The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a Standalone.
The sound of how good Murder on the Orient Express is, is deafening – which it is, but The Murder of Roger Ackroyd has quickly become one of my favourite mystery novels and Agatha Christie book, and what I thought will be predictable was well…not.
In a small village located in England, Mrs Ferrars a widower who is belived by the community to have murdered her husband has just died. The man she is rumored to have had an affair with and reason she killed her husband, Roger Ackroyd discovers a letter in which Mrs Ferrars is possible to have detailed certain events, but he never gets the chance to finish the letter, for he was next in the chain of death.
Flora Ackroyd, who suspects there is more to Roger Ackroyd’s death than is willing to be investigated, calls upon the retired detective Hercule Poirot.
As I started reading the book, a few pages in I thought I knew how the book was going to go, and I saw the story as predictable, but I had no thoughts of putting it down, and the book quickly took a different turn, and I became alert and was quickly captivated by the story and the mystery unraveling.
The plot of the book seems simple enough when summarised , but it does not take long for the reader to see that there is so much more going on. In the first few pages when certain characters are being introduced , they seem to have been involved in more than one of the three deaths the book is concerned with. The world and plot building is nothing short of excellent and well executed.
The story of adultery and murder might not be the most original concept but the manner in which is handled and in The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is brilliant and extremely well done. At the end of the book the concepts is blended well with the writer’s amazing story telling it is far from cliché.
A few characters in the book were stereotypes ; the gossip, the nosy neighbour, the handsome guy, and were one-dimensional.
One of my favourite aspects of the book was the information or portrayal of Hercule Poirot, the story is told from the ‘I’ perspective and it is not Hercule’s point of view. The narrating character Dr. Sheppard, has interesting and amusing things to say about the sometimes Belgian, sometimes French detective, and I enjoyed learning about Hercule Poirot and his characteristics the way I did in this book.
I also found myself laughing at certain parts in book. I was not expecting that. There are so many amusing phrases, characterization and various other bits that just made me laugh and I enjoyed the intentional and unintentional humour mixed with mystery.
The one thing that I didn’t like was the small mindedness in the book by certain characters. They were annoying but also expected, and I found the generalization made about both male and females, by a few, if not all the characters including Hercule Poirot, irritating.
Overall, I enjoyed this book dare I say it more than Murder on the Orient Express. There is a complexity to what appears simple, achieved by good writing, brilliant plot and a well thought out and executed character development.
I would recommend picking up The Murder of Roger Ackroyd if you want to get into Agatha Christie, or a short and sweet mystery story.