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The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

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10 Feb 2013, 12:21 PM
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This was my third Agatha Christie purchased from Kobo (I have read others on Kindle), and I was motivated partly by having heard several people claim that it was the “best” of all the Hercule Poirot mysteries. I did enjoy the book, but have a few minor grumbles. On the plus side Agatha Christie always sets out a nicely complex plot with an attractive cast of characters. I did think the characters in this book rather too much like the usual set she produces – a beautiful young woman or two, an army officer of some kind, a rich person on whose generosity everyone depends (and is usually the victim), and a butler or manservant. In this book none of the characters stood out with quite enough individuality to make them entirely interesting as they do in, for example, Death on the Nile

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. The plot structure, although full of twists and clever details, was also a little formulaic – although, arguably, it is this neat formula that makes Agatha Christie mysteries so popular. I also struggled a little with the book being written by a narrator – rather like Hastings in The Mysterious Affair at Styles

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which I read recently. I do find that reading a story written in the first person can be slightly off-putting.

Having said all that, I did find the book a gripping read, and whilst I’d like to claim that I cleverly spotted the murderer well before the end, in fact I found the denouement both unexpected yet satisfying. My own view is that, of all the Agatha Christie books I have read, Murder on the Orient Express

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is the best because of the very clever and engaging plot, but I would certainly recommend reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

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. I shall, in fact, enjoy reading the book for a second time now that I know who the perpetrator of the crime is so that I can spot all the clues I clearly missed first time around.

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