This is the first novel by Agatha Christie that I have ever read. ( I know, what have I been doing with my time….?)
I was drawn to this one not only by the knowledge of the recent Kenneth Branagh film adaptation, (which I have not seen) but also by the astonishing loveliness of the embossed Harper Collins cover. It was designed by Holly MacDonald (who also designed the cover for Eleanor Oliphaunt is Completely Fine) using Shutterstock images, which just proves how many gorgeous things you can create using Shutterstock.
I was at first struck by the structuring of the book: it has the outline of a mathematical riddle – a murder puzzle if you’d like to call it that. We have three parts: the Facts, the Evidence, and “Hercule Poirot sits back and thinks”. At every turn, the reader is tempted into making his own conclusions and solving the puzzle– there’s even a diagram which shows the accommodation of each passenger on the train.
I found it a very enjoyable read, though I have to admit from a novelistic point of view I found the ending somewhat unrealistic, even though I assume, I would be delighted to be surprised if I were a more typical crime reader. Will be happy to read more Agatha Christie novels in the future though!