Published by Harper Collins
Publication date – originally published in 1926
Source – own copy
Roger Ackroyd knew too much. He knew that the woman he loved had poisoned her brutal first husband. He suspected also that someone had been blackmailing her. Now, tragically, came the news that she had taken her own life with a drug overdose.
But the evening post brought Roger one last fatal scrap of information. That night he was stabbed to death. And now Poirot has to track down a cold hearted murderer.
Roger Ackroyd has been murdered. Stabbed and found in his study at home. Unluckily for his murderer, Poirot has retired to the same village as Ackroyd. Stepping out of retirement he puts his little grey cells to the test, on the trail of a murderer.
Published in the year Agatha Christie famously disappeared for 11 days, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is perhaps one of the hardest books to review. It is so easy to give the game away that the least said about the actual story the better.
Suffice it to say, there are clues and red herrings, the reader gets taken down the right road and in the wrong direction and will no doubt come unstuck before the big reveal.
I started the story already knowing who the murderer was. I read it more closely as a result, seeing clues that I may have missed otherwise. I was able to enjoy the story without being caught up in trying to figure out who did what. Doing so I was able to appreciate the skill of the story writing.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd shows a writer adept at the sleight of hand needed to create a really great murder mystery. The first person narration draws the reader in closer, making them feel part of the investigation. It guides them along. This is not a story narrated by Captain Hastings and so we see Poirot through other eyes, making him a more rounded character.
There are the usual host of characters you would expect in an Agatha Christie tale, the rich society folks, the servants with secrets to hide and the middle classes stuck somewhere in between.
If you haven’t read this before and don’t know who the culprit is, read it and see if you can figure it out. If you have read it before or know who did it, read it anyway and see if you can spot the clues. They are all there to be found. Either way, if you read it, be prepared to be entertained.