Title: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Crime / Mystery / Classics
Date: 2013 (1926)
Started: 24th January 2019
Completed: 26th January 2019
Summary: ‘Key in the lock all right, sir. On the inside. Mr Ackroyd must have locked himself in.’ Poor Roger Ackroyd. He knew that the woman he loved had been harbouring a guilty secret – she poisoned her first husband. And yesterday she killed herself. But guilty secrets rarely stay secret. Who had been blackmailing her before her death? Had it really driven her to suicide? And would it all be revealed in the letter that arrived in the evening post? Sadly Roger Ackroyd wasn’t going to live long enough to find out…
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was Agatha Christie’s sixth novel to be published. It was her third Hercule Poirot novel after The Mysterious Affair at Styles and The Murder on the Links.
I have previously reviewed And Then There Were None, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Secret Adversary, The Murder on the Links, The Man in the Brown Suit, and The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie.
I loved reading this book and I think it is definitely worthy of being called one of Christie’s best novels. It is truly fantastic.
The book starts in an odd way as Poirot doesn’t appear in the first few chapters. Instead, we are introduced to the narrator, a doctor, and his sister who are discussing the suicide of Mrs Ferrars. Roger Ackroyd, a wealthy man, is then murdered in mysterious circumstances and Hercule Poirot, who is now the good doctor’s neighbour, is called in by Ackroyd’s niece to solve the crime. The plot reveals instances of blackmail, manipulation, deceit, and betrayal but Christie skillfully steers the reader away from the true culprit of Ackroyd’s murder. I was so shocked by the end of the novel because it was such a dramatic plot twist. I never saw it coming and I felt slightly betrayed at the end of the book.
I prefer Poirot’s characterisation in this novel to the other novels that I’ve read about him. He seemed more intelligent and more skilful than in the other novels and I think that this is probably due to the development in Christie’s writing. I love the way that Poirot’s clues mislead both the narrator and the reader and it makes Poirot the most powerful character in the novel, despite the book being from Dr Sheppard’s point of view. Poirot always keeps the narrator out of the loop in some way which leads up to the big, shocking reveal at the end. It’s a fantastic piece of writing and you can see some development in Poirot’s character in this book.
I’d really recommend reading this book because it’s utterly fantastic. I was captivated from Poirot’s first appearance in the novel until the very end. It’s a masterful example of Christie’s writing prowess and it really shows why she is still considered the Queen of Crime.