‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ is one of the best mysteries written by Agatha Christie and the only one to be featured in the ‘1001 Books To Read Before You Die’ list. I picked up this book with much expectations and Christie didn’t disappoint. This is one of the cleverest mysteries I have ever read.
The novel is set in the small English village of King’s Abbot, and opens with the death of a widow, Mrs. Ferrars. She had committed suicide and according to rumours, she had earlier murdered her husband by poisoning him. After her husband’s death, she was in a secret relationship with Roger Ackroyd, the wealthiest man in King’s Abbot. That same night, Dr James Sheppard meets Roger Ackroyd for supper and minutes later Ackroyd is found murdered, stabbed to death in his study. Ackroyd’s stepson Captain Ralph Paton is the prime suspect along with many others from the household who were in Ackroyd’s will and would be financially benefitted with Ackroyd’s death.
Nothing much can be said about the story without dropping a spoiler. But believe me; the twist in the tale is just so clever that you will never be able to guess who the killer was. Throughout reading the book, I kept guessing but I was stumped by the unexpected end. The plot is dazzling and flawlessly executed. The book has achieved a classic status due to the sheer brilliant design of the plot.
The book has an interesting set of characters. The Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot is at his best. Poirot’s brilliancy shines in its height in solving this complicated murder mystery. Here Poirot works alone, without his friend Captain Hastings; but a new acquaintance Dr. Sheppard helps him in the investigation. Dr. Sheppard is intelligent and droll; and makes for a fine companion. His tenacious nosy sister, Caroline, with her constant gossips and random theorizing, is most entertaining.
With an ingenious plot, wonderful characters, and an unexpected ending, Agatha Christie has woven an intricate mystery that will leave you in awe of her craft. A brilliant masterpiece!
Title: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Author: Agatha Christie
Page count: 312 (first edition, hardback)
Genre: Detective fiction
Originally published: June 1926
Series: Hercule Poirot #4
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