Based onthe children's poem about Native American Indians (politically correct)being bumped off one at a time, Agatha Christie, in hersuspenseful, seductive way, draws us into the lives of 10 strangers who have been thrown together into a terrifying mix of accusation, intrigue, suspicion, and murder.
Being tricked into thebackdrop of a large guest house on an island with no boats, no phones, and no peace of mind, the guests of the mysterious hosts, the unknown Owens (U. N. Owen),almost immediately start to drop like flies. This, after an ominous, sinister, and anonymous, recorded voice implicates each of the guestsinseparate murder charges. The Murders Begin!! While they do all they can to survive, they also learn along the way about each other's histories and about the truth behind theircaptor's allegations. Coincidentally, every time one of them dies off, an Indian doll disappears off of the mantle of the fireplace. What started, at first, as10 dolls on the mantle, starteddwindling in numbers to matchevery guest's death. Plus the death coincided with poem for each doll, i.e.,
For example: one of the verses of the poem refers to the "Indian boy" having too much to drink...and the next person to die, dies from a poison that was slipped into his drink.
The story is cleverly seasoned with humor, twists, and horror. The personalities of the invitees clash with amusing irreverence. While most of the men are swooning over the young and beautiful secretary, the religiously fanatical spinster is disgusted with them all, considers thesecretary a hussy, and feels that they all deserve to die.
But who did
doit? Was it the butler and/or his wife? Was it the shaky "nerve" doctor? The sanctimonious judge? The spinster? The secretary? The bumbling detective? The aging General? The cocky captain? The wreckless playboy?
There are enough clues in the storyto lead you to know who the killer is...AFTER you're done reading the book. You'll say to yourself, "I knew it"...but we know you are just lying to yourself.
Agatha Christie is a masterful story-teller. She drops you right into the scene, insomuch that you might think that you are the next victim...and when it comes to keeping you on your toes...you ARE the next victim.