The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie: The Mother of All Plot Twists!

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Rating: Red StarRed StarRed StarRed StarRed Star

Category: Crime Fiction, Classics, Mystery/Adventure

Content Warnings: Suicide, drug and alcohol abuse, anti-Semitism, blackmail, murder and violence, misogyny, xenophobia.

Synopsis: Shortly after confessing to a close friend that she is being blackmailed, Mrs Ferrars is found dead: the police conclude it was suicide. The case takes a much darker turn when that same friend is found murdered in his own study.

An unassuming newcomer to the village seems the last person the police will call upon for help. He spends his days fondly tending a vegetable patch. However, this newcomer is not your average hobbyist gardener, but a retired detective going by the name of Hercule Poirot…

Review:

First Page Impressions

I immediately became immersed in the claustrophobic atmosphere of the small village, in which the entire story takes place. Its inhabitants form a cast of characters that left me bewildered at first, but they all have clear-cut personalities that soon make it easy to differentiate them.

Agatha Christie wastes no time in hooking readers into the action. The crime occurs within the first couple of chapters and I soon felt that the author was playfully teasing me with clues…

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie Book Review Pinterest Graphic

Final Page Reflections

Hands-down, the most stand-out element of the novel for me was that plot twist!!! It was the biggest and most ‘well-I-did-not-see-that-coming’ turn of events I think I’ve ever read. Throughout the story, it is fun to guess whodunnit but I was hopeless and fell for every single red herring!

No wonder Agatha Christie is so enduringly popular. I, an early-twenties student, enjoy her books and so does my great-auntie who’s 90. I’ll definitely be recommending this one to her with excitement (if she hasn’t beaten me to it, that is!)

Mood

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie Mood Cloud

Diversity and Representation

It’s wonderful to read a female crime writer, something which was often viewed as transgressive. This challenging of the status quo is reflected in her female characters, many of whom refuse to remain at the economic mercy of men. In particular, I liked the progression of Caroline as a character. At first, she is dismissed as a gossiper, but she eventually becomes invaluable to the investigation.

There is some mild xenophobia – Poirot is treated with some suspicion as a ‘foreigner’ – but, as he is ultimately the heroic detective, this does not seem to reflect the author’s views.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie Quote
Fund Literacy, Care for the Environment

Themes

  • Truth and secrecy
  • Trust and the dangers of misplacing it
  • Private versus public sphere
  • Family
  • Community
  • Gender roles
  • Order versus disorder
  • Class
  • Nature of criminality

Beyond the Book

The detective Poirot occupies an ambiguous position in the story. He is a figure of fear as well as hope:

“Everyone concerned…has something to hide”

I thought this concern with secrets and privacy has lots of modern parallels, particularly as policing and crime prevention make technological leaps. It seems the question of privacy and how far we must surrender this for safety is not new!

Continued Contemplation

  1. Throughout the novel, my trust in different characters was constantly destabilised and reaffirmed. What do you think Christie is saying about trust and the line between naivety and cynicism?
  2. In The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Christie appears to consider criminality as a matter of circumstance rather than an innate dark tendency. Do you agree?
  3. I won’t give any spoilers about the ending, but do you prefer crime fiction stories to end with justice and order restored, or a note of ambiguity?

Favourite quote:

“Fortunately words, ingeniously used, will serve to mask the ugliness of naked facts.”

Read if: You want to read a thrilling ‘whodunnit’ that boasts the mother of all plot twists!

Buy Now on Better World Books:

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If you enjoyed The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, you may also like The Hound of the Baskervilles (Sherlock Holmes #5) by Arthur Conan Doyle.


Have you read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd or any other crime fiction classics? Do you have a favourite Agatha Christie novel? Let me know in the comments – I would love to hear from you!


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14 thoughts on “The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie: The Mother of All Plot Twists!

      1. Must it be a Poirot?
        “Endless Night” is quite dark and mysterious.
        “Cards on the Table” is another brilliant locked-room.

        If a Miss Marple:
        “A Murder Is Announced” has brilliant characters.
        “4:50 from Paddington” – quite a bit of dark humor.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wonderful and very detailed review! This is one of my favourite Christie novels (admittedly, I have quite a few favourite Christies), and I agree about the ‘I did not see that coming’ element, which really is great. It is nice with books, which stand the test of time and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. It truly shows the mark of a great author.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the kind comment, I really appreciate it! This was my first Agatha Christie novel, so if you’ve got recommendations to share for her other books that would be amazing ☺️ It’s true that she’s one of the crime fiction greats! X x x

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you Emer, that’s really kind of you! ❤️ I’d never read an Agatha Christie book before either, but better late than never! I was completely engrossed and can highly recommend The Murder of Roger Ackroyd as a starting point X x x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AHHHHHHHHH!! WHY IS THIS REVIEWW SOOOO WELLL STRUCTUREDDD?!? 😭😭😭 ITS SOO FUCKING PLEASING TO THE EYEEE!! I LOVEEEE ITTTT!! 😍😍😍 You really have put much effort in making this most informative and true and it shows!

    LOVED IT!! 😍😍❤️❤️ And I hope I will get to read a book by Agatha Christie SOOOONNNNNN!!! ❤️😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aww, thank you very much RAIN – you’re always so supportive! ❤️ I was completely absorbed by The Murder of Roger Ackroyd so I can highly recommend it as a starting point for reading Agatha Christie. If and when you get around to reading one of her novels I’d love to hear what you think! X x x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. YOU ARE MOST WELCOME, MP!’ 😍😍😘😘😘😘❤️❤️❤️😊😊😊

        I am planning to read one of her novels in December/January! THE BEST IME TO CURL UP WITH A MYSTERY!! 😍😍❤️❤️❤️❤️👻👻👻

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic review. I haven’t read any Agatha Christie yet but I’ve seen Murder On The Orient Express & And Then There Were None and they both constantly kept me guessing and had massive plot twists too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Charlotte! I’ve seen lots of Agatha Christie adaptations too and really enjoyed them – And Then There Were None was brilliant! I’ve not seen Murder on the Orient Express yet though so I’ll have to take a look ☺️ X x x

      Liked by 1 person

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