‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ is a detective fiction by Agatha Christie. It was published in 1926. Agatha Christie was an English Crime writer. She has written 66 novels and 15 short stories. She is the bestselling author of all time, acc. to the Guinness Book of World Record. Her novels have sold 4 billion copies and her work rank third after William Shakespeare and Bible as the world’s most widely published books. Most of her works revolve around the investigation of characters as Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Tommy and Tuppence. The novel ‘The Murder of Roger Ackroyd’ is one of her work from the Hercule Poirot Series.
Story Plot: The story is set in a fictional village of King Abbot of England. It begins with the sudden death of Mrs. Ferrars, who is suspected to have murdered her husband. On the other hand, there is Mr. roger ackroyd, a widower who had been expected to marry Mrs. Ferrars. He discloses that she admitted to killing her husband for some reason and then committed suicide. Before ending her life, she had left a blue envelope for Roger in which she had confessed the truth and had disclosed many truths. But before he could learn all that, Mr. Ackroud is killed and the blue envelope goes vanished. The initial suspect is Ralph, Mr. Ackroyd’s adopted son who stands to inherit his wealth. Poirot begins to investigate on this case after Miss Flora’s request who is Ralph’s fiancée. Other suspects are Mrs. Cecil Ackroyd, Roger’s sister in law, who is under the burden of many debts, Flora Ackroyd, his niece and Cecil’s daughter, Major Blunt, his friend, Geoffrey Raymond, his secretary, a parlourmaid Ursula Bourne with many hidden secrets. The story is narrated by Dr. James Sheppard, who becomes Poirot’s assistant in the novel. The book ends with an unexpected twist.
My Opinion: It is considered as one of the best known and most controversial novel of Christie because of its unexpected end and revelation. It’s a common formula of detective/suspense stories and movies that the one who is never suspected in the whole story, usually comes out to be the main culprit. This story also uses that formula but in a different way. The novel is written in a very descriptive manner with an average English vocabulary. It’s easy to understand. One can draw a picture in one’s mind; it’s like watching a suspense thriller with the breaks. The story is interesting and it compels the reader to read further. The most interesting and controversial part of the story is its ending where the real culprit is found. Nobody could have guessed that all the time, they were in the mind of the criminal. There’s a reason why I wrote it. Can’t really write a spoiler.
Conclusion: If you haven’t read any crime fiction as yet, so it doesn’t mean this book isn’t for you. Start with this novel; I’m sure you’ll develop a taste for crime fiction later. The novel can be enjoyed from teenagers to old people. After all, we all like suspense stories, it’s the curiousness which compels us to reach the end and find the real culprit. This novel is considered a masterpiece in the detective fiction genre. It uses the usual whodunit formula but it is still not a conventional detective fiction. So, judging from this point of view, this book deserves five out of five stars.