Although I usually enjoy mysteries, I’ve never considered myself to be a big fan of Agatha Christie. I didn’t really like the Poirot books I’ve read (though admittedly I’ve only tried a few of them) and Miss Marple didn’t appeal to me either. If only I had started with this one instead!
At the beginning of the book we are introduced in quick succession to ten people who have all been invited to a house on Soldier Island, off the coast of Devon. Each person has been given a different reason as to why their presence on the island is required, but on arriving at the house the group discover that their hosts are mysteriously absent. When, one by one, they begin to suffer gruesome deaths in accordance with the children’s rhyme “Ten Little Soldiers” it becomes obvious that one of the ten is a murderer.
The thing that makes this book such an exciting and suspenseful read is that all ten characters seem suspicious and the more you learn about them the more it appears that any one of them could be the killer. Halfway through the book I thought I had worked it out as there was one character in particular that I had suspected from the start (although it was more just an instinct rather than anything specific that he or she had done). As the story moved towards the conclusion it looked as if I was going to be right…
Do I need to tell you that I got it entirely wrong? I admit that solving whodunits is not one of my strong points, but I think most people would be baffled by this one! Christie expertly leads you to believe one thing, then a few pages later proves you wrong. I was sure that as more and more of the ten were eliminated one of them would emerge as the most obvious suspect, but that didn’t happen.
Have you read this book? Did you guess the solution to the mystery?