Title: The Monogram Murders
Author: Sophie Hannah, Agatha Christie
Published: September 2014
Length: 400 pages
My ratings: 7/10
I’ve read a ridiculous amount of crime thrillers/mysteries and the problem I tend to find is that they are not as interactive as I would like. As a reader I would love to be able to try and solve the crime as the characters are! I found that this book did that quite well to an extent…
Here’s the synopsis:
‘Hercule Poirot’s quiet supper in a London coffee house is interrupted when a young woman confides to him that she is about to be murdered. She is terrified, but begs Poirot not to find and punish her killer. Once she is dead, she insists, justice will have been done.
Later that night, Poirot learns that three guests at the fashionable Bloxham Hotel have been murdered, a cufflink placed in each one’s mouth. Could there be a connection with the frightened woman? While Poirot struggles to put together the bizarre pieces of the puzzle, the murderer prepares another hotel bedroom for a fourth victim…’
I understand that this is not Agatha Christies work, after this I would actually be quite interested in seeing her writing style and how she goes about uncovering clues of a complex mystery. I liked the writing style of Sophie Hannah but I think that there are some things I didn’t quite agree with.
Hercule Poirot was of course created by Agatha Christie but I believe she decided to scrap writing about him for some reason im not too sure about. As there always is in these kind of novels we have a genius detective and his side kick in this case Ed Catchpool. I’ll just dive into the review:
Characters: I loved Hercule Poirot and Ed Catchpool as individual characters but as a duo dynamic I weren’t the biggest fan of their relationship. We always have a kind of medium between the reader and the crazy detective to keep the reader constantly engaged and I guess make them feel less stupid. All the observations Ed Catchpool would make were ones the average reader would make! But for me the relationship didn’t really work, it felt quite awkward and throughout the whole case Catchpool is just trying to impress Poirot. Again I really enjoyed the characters as individuals, their thought processes, the contrast in the way they approach certain events but I didn’t feel like they belonged together…
Plot: As I said in the beginning I really enjoy books that are interactive, especially crime thrillers. From the beginning to about half way that was done quite well. As a reader you felt like you had enough information to start up your own investigation into this case. What I weren’t the biggest fan of was that we had too much going on. I know I say this a lot in my reviews but I was genuinely confused over halfway through the book. You know how usually the author would include a potential suspect just to throw you off the actual one, or provide an alternative theory to distract you from a more credible explanation? This book over did it. We had too many characters being introduced, each one acting suspiciously and at that point I gave up trying to predict who it was going to be… Also the theory changed every five seconds, I couldn’t keep up with which one sounded more credible and I just got VERY confused.
I know this review sounds for the most part critical but it’s only because I saw that the book had great potential! If you’re looking for a crime/mystery that will really challenge you, ( I mean REALLY) I would recommend you read this!
(My review for the Manga adaptation of The Scarlet Letter should be up on Thursday)