Endless Night

I think that Agatha Christie is often at her best when she's at her most atypical. She seems to have an especial gift for becoming the mouthpiece of her characters, so it's perhaps slightly surprising that so few of her novels are narrated in the first person, especially when you consider that her breakthrough novel, the novel that elevated her to the status of Queen of Crime Fiction, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd was beautifully and effectively written this way.

The extremely creepy Endless night is also written in the first person. On the surface it is a love story, a young innocent wealthy heiress meets a down-on-his-luck likeable lad. The lad has brains and a passion for architecture, Ellie (the girl) has a passion for him, and his proposed dream house. They elope, and build the house of their dreams, but just when everything seems perfect.....

This is very well written, if you don't know who the murderer is (and the writing is so good it's hard to spot) you're in for a shock. If you do know (as I did) it's worth re-reading just for the sheer pleasure of admiring Christie's use of language. She is never less than truthful, but it's all down to how you read it. Fans of the rather more cosy murder story will be shocked by this one. Christie goes to the heart of evil, and a very black and icy heart it has too. An absorbing, chilling and oddly haunting read. If you get a chance try to see the film of this starring Hywel Bennett and Hayley Mills, some great casting and a bravura performance from Bennett.


Popular Posts