Book Review: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

Makes breathless reading from first to the unexpected last.OBSERVER

I love this book.

This is my first Agatha Christie read and it was very much worth it! No regrets.

It has an easy-to-follow narrative with well-written characters that all had motives for the book’s eventual murder case. But most of all, it has that very likable detective which I think just climbed up my top favorites list.

Let’s talk about Hercule Poirot

Who is the real star of the story (and basically in the whole Poirot installment)… He is a nice fellow, who can easily pass as anyone’s casual acquaintance. His presence in the Murder of Roger Ackroyd wasn’t the plan. He was merely taking a vacation, away from work, when the unfortunate murder happened.

But because he is the ‘Hercule Poirot’ whose name already made headlines, he was bound to somehow be involved.

But it wasn’t his wit or profession, though it’s a part of it, that made me love his character – and the story. It was his obvious sensitivity and knowledge of the human psyche.

One can press a man as far as one likes – but with a woman one must not press too far. For a woman has at heart great desire to speak the truth. – Hercule Poirot

He is as real as anyone else could be in the story. He is confident but never arrogant; secretive but not suspicious. He gives that feeling of a strange mix of opposites that never overpowers the readers but instead balances out all of the attributes that make him unique.

He is a welcome mystery to me. A good storyteller, too!

Whereas a lot of main leads from other detective stories give off that air of intimidation and spot on ‘know-it-all’ vibe, Hercule Poirot is breath of fresh air. He is that detective who you will want to sit down and listen to for hours. At least that’s how it is for me!

Stitching the story’s missing links….

Was downright impressive!

Not all mystery writers do that. A lot of times you are presented with the core case – and that is all that matters. Detective A works with the rest of the characters to solve the mystery, backtracking previous events all the while introducing those people whom the victim interacted with, their motives and benefits for the latter’s demise.

Twists and shocking revelations are added on the way to add drama or suspense.

Agatha Christie wrote this in a way that makes me appreciate the beauty of looking beyond the current case and understanding the character’s role in it regardless if it’s directly related to the murder.

She, through Poirot, revealed side stories with their own life. Most didn’t have anything to do with the case but important nonetheless in dismissing the involvement of those people as the murder.

At the end of the day, it’s the knowledge of those minor details that led to the true murderer’s identity.

The shocking last…

I will just leave this here:  You can never prepare for what she has written for you. 


So YES! I am recommending this book for fans and non-fans of mystery novels! It’s something to enjoy in one-sitting that I’m confident will leave an impression. You might even end up rereading it again and again….I’m planning a second round myself.

Rating:

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ /  5

Mood: 

😮 😮 😮 😮

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Thoughts on The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer

Heart-pounding…the novel’s overall theme of family resonates, and the relentless pace and twists of the narrative sizzle on the page.Library Journal

I have a fair deal of reading favorites when it comes to the mystery/suspense genre. And while I’m far from being an expert, I can easily add or dismiss a book based on how it appeals to me on the first 3 chapters.

The Book of Lies had me in the first chapter.

It’s curious, fast, and dramatic, and when combined in the opening act, how can you resist?

One element that is worth mentioning and something which sets it apart from many  suspense stories is the ‘family angle.’ Whereas a lot of work belonging to the same genre introduces villains and protagonists as having some direct connections with huge conspiracies, The Book of Lies builds up in a story of a boy’s personal family loss and how it affected his actions which eventually led him on the quest to find one of the world’s greatest mysteries while at the same time struggling to keep himself (and his loved ones) alive.

The ‘family theme’ has remained intact throughout the narrative. It never got lost.

The Book of Lies quote

We also see a very unique mystery twist between pop culture and the Bible. With Superman’s history being brought at the center stage and how it relates to the world’s very first murder – that of the Bible’s Cain and Abel. Who would’ve thought, right?

Only Meltzer.

But it’s quite anticlimactic at the end and a part of me (the adrenaline-induced me) wished to find something a bit more shocking. I mean, all these times people died and killed for that single mystery behind ‘The Book of Lies!’  It must be worth those lives!

But perhaps it is. After all, most of the answers to complex riddles are found in plain sight. We just don’t see it. This story is one of those. Beautifully delivered.

It’s an intriguing treat, with a unique ingredient to fans of Bible mystery fiction. Plus, the family drama is worth the read!

Rating:

                    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ / 5                   

Mood:

😎       

Dear ABC Network, DECEPTION Needs a 2nd Season

I’ve long been a fan of crime & mystery drama series so it’s fair to say that I have my own bias when picking shows in a pool of good ones this season.

