Murder on the Orient Express
Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer.
Reviewed on 18th September 2010
This is probably the most famous of Agatha Christe's Poirot novels, and yet I found it somewhat lacking. The story is set on the Orient Express, trapped in heavy snow, where one of the passengers is found murdered. It is left to Poirot to solve the case.
While this has all the hallmarks of a Christie novel - full of upper class characters who all have something to hide - I honestly don't think it deserves it's mantel. The plot is very formulaic, and the book is even divided into three sections: the set up, interviewing the suspects, and solving the case.
There are too many characters to easily take in, and Christie seems to realise this by continually reminding the reader of who is who. In the interview stage this is particularly tedious and quickly becomes repetitive. The nature of the book - limited to one location - seems almost better suited to the stage than the page.
Finally, I was dissatisfied with the conclusion. Not wanting to give it away I won't say any more than that I honestly did not see how the reader could be possibly able to call it right.