The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
While I am aware that my ‘to read’ pile is extensive (happy days) I would like to assure you that The Murder of Roger Ackroyd has not been on hold since 1926 waiting for me to find time to get around to it. Sometimes when I finish reading a book I just want the comfort of an old favourite before I start something new. Part of this is driven by the sheer volume of books I get through – I read quickly, I skim read and I recognise that I sometimes miss things. By reading some books more than once I will pick up on things I may have missed (or forgotten) from my first read through.
The books of Agatha Christie were my transitional reads from what I perceived to be ‘kids books’ towards stories written for adults. I was twice blessed in this regard – my Aunt had an extensive collection of Dame Agatha’s works which I was able to plunder when we visited. Then, when I was 14, I was lucky enough to gain weekend/summer work in my local bookshop – say ‘Hello’ to the Staff Discount and goodbye to my wages.
For 12 months I could not get enough of Poirot and Marple, always feeling a little disappointed if the story I chose was Tommy and Tuppence or (worse) had no recognisable characters. Then suddenly they were all gone and I had read the entire Agatha Christie back catalogue. Next up was Stephen King but that is for another day…
25 years later I have found that I can return to the world of Marple and Poirot and rediscover the magic that Ms Christie wove. In the case of The Murder of Roger Ackroyd I remember the shock I experienced when I first read the story and how my jaw dropped when the murderer was revealed. For that reason alone it remains one of my favourite Agatha Christie books.
On a second read through I can now appreciate the story in a new light. I know how it ends so I can spot the clues that are left for me, yet I could not remember the circumstances of the murder or the supporting characters so it was almost like reading a new book. Almost.
To those who may not have read this book I would implore you to do so. For everyone else, grab a copy and retreat into familiar comfort of Poirot at his finest.