Book Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
By Alexis Mercer
As promised in my book review of Murder on the Orient Express, I have read more Agatha Christie mysteries. Two, in fact. I started my plunge into learning more about the best selling author of all time with her first published novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles. While this book was indeed entertaining, I found myself slightly disappointed after having truly enjoyed and been enthralled with Murder on the Orient Express. But I forged on and read another: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. In this book my love for Christie’s writing was renewed.
Only after having finished the book did I learn that this is known as the novel that “changed Agatha Christie’s career” (agathachristie.com). Her fourth novel, it is entertaining and suspenseful to the very end.
In The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, the town doctor visits the home of Ackroyd, his patient and also friend, but later that evening after returning home, gets a call back to the house to attend to the murdered man. The reader learns that Roger Ackroyd was dating a woman who had poisoned her husband a year ago and had since been blackmailed by an anonymous person. She, the love of Ackroyd’s life, had recently taken her own life with a drug overdose.
Hercule Poirot is called out of retirement, being the neighbor of the doctor, by Ackroyd’s niece, to solve his murder. Everyone in the house that evening is a suspect, and even a few others who were not in the house but who were acquainted with Ackroyd. Poirot follows his distinct style of detecting the truth; taking no one’s word as truth until it can be proven without doubt. It is through this meticulous and thorough process that Poirot does come up with the truth about who murdered Ackroyd, but not without twists and turns along the way.
Immediately upon finishing this book, I ordered two more of Christie’s Hercule Poirot mysteries. I can read them concurrently with other novels and not be distracted or have a hard time following along. They are a wonderful go-to book to have waiting if I have recently read something heavy or difficult.
The truth, however ugly in itself, is always curious and beautiful to the seeker after it.
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