that rhyme because it has haunted me ever since I read this. It is seriously so messed up that he used that like he did, putting out all of those little soldiers and taking one away every time someone died, it was downright eerie. Eerie enough to send chills down my spine, which is quite a feat, because I read creepy things a lot and have built up a rather large tolerance for scare tactics. However, this one really really worked. Everything pertaining to that rhyme sent chilled fingers of dread up and down my spine. It really was phenomenal.
The one thing I really didn’t love was the beginning. It was slow and difficult to get into, and the list-like descriptions of the characters did very little to make me care about them. Thus, I give this book a 4.5 star rating.
I really do recommend this book to everyone in my life, especially those in need of a good, quality ‘whodunit’ mystery. Believe me, there’s a reason this book is considered a classic; it is definitely worth the read.