Review | Murder on the Orient Express
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Series: Hercule Poirot #10
Known for his detective skills, Hercule Poirot is once again pulled into an investigation when he finds himself aboard a train where a murder is committed. In the compartment directly next door, a mysterious man leaves little trace behind of who killed him and of who he himself was. It'll take Poirot's cunning mind to unravel the mystery that causes all the passengers on the Orient Express to play a part. Who is the criminal? And who was the victim?
In-Depth Review (contains spoilers)
Sometimes the vocabulary and phrasing threw me off throughout the book because the wording is extremely dated. But not in a bad way. It just took some adjustment and then I was flying through the story. In fact, the different vocabulary and throwing in other languages added to the overall story because it reinforced the fact that it was not set in the United States and thus things are fairly different.
I did find it entertaining when Hercule rode the first train, that was nearly empty, and then the second train which was full to bursting. That was such an obvious screaming detail to me that made me pay attention. I knew that it could not be a coincidence, and yet I could not quite explain why it wasn't a coincidence. Perhaps that is what Hercule was thinking? And then it all became obvious to me once it was revealed that all of the passengers in that train car had some connection to the Armstrong family.
Hercule was a fantastic character. Comparatively, to Sherlock Holmes, he is the calm to Holmes frantic. Where Holmes would jump from one thought to another in a flurry, Hercule was calm and calculating. and to some extent, funny. I enjoy when he ended up finding the red kimono among his own luggage simply due to his reaction. Rather than be concerned, he simply was intrigued with an, "Oh my, that's not good," sort of behavior. At some times I would almost love to have him as a friend due to his attention to detail. Not even the littlest thing could slip past him.
In the end, I did guess and guess correctly what the grand reveal would be. But, even though I knew the truth, I still felt the shock factor as it was revealed in the story. To me, this is fantastic story telling. No matter if I already know what's going to happen or not, I still want the story to convey strong feelings to me. That is the reason why I'm reading it in the first place. The reveal itself was rather grand. A lot of mysteries tend to either be black and white, straight-forward or overly complicated. This fell in the comfortable middle. The victim himself was a villain and thus it really wasn't all that bad that he wound up dead. But, Hercule was still a detective and bound by his job to investigate for the truth. In the end, when it was revealed that all of the passengers had a reason to hate Ratchett and had a part to play in his death, it was not at all upsetting. In fact, Ratchett deserved it and it's nice to see that justice happen. Even though it was at the hands of civilians rather than law enforcement.
If you want to read a mystery that is more about the twist and turns of discovery, then this is perfect for you. It takes you on a grand ride without ever traveling from a train. With finger pointing and evidence being found all around, it takes nothing less than a genius detective to find out the truth in the end. And that truth ends up being just as complicated as the case itself.
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