“Ten little soldier boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine.
Nine little soldier boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight.
Eight little soldier boys travelling in Devon; One said he’d stay there and then there were seven.
Seven little soldier boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
Six little soldier boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
Five little soldier boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four.
Four little soldier boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
Three little soldier boys walking in the Zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two.
Two little soldier boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one.
One little soldier boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.”
Although the complete story flow is revealed in the beginning with the Frank Green’s nursery poem but still the plot holds till the end. I really like those novels in which you can’t guess the murderer till the end until explicitly told in the epilog because in most mystery murder novels it is very easy to predict the murderer.
The story revolves around ten characters with questionable character and a secret of the one heinous murder they all committed in their past; an in-house crime which can’t be touched by the law. All of them invited to this mystery island which is cut off from the world, in a strange and intriguing way by a person named U.N. Owen pronounced as ‘unknown’. And then starts the murder of the characters one by one rhyming with the nursery poem.
Although in the beginning, the characters were switching very fast and the ten main characters along with the related characters from their past, I find it quite difficult to remember them especially when you are reading the book in multiple sitting. But maybe it’s only me. As the story progressed one becomes familiar with the characters. I really appreciate how Christie has created this complicated plot with an array of characters and yet kept it very simple. She reveals only sufficient information about the character at a time to keep you intrigued and the reader keeps on guessing the missing details. Even though you know the way the next person will die, who will be that next person and what will be the exact chronology keeps you on your toe. And at the end when the murderer is revealed it completely blows your mind.
“It is perfectly clear. Mr. Owen is one of us.…”
For all the people who love mystery and thriller plots, it’s a must read.