“Every new development that arises is like the shake you give to a kaleidoscope—the thing changes entirely in aspect.”
Considered to be one of Agatha Christie’s most controversial mysteries, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd breaks all the rules of traditional mystery writing. The peaceful English village of King’s Abbot is stunned. First, the attractive widow Ferrars dies from an overdose of veronal. Not twenty-four hours later, Roger Ackroyd—the man she had planned to marry—is murdered. It is a baffling, complex case involving blackmail, suicide, and violent death, a cast that taxes Hercule Poirot’s “little grey cells” before he reaches one of the most startling conclusions of his fabled career.
I can now thank Agatha Christie for managing the difficult (and tiring) task of getting me out of my reading slumps. I swear it works like magic any time! I get in that wonky mood where I want to read but can find it in myself to do so, and so I reach for one of her books and boom I’m back in the game. I searched beforehand for which book of hers I wanted to read because I needed something to really wow me, and then I happened upon this ultimate reading list for Christie’s work and saw that The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was actually voted by The British Crime Writer’s Association as the best crime novel ever! So it really was an easy choice for me.
And I am so glad I found that list because this one is amazing. I don’t know how this woman manages to literally blow my mind with every intricate story she writes but my god I can’t handle it. It really should come as no surprise, of course, since she is the one and only Queen of Crime but I swear I am surprised every single time.
As with all other of her books Christie gets us hooked from page 1. Her stories always go straight to the point without letting any important details out. We have access to all information from the very beginning and yet her endings always manage to surprise me. And boy oh boy while we are in the subject of endings, I really did not see this one coming. For this book Christie once again enlists the help from our dear Hercule Poirot, but this time the story isn’t narrated by him, instead that job falls on the hands of Dr. James Sheppard. That adds an extra mysterious element to the story since Poirot always investigates in a very quiet manner, leaving us guessing that much more. All suspects are presented to us in the same light in which Poirot comes to meet them, so as always we have the same opportunity to solve the mystery as the story unravels. However I was absolutely clueless when it came to this one. Christie finishes the story in such a perfect, twisty and somewhat haunting tone that honestly gave me some shivers. If you do plan to read this please try not to spoil yourself because it really is one of her best works and I can’t recommend it enough.