The story is one of the fine thrillers by Agatha Christie, written in 1934. It’s very form of narrative and structure in the form of investigation fills the readers mind with thoughts and judgments of their own, making them the detectives all along the book. Adding to the mystery are the clues such as tampered hand clock, pipe cleaner, handkerchief with printed letter, ink bloted passport and others just wrangles the mind with lot possibilities, yet not one leads to the killer.
About the author
Agatha Christie, is a famous crime novel British writer during a period of 1920 to 1970 with 66 detective thriller books in her collection which revolves around her fictional detective creation of Hercules Pivot and Miss Marple. Her work is 3rd most published one after Shakespeare and Bible and has a Guinness World Record for selling the most number of copies. Murder on the Orient express is one of her notable works beside The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Death on the Nile, The Murder at the Vicarage, The Mousetrap etc.
Heavy snowfall brings the Orient Express which travelling across Europe on its regular route and with its regular crew to a halt on its second day of its three days journey. Soon a passenger, anticipating a threat to his life, is found dead with twelve stabs on his body, a very raged murder. The winter at this time of the year is gruesome and one would embark the journey only with a very definitive purpose. Interestingly, the train is pretty full with fifteen passengers on board of it. Each unrelated to the other and from varied nationalities travelling under one roof and would probably never going to see each other after the journey.
If murderer is on the train he/she needs to be discovered before the train restarts and reaches the next station. Hercules pivot, one of the greatest international detective of the time is on on board on his personal quest and agrees to take up the case. First thing, is murderer still on the train? Who was the victim and why was he anticipating threat to his life? Who among the passengers is a killer? Thirteen suspects on-board with each pleading innocence and with no ways to confirm their statements with train standing standstill in middle of nowhere. Pivot embarks on his mental grit to solve the mystery when each one of them seems innocent and telling truth.
For most part of the book travels around interrogation of each of the thirteen passengers as it build their character and actions on the train. This keeps the reader perplexed to judge the character and it’s movements in the train to form an opinion if he/she was the killer.
The way the mystery unravels itself as move from page to page keeps the reader going on and on. The interesting ending certainly brings a smile of pleasure on the face. One might feel the book a bit dragging with over a thirteen interviews pivot conducts in detail, but if moved along the crime and form an opinion on each of them to identify the killer, one would enjoy the part of investigation.