Deception, an American Series created by ABC network, was my pick 2 weeks ago and I’d say it’s one of the shows on top of my list of recommendations at least for this season.

There isn’t so much terror and bloodshed on it like my other favorites, The Blacklist and 24,  but it sure has one unique allure that sets it apart from the rest – magic.

Image: The Ringer

And while others might contest how the series potentially destroyed the mystique of magic by showing how one trick is done and all that, I’d say it’s fairly logical and entertaining.

I could say a couple of things that I like best about it but here are the key points:

  1. Family Intrigue – with members from past generations apparently growing up as magicians and most likely something more.
  2. Cameron and Jonathan – I just find the contrast so appealing in so many aspects.
Image: @bestofdeception
  1. Storytelling / Delivery / Execution – Can’t say anything bad about it. The narrative was consistent, easy-to-follow, but not boring – engaging.
  2. Mystery – With the FBI involved, we can expect crimes committed after crimes, yet we also see a significant buildup of mystery the more we learn about the characters involved. And damn if it’s not intriguing.
Image: Antredeluciole.fr

All these things considered, and I highly expected ABC to give us more!

But then again, they say don’t expect so you won’t get hurt.

Deception, apparently, will not have a second season and I just cannot wrap my head around it yet.

I mean, it’s probably not the first show that suffered the same demise in the industry. But still why?! After giving us that ending, just why?!

It holds more promises than how it started. Revelations led to us, having more questions – understandably- and that twist at the end is a vivid cue to what’s coming next.

But then what, there’s no more?

I’m not an expert and this could just me ranting my disappointment for a good show thrown away.

It has potential.

Casting may not be stellar, and yes, Cameron and Kay may not have that romantic chemistry a lot may have hoped for but guys….even without the romance, the show can hold its fort just well.

Anyway, there are several forces at work in producing the show.

So while I’m convinced how the show needs more, it’s up to the hands of the makers.

Still…

Dear ABC Network, Deception needs a 2nd season.

Image: The Ringer

 

Black Korean Drama Series: A Fascinating Web of Intrigue

In the K-drama universe, it can be difficult to top Lee Dong Wook’s portrayal of the Grim Reaper in the hit television series, Goblin.

His role was downright memorable as it was unique.

So when I first heard about Black, which was promoted as more ‘Reaper-centered,’ I couldn’t help but think about how this version would be different. The synopsis sounded deeper and I’ve always known Song Seung Heon (Grim Reaper, a.k.a. Moo Gang) for his roles in highly dramatic shows that are guaranteed to draw out tears. (Cue: Endless Love Autumn in My Heart and Summer Scent).

Source:  IrinaMay at Pinterest

Black had been on my watchlist so when Raistlin’s review dropped in my feed, and I learned few things about the show, I decided it’s about time I indulge.

The 2 Types of Grim Reapers + the Half-blood

I’m pleased to see how they were given a good background story. Perhaps not as detailed as what you would hope for something supernatural, but enough to provide clarity and a solid identity.

In the story, Grim Reapers are believed to be divided into 2 major categories: The pure descent of the upper world (those who are pure descendants of reaper lineage) and the ordinary (humans who committed suicide and serve as reapers as punishment).

Both can hide in the bodies of humans who just died, can teleport at will and can fight with extraordinary skill, though the purebloods obviously excel way more than the ordinary on the latter.

Then, there is the ‘half-blood’ – humans born out of a grim reaper and a human being. They can see the shadows of death as well as the scenario on how a person will die by simply touching the black shadow.

Mystery More than What Meets the Eye

The story follows Moo Gang (Seung Heon) and Ha Ram (Go Ara) as they solve typical police cases, which eventually leads to confusing and shocking revelation as the episodes progress.

No spoilers. It’s for you to find out.

But one thing to keep in mind, it’s more than what meets the eye. And every detail counts. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

I thought I got it all figured out around the 6th or 7th episode. Only to find out I know nothing. LOL!

So, back to square one.

Excellent writing + Great Casting = Show worth watching

I’m still not good with names, but I sure can remember who played what. No roles were wasted and they all had significant parts to fill. Of course, the actors did very well in bringing out their respective characters.

I especially appreciate the intricate way on how scenarios are crafted in a way that eventually makes then an essential key to solving the mystery. Also, the writers pretty much made sure that the viewers don’t run out of things to ponder per episode.

As one mystery comes to a close, a new one begs for answers.

And just when everything finally makes sense, you find one more thing that seems odd.

But that makes things even more amazing! You go watch it!