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4 Muffins Book Reviews

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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Like so many others, I am jumping on the Orient Express to find out who did ‘it’ before I see the movie at the cinema. I’ve been desperately wanting to read Agatha Christie’s books for a while, and there was no better one to start with! (very minor spoiler ahead that you might not spot but hey I’m warning you just in case!)

Below is my review, plus a sneaky peak at the front cover and description and places to buy:

About The Book

853510

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

“The murderer is with us – on the train now…”

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again..

My Review

Murder on the Orient Express is a classic crime thriller, and one of Christie’s many Poirot novels. Set primarily on a train called, you won’t believe this, the Orient Express, travelling to England, the story follows Poirot when it comes to his knowledge that someone on the trains been murdered. Temporarily employed by Company Director, M. Bouc, Poirot sets about interviewing the passengers and gathering evidence that will ultimately solve the crime. Everything that happens in the book has been meticulously planned, like any good crime novel should be, and we are shown through Poirot’s though process as he works his way through the evidence. The ending was certainly not predictable, and the ending was definitely climactic. I almost thought it would end on a cliffhanger, but it reigned in on the very last page. Christie really does leave you having until the last moment, which is a very clever writing skill to have. Everything mentioned throughout the fast paced plot was brought together at the end, nothing was left for us to wonder.

It is difficult to get attached to any characters in these sorts of books, as they all seem guilty until proven innocent. There is something very much reserved about all the passengers on the train, and M. Bouc didn’t seem the friendliest at times. I did find it strange in parts when we read Poirot’s thoughts as though he were speaking out loud, and he could also seem a little bit closed off at times, but as with many great detectives, they need time to organise their thoughts to solve the crime. The characters were certainly given plenty of background to their passenger personalities and their real identities, which made them feel a lot more realistic than some characters in crime novels can be. Especially seeing as this book is under 300 pages, it is packed with at least 12 very well developed characters.

As mentioned earlier, I was constantly trying to guess throughout the novel who the murderer was, and there were times when I guessed correctly, but when you’ve read the book you will understand why that’s the case! I felt like Poirot’s sidekick, trying to work through the evidence and unfold the crime. My favourite part was definitely the end when you finally find out who did it and how it all happened, it was extremely clever and well constructed on Christie’s part! The entire book was very well written, if a little difficult to grasp the wording at times, but this is probably due to the lack of classical literature in my read pile, and through no fault of the author. I was certainly gripped, and wish I had more time to sit down and really get deep into the novel, rather than reading it chapter at a time.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of crime novels, and all Christie fanatics who haven’t got to it yet!

My Rating: 4 Muffins out of 5

Where To Buy

If you like the sound of the book, here is where you can buy the book (including, but not limited to):

Amazon

The Book Depository

  Cover photo and description taken from Goodreads (view book profile here)

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By bookmuffin

I like books and tea. MA Children's Literature student.

2 replies on “Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie”

I am very interested in your opinion on the Kenneth Branagh movie version. The David Suchet (2010) and Albert Finney (1974) versions are fantastic!

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