Friday, August 12, 2011

Towards Zero by Agatha Christie

Towards Zero was first published in 1944, and it is one of the many mystery novels written by Agatha Christie.

This novel is different from most other detective novels—there isn't one single murder until the half-way point. Instead of starting the story with a murder, Agatha Christie starts it with the events that lead to the murders, the descriptions of the suspects , as well as the suspects' relationships with each other.

This way of presenting the murder case is not only interesting but also successful—it gave me a entirely new experience of reading a detective novel. For once, not only did I have to guess who the murderer was, I also had to guess who the victim was! This was especially exciting because I felt that almost everyone could be a murderer or a victim, and every moment I had to hope that my favourite character would neither commit a murder nor become a victim of murder.

Furthermore, once again Agatha Christie gave us a dramatic ending. It wasn't until the very end that we learned who the real murderer was, and what the real murder was intended to be. And like in many other works of Agatha Christie, everything was clear once we read about the truth—all the clues came together, and nothing was illogical.

Overall, I liked this book very much. It was unique and suspenseful, and was one of the best detective novels that I have read.

Also, a bit of spoiler:
The murderer was Nevile Strange, and he his plan was to kill Lady Tressilian and to plant the crime on Audrey Strange. It was actually Audrey who left Nevile for another man, and Nevile wanted to revenge by having Audrey hanged.