SPOILER ALERT! I don’t give any specifics on the ending, but I do talk about in general terms that might still give it away. If you are currently reading this book or plan to read it soon, you should probably wait until you’re done to read this review.
I love predictable movies, but when I’m reading I prefer endings that make me say “holy crap, I did not see that coming.” The ending to The Murder of Roger Ackroyd floored me in a way no other book has managed to do. It was surprising but made perfect sense. Agatha Christie gives subtle clues and lays the groundwork in such a way that you never see the ending coming, but once it does you think “o ya, I should have seen that coming.”
As a television crime drama junkie, I’m used to brilliant detectives who use a plethora of scientific gadgets and gizmos to solve incredibly complex crimes. But this book was set in a much earlier time, I’m guess around the early 1900’s when Christie was writing, and the most complex thing they are able to do is retrieve and compare fingerprints. Detective Poirot has only persuasion, keen observation, sharp logical and a strict methodology to assist him in a case that might stump the cast of CSI…especially Miami…they suck.
What’s amazing is that even without modern technology Christie’s mystery is still very fast paced, unpredictable and entertaining. I’m not the brightest crown in the box so I never had the whole thing figured out, but there were definitely times when I thought I had eliminated one suspect only to turn the page and learn new information that put that character in the prime spot. Christie pulls the reader into a relationship with each and every character, so much so that you will find yourself cheering for the innocence of Ackroyd’s son and hoping that jealous, uptight housekeeper is the guilty one. Until you find out about the housekeepers secret family and then your convinced it was the over eager secretary. Until you find out that he is to laid back and jolly to kill anyone, so now your back to the obvious suspect, Ackroyd’s step son. But that parlor maid is acting really suspicious…