4 star

Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Considered to be one of Agatha Christie’s greatest, and also most controversial mysteries, ‘The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd’ breaks the rules of traditional mystery.

The peaceful English village of King’s Abbot is stunned. The widow Ferrars dies from an overdose of Veronal. Not twenty-four hours later, Roger Ackroyd—the man she had planned to marry—is murdered. It is a baffling case involving blackmail and death that taxes Hercule Poirot’s “little grey cells” before he reaches one of the most startling conclusions of his career.

Taking deep dive into the past for this one, and finally reading more Agatha Christie. Up until now, surprise surprise, I’ve actually only read The Murder on the Orient Express, I believe, which was recommended to me by a friend. Now that I’ve read this one too, I think I might just start from the beginning and go through the rest of the Hercule Poirot mysteries and see how I feel about them!

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a self-explanatory title, but the plot is really quite intricate. It revolves around a small town where everyone knows everyone, and thus most often have something to hide. After the death of one of the most rich patrons in town, the town is thrown into a disarray, and more and more suspicious circumstances arise around the death. As the suspects are narrowed down, it becomes clear that only a few number of people could have committed the murder, and it is up to Hercule Poirot and his deductions to solve it all.

Overall, quite a good read. The characters were excellent, and it was essentially a closed room scenario, since there were really only very few possibilities for the perpetrator. That is not to say it wasn’t exciting though. There were intricate storylines woven for everyone, and it was very difficult to tell who would end up being the murderer all the way up until the final chapters. The ending also has an interesting twist to it.

Generally the characters were quite excellent and very appropriately suspicious in a murder mystery context. Their motivations made sense and as more was made clear, I felt that the cohesion of characters and their intermingling was all very well done. If the story didn’t progress, I would have been confused all the way until the very end whether who was the true culprit.

The plot was also quite good. I enjoy these Poirot mysteries but this one actually took place through the eyes of Dr. Sheppard, which I found to be a great perspective change, rather than simply through the eyes of the detective which is common. The weaving was the most impressive part, but the plots individually were fairly predictable. But considering its time period, I can see why it would’ve been pretty special at the time.

Overall Recommendations

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a murder mystery that takes place in a small village where everyone seems to know everyone, yet no one wants to reveal anything. Through the eyes of Dr. Sheppard who helps with Hercule Poirot’s investigation, we are taken through a journey of multiple plotlines in a complex interwoven plot that all ties together and resolves through the denouement quite well. I would say the climax of the story actually takes place right at the end contrary to how it normally might go, but this really worked for me!

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