Agatha Christie’s 1926 nail-biter The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is perhaps the best crime novel ever written or so the critics say. While one might agree to disagree with this, what makes it a unputdownable read, is its classic Christie-suspense. It keeps the reader on the edge of the seat till the last word.
The third book in the Hercule Poirot series, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, is great for all the right reasons. It has all the elements – murder, blackmail, lies and deceit. The plot is clever and entertaining and the characters quirky. Like all Poirot stories, this one too employs seemingly arbitrary events as revealing a vital clue (which I won’t reveal!).
It is almost nefariously deceptive: Christie cleverly conceals the clues in plain sight so that when one arrives at the big reveal, it seems only obvious who the killer actually was. The twist in the end makes it a perfect whodunit tale. This book has been considered genre-defining, surpassing the earlier works by the likes of Arthur Conan Doyle.
Without accidentally revealing the plot line or even characters, this third Poirot story serves as the perfect entry point for Christie or crime-newbies. To equate The Murder of Roger Ackroyd to a racy game of Cluedo won’t be out of place at all. That is what makes it a must-read.