20 November 2013

patterson and christie

time to share with you a couple of books i read last month. i decided to include some mystery/suspense to my reading challenge this year. i rarely read books from this genre, because i usually get confused towards the middle, and then find myself backing up and rereading a couple of chapters so i could continue on with the story. it took me a couple of days to finish these. i picked two of the most famous and best-selling authors in this category, and also from two very different time periods: james patterson and agatha christie.

along came a spider is the first in patterson's alex cross series. i've already watched the movie starring morgan freeman a couple of years ago (sometimes, it's shown on hbo),  so his image is what was in my brain the whole time i was reading the book. the movie's take only slightly differes form the book, but the main culprit is the sanme. i liked this book because it's engrossing. towards, the second half, i already had an idea who the mastermind was (well, because i already watched the movie). but this is really good writing, so i think i'll read a couple more in the series, at least the ones that haven't been brought to the big screen.

and then there were none is agatha christie's best-selling novel ever. this was published around 1939, i imagined downton abbey-like characters and settings. ten people are invited to a secluded island for different reasons. one by one, they all die, the method of their death follows the lines of a popular children's rhyme at that time:

"ten little indian boys went out to dine;
one choked his little self and then there were nine.
nine little indian boys sat up very late;
one overslept himself and then there were eight.
eight little indian boys travelling in devon;
one said he's stay there and then there were seven.
seven little indians boys chopping sticks;
one chopped himself in halves and then there were six.
six little indian boys playing with a hive;
a bumblebee stung one and then there were five.
five little indian boys going in for law;
one got in chancery and then there were four.
four little indian boys going out to sea;
a red herring swallowed one and then there were three.
three little indian boys walking in the zoo;
a big bear hugged one and then there were two.
two little indian boys sitting in the sun;
one got frizzled up and then there was one.
one little indian boy left all alone;
he went and hanged himself and then there were none."

i didn't know an innocent sounding rhyme could be so violent. this is such a smart story, it kept me guessing, and backtracking on a couple of chapters. i even wrote down a profile of each character, to try to see who the killer could be. the culprit was so unexpected, and the ending was so twisted, but i liked it. plus point that it's a female writer who made the story.

i have to say that both books are very good. i can't really say which one is better, because each author had a different style of working out the story and developing the characters. for a "sort of newbie" like me to the genre, these are good books to start with. i'll probably include more mysteries in next year's reading challenge.

do you read mystery/suspense books? what's your favorite?

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