Book Review

Book Reivew: Murder on the Orient Express

I read Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie for the National Novel Reading Month (NaNoReMo for short), hosted by John Wiswell. You’re supposed to that classic you always meant to read, but never got around to actually reading.

Murder on the Orient Express is a mystery classic. I’ve never seen any of the movies or the TV show. But I know the story, which probably indicates just how much of a classic it is.

Before I started the book, I didn’t know this is the ninth in a series. But it was okay. I think there were references in the beginning of the book to past events, but it didn’t affect the rest of the story.

Despite starting late – I completely forgot until the middle of the month! – I finished it quickly. The book is supposed to be around 300 pages, but it didn’t feel that long. It was a quick read. I also didn’t know that detective was Belgian. I suppose I thought he was English or American or something. (I mean, Dame Christie was English so . . . yeah, I assumed.)

The language was a bit formal, but not more than I was expecting. I mean, this book was first written in the 1930’s, and all writing was a lot more formal back then.

It’s written in the third person, and while it’s a fairly strict third person, there is a lot more distance between the reader and the main character than in contemporary third person POV. I think this might be a result of the formality of the language. That makes me wonder, how much of a role does language play in how much distance exists between the main character and the reader in other POVs?

I liked how she divided the suspect interviews into chapters and how she built up each character before the murder even happened. It made the conclusion that much more inevitable. The reveal of how all the characters are connected was slow, almost delicate, and I liked it a lot.

So, I was looking at the characters and how their stories match up. This is what comes of knowing how it ends. 😉 I think, if I didn’t already know the ending, it would be hard to guess. I mean, who would guess that were all in on it!

And the ending! They let everyone go! That, I didn’t know. I am glad I didn’t because it was a surprise. They let the whole train car of murderers go. I mean, the guy who got murdered deserved it. He got justice at the hands of his victims that he never got in the courts. Even so. Still not sure how I feel about it.