Warning: If you have not read “Murder On The Orient Express” by Agatha Christie, do NOT read this review unless you don’t mind spoilers!
I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “Murder On The Orient Express” by Agatha Christie! I’ve been wanting to read this for a while, so I’m finally glad I did! Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:
“A lavish trip through Europe quickly unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard a train. When an avalanche stops the Orient Express dead in its tracks, the world’s greatest detective — Hercule Poirot — arrives to interrogate all passengers and search for clues before the killer can strike again.”
The summary kind of sums up the plot: Murder happens while Poirot is on a train, and so he investigates the case.
What the summary leaves out, though, is a very fun detail: Poirot was actually asked by the victim, before the murder, to basically bodyguard him and Poirot said no…and so the guy got murdered. It was a little awkward when this was revealed, but also simultaneously hilarious to read. Had Poirot actually said yes and maybe did bodyguard duty for the man, who was willing to pay literally ANYTHING for protection, the guy wouldn’t have been murdered and Poirot probably would have enough saved for retirement. I think it would have been hilarious to see how that went, but sadly that’s now how the book was read.
Poirot is quite detailed in taking note of everything, as expected for a detective-esque character, and it’s clear from his many interviews with the rest of the characters that he pays attention to literally every detail, the most notable one to me being the scarlet robe mentioned among the witnesses. He clearly has confidence in what he does and isn’t afraid to be frank with people when they’re skirting around his questions so that they actually DO answer his questions to his satisfaction. He leaves no stone unturned, no robes not investigated, and so on.
I do like the plot twist of the two possible endings, but I find it interesting how Poirot decided to lie and go with the first ending when it turns out the second one was the truth all along. I also do agree there were some stereotypes played upon, such as accusing an Italian person of being the criminal because supposedly Italians have knives. I just found that one really strange, to be honest.
What took its toll on the book being not as great, however, was not the stereotypes, but rather how long the plot took to run its course overall and yet also feel rushed in the end. Majority of it consisted of collecting evidence, but they only had two or three chapters at most attempting to compile it all together before presenting the conclusions. I had to re-read one or two chapters before reading the end of the book so everything made sense, because the way the book was paced made the collation of evidence feel rushed and not quite put together unless you literally took in every detail like Poiroit did. Given the vast amount of evidence, it’s hard to keep track of those details and understand how he came to the two possible conclusions that he got to in the book.
Overall, 3 out of 5 stars!