This is another book I picked up to read before the movie comes out. I had deliberately stayed away from Agatha Christie all these years. I tried my hand on one of her mystery novels about six years back and did not quite like it. I frankly do not remember why I didn’t like the book either.
I picked up this book after I watched the movie trailer. Now, after reading the book I am even more excited to watch the movie. Especially the star cast! They look ravenous, all of them!
I am not a huge fan of movie-tie-in editions. It just so happens that I always acquire the tie-ins wherever there is an option. I read this one on Kindle, so did not have much option. The cover features the entire cast of the movie inside the train. I quite like the composition though. It is clean. Compared to other tie-in covers that I own, I can comfortably say that this one is my favorite.
There are multiple characters in the book. I am going to talk about the few that I liked immensely. There is an American woman named Mrs Hubbard who is hysterical at the time of panic and loud when she is not panicking. She is forever talking about what her daughter thinks of everything, sliding her into conversations easily. That is a wonder, really! There is an American who is always looking over his back. He believes that someone is out there to get him. He is right, I guess, since we are solving his murder here. There are others, those who are traveling in the train. Ms Bouc owns the carriage. He has a weird disconcert towards Italians. There is also Dr Constantine. He is a doctor by profession who discovers some crucial details about the murder. And lastly there is our own Hercule Poirot. He is a world famous detective and he knows it! There is certain sternness in his conduct that may come across as arrogance. He is charming though! All the characters mentioned or otherwise are distinct. I marvel at Christie’s genius. She has crafted these characters well enough for them to look easy.
The book begins with Poirot sitting in a train overhearing a man and a woman talk. He gets off the train and checks in a hotel only to realize he has to travel to London immediately. He finds the next train that is full. However he fits himself on an empty seat.
Christie spends some time describing the company in the train and each one’s character thrown here and there into conversations and descriptions. And then a murder takes place. This murder in particular acquits everyone or none at all. Each passenger behaves in calm fashion that only comes with innocence until Poirot starts to examine each of them in connection with one another. Poirot starts pulling one end of the thread and the whole spool comes out.
The mystery is unearthed keeping in mind the descriptions that the author generously sprinkled throughout the story even without you realizing it. A spectacle of classism can be seen in the story throughout. However, they are just a couple of people who are pretending to be what they are not.
Towards the end when the murdered is identified, one faces a moral dilemma which is even more fascinating. I absolutely loved reading the content. It was a joyride!
Christie follows a clean British English that is a pleasure to read. The mystery is maintained with the slight fold of events that are narrated with utmost ease.
I loved the cover, even though I do not like movie editions much. The characters are fascinating. Each one of them, even the ones not mentioned here. The content is a roller coaster ride. I loved the thrill. The language is easy.
Certain clues were very obvious which did not need much pondering. I maybe going ahead of myself in saying that, but I did unearth some clues before Poirot did! Is that a bad point?
I absolutely loved the book. I may have made a terrible choice with my first book or I have matured now. But surely I can say, I enjoyed every bit of the book.
Whom do I recommend this to
This is for mystery lovers. Those who like a well-written book are going to love this work of fiction too. First time Christie readers are going to appreciate this book.
‘The impossible cannot have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.’
‘I like to see an angry Englishman,’ said Poirot. ‘They are very amusing. The more emotional they feel the less command they have of language.’
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