Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Agatha Christie's "Mystery of the Blue Train"

Today I began a new novel that was of a much higher level compared to a novel I would normally read.  Most bookworms and eager readers would recognise Agatha Christie as one of the greatest authors of murder mysteries of all-time. My parents and their siblings had read her novels during their childhood and now it is my turn. Today it still seems to be a favourite among teenage-adult readers, as I only found one out of the six copies on the shelf in the secondary library. I started to read "The Mystery of the Blue Train". Now, so far I have only read 5 chapters of the story and the plot is just being revealed, but already I am hooked in by the book and can't put it down. It does not have a slow start and the characters are introduced into the story from the first sentence. The author also uses many writing techniques which further enhance the content of the story, such as metaphors, similes and a lot of detail, which helps the reader to get a much clearer picture of what is going on in each scene. The main elements of each scene (characters, setting, sense of time) are also well-balanced.

The first chapter describes a scene in which a man is being followed by two hired killers for the possession of a huge ruby. One can tell just from reading the first chapter that the book will be a good read. My favourite character up to this point would be an American millionaire named Rufus Van Aldin because of his contrasting personalities in the story. Christie introduces him in the first 2 chapters as a brash, bulky and ruthless man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. I originally thought he was a criminal. However, in the 3rd and 4th chapters, he turns into a loving father who has a soft spot for his only daughter. Anything that makes her unhappy will be taken care of by him. The daughter, named Ruth, aged 28, is married unhappily to a man named Derek Kettering who married her for her money and is planning to divorce with him. I have not read further, but I predict that the divorce will not turn out as planned. I think that Derek Kettering may react violently to Ruth's decision and may possibly kill her as a result. I believe that this may be the murder around which the story is based.

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