Keeping the Light on in And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie


4.5/5 STARS

Genre: Classics, Mystery, Thriller
Author: Agatha Christie
Published: November 1939
Publisher: Harper
Pages: 247 {paperback}

Originally posted on Goodreads

Initial Thoughts Upon Finishing

Bloody hell. I’ll get back to you on this one.

I feel like this is an accurate summation of me on completing this book

And Then There Were None

This book, it will mess with your mind. I read this expecting to experience a Poirot experience. The only other Christie book I’d read at this point was Peril at End House (and it’s fabulous). However. Whilst that might be classified as “mystery” – this is most definitely classified as “horror”. And I loved it.

I feel like I need to quickly interject here to say that I’m a complete wimp when it comes to horror. So when I say “oh my god this was terrifying” repeatedly throughout this review, just bear in mind that I find King Kong too scary to watch. Ok?

And Then There Were None is the story of an epic murder mystery that takes place on an island. 10 people mysteriously receive invitations to a mansion on this island and the reasons provided are enough to get them to actually come. Except the host is no where in sight. And doesn’t turn up. At all.

Each of them find a poem on their bedside table, Ten Little Soliders, and in each verse one of the soldier boys dies. Do you see where this is going? On the first night, a mysterious announcement is played (I’m literally creeping myself out recounting this, so I apologise to those of you as feeble hearted as myself also having mini-panic attacks right now). Ahem. The recording essentially accuses each guest of something and everyone guffaws in a very British manner declaring that it’s absolute balderdash! And then they all begin to die. One by one.

Let me tell you now, this book needs to be read with the lights on for those of you, like myself, who scare easily because over-active imaginations are terrifying things. BUT – before you dash away declaring this certainly not your type of book, give me a chance to explain why this is, in fact, a book you’ll love.

Guessing Games

One of the great things about this book is the guessing. It’s such a fun book. You have no idea who the host is who’s invited everyone to the island and you’re trying to work out whether they’ll escape, who’s going to die next, and whether anyone will survive. I’m quite bad at predicting plots, so reading an Agatha Christie is like walking through a minefield of plot twists where I go – SAY, I DID NOT SEE THAT ONE COMING, GEORGE – and then gleefully sip my cup of tea, turn the lights up brighter, and subtly check that the only thing under my bed is my collection of stuffed toys. I mean . . . ahem.

Pretend those books are plot twists. And you’re the owl.

But really, really now, I can’t express enough to you how enjoyable this inability to work everything out is. You’re so on edge with all the characters as they’re half trying to stick together to keep an eye on each other, and half trying stay away from each other to keep safe. Someone could make this into the scariest movie, I swear. But just you wait, you get to the murder-y bits and you’re going I KNOW WHO DIED, IT’S TOTALLY BOB BECAUSE BOB SNEEZED LAST NIGHT AND YEAH. Oh! And on the dining table there are little soldier figurines and each time someone dies one of them disappears. *makes spooky sound effects and waggles fingers*

The Hints

It’s incredibly clever. The main “hints” that you get throughout the story are the verses of the poem. You know that someone’s going to die, you know that it’s someone on the island, you know and there is apparently no-one else on the island except the ten people, and you have an idea of how each death might happen. If it happens. I’m not going to recite the poem here, I’m afraid, because I’m writing this review at nighttime and to be perfectly honest with you, I want to sleep tonight.

The Characters

The characters are awesome. I love how many characters there are and how conflicted they are. From the get-go you have a seed planted in your mind that maybe there is a reason that these people are here, maybe it’s not a load of baloney. When you find out a little more about each of the “crimes” that they people are convicted of it’s such a ooohh moment. Because despite the murderer being clearly quite bonkers, he’s sort of got a point. One thing’s for sure, you’ll try and refrain the entire book from picking favourites or rooting for certain characters, and then you’ll pick them anyway and walk around in a daze once you’re done because OH MY CHEESECAKE THAT ENDING.


You’ve Got to be Popular

This book is Christie’s most sold and most popular book. It’s a standalone per se, so none of her other works (as far as I’m aware) relate to it. But there’s a reason this book is so popular. It’s one of the most clever and twisty books I’ve ever read. I couldn’t work out who had done it even when the bloody book finished. Thankfully, Christie put it an extra chapter sort of thing which explain everything in a clever way. Make sure you don’t drop your jaw on the floor.

Don’t these gifs just keep getting better?

Why You Won’t Wet Your Pants

Look, I’ve made you pretty scared now and probably convinced you to not buy this book, #GoodReviewingSkilz. But trust me, this book is epic. You will never have your brain teased as much and you will never shout so much at a book. You might fling it across the room occasionally but one thing I kept in mind during this story is that I’m safe and allowed to just plain enjoy this because I’m in Christie’s hands. Murder mystery is her kingdom and you just can’t get any better than this (although The Thirteenth Tale comes close with those plot twists, sheesh). It’s a great book and you’ll be so impressed with the story that it makes it totally worth it. I mean, there were only two occasions where I got so scared I felt sick . . . I mean, what.


Good luck.

View all my reviews


 You might also like . . .

If you like slippery plot twists, The Thirteenth Tale is for you.

If you like intense murder mysteries, The Girl on the Train is for you.

If you like your classical scares, Frankenstein is for you.

 Have you read And Then There Were None?

Share your thoughts below!

End Note

~~ Kirstie ~~

6 thoughts on “Keeping the Light on in And Then There Were None

  1. Glad you enjoyed it! This is my favourite classic, It’s just so good. The BBC did an adaptation of this last Christmas which I’d definitely recommend checking out if you can find it anywhere.

    I just finished Peril at End House, and I agree that’s great as wel


      1. It was so spooky and atmospheric. Charles Dance was the judge – he was excellent – and it has eye candy in the form of both Aidan Turner and Toby Stephens. They also acted well.

        Liked by 1 person

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