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jenn

Murder by Death

I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.

Endless Night

Endless Night - Agatha Christie

Well, that was a mind f*ck.  

 

Sort of.  I don't know about anyone else, but the entire time I was reading this I was, in addition to waiting for something to happen, racing down possible scenarios in my head, so at one point or another I'd suspected everyone.  

 

I most consistently suspected Mike, that I was reading a confession after the fact; at one point I started to suspect Ellie because nobody could be that perfect could they?  And Mike's reaction to meeting Greta didn't feel authentic, although I was subsequently sold on his hostility towards her.  It wasn't until Ellie died and he kept Greta around that I went back to thinking he was just another cliche, falling for the secretary.  But boy howdy I did NOT see the very end at all.  That was very dark indeed and the break with reality at the end was also a complete shock.

(show spoiler)

 

I don't know what I'd call this, but murder mystery would not make the top three.  Psychological thriller, yes.  Horror even.  Suspense at the very least.  But even if you don't know who the killer is until the end, there isn't any emphasis on the mystery.

 

A lot of questions went unanswered for me, most of them probably inconsequential:  What was up with the impromptu visit by Ellie's uncle at the end - was there a point to that?  And was Lloyd really at the pub with his ex-wife?  Why?  And if the staff were who Mike says they were why didn't they stop the whole thing sooner?  Why let it go on for so long?

 

Objectively speaking, this is a very good book; it requires a commitment from the reader, to stick with it during that excruciatingly slow build up, but it repays it in spades with that ending.  It's tight, and well written and I sort of suspect Christie had a lot of fun writing it; I picture her at her desk doing a version of the muwahahaha as she constructed that ending.

 

But subjectively... I didn't like it.  I don't like unreliable narrators, I dislike being kept from the facts and I hate psychological manipulation and the very worst part:  I couldn't put the book down.  I had to know how it ended.  Does that make me more or less crazy than the book?   ;p