Endless Night

Endless Night is one of Agatha Christie's creepiest, and among her best written, novels. Told in the first person, most of the novel reads rather like a romance - boy meets girl, they fall in love with each other, and with a particular place. They have a whirlwind romance, marry, girl turns out to be filthy rich, they buy the land of their dreams, and have the house of their freams built there. Everything seems perfect. And then things start to go wrong...A gipsy's curse leads to sudden death and murder.

One of Christie's most famous and best reviewed novels The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was told in the first person, and was narrated by the murderer - in the case of the Ackroyd novel, the murderer is perfectly sane, in Endless Night the murderer, who also narrates his own story, is a psychopath. It is very chilling writing - I can still remember the shock of discovering the murderer the first time I read this book. On re-reading it stands up as a very good piece of writing, the clues are there right from the beginning, but if you know the narrator is the murderer you read the book very differently, so every time you come to it, it's a slightly different read. Clever and very chilling. Other interesting point is that these two novels which do have some similarities come at either end of her career - Roger Ackroyd was her major breakthough novel, Night was written in the late '60's not many years before her death.

I'm a big fan of the crime novels that Christie wrote outside the Poirot / Marple settings, this is one of the best.


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