ENDLESS NIGHT by Agatha Christie
William Morrow; Paperback Reprint, 2011
CBTB Rating: 5/5
The Verdict: dark, menacing suspense from the Queen of Crime
While on vacation last weekend, I decided I was long overdue for a re-read of my favorite Agatha Christie novel, ENDLESS NIGHT. After posting about this book on Instagram, I was thrilled to hear from so many readers who had never heard of this book before! This Throwback Thursday, I want to take the opportunity to share with you why I consider it my favorite book written by the Queen of Crime, Agatha Christie.
Throwback Thursday is a book recommendation series started by It’s Book Talk to spotlight old favorite reads!
Throwback Thursday Recommendation: ENDLESS NIGHT
Dark and suspenseful, ENDLESS NIGHT is a departure from the books we typically associate with Agatha Christie. It's a standalone story, and hardly involves any criminal investigations. Instead, ENDLESS NIGHT reads like a predecessor to today's domestic thrillers; in fact, during my re-read, I was struck by how perfectly Christie's work seems to lay a foundation for modern psychological suspense. It might be a departure from her typical work, but in true Christie form, ENDLESS NIGHT is masterful crime fiction: brilliantly plotted, beautifully written, and endlessly engrossing.
Strapped by a chauffeur's wages, Michael Rogers' want of a better life seems out of reach. Especially elusive is a magnificent piece of property in Kingston Bishop--unil a chance meeting with a beautiful heiress makes his dreams possible. Marrying her is the first step. Building the perfect home is the next. Unfortunately, Michael ignored the local warnings about the deadly curse buried in the tract of land, and living out his dreams may exact a higher price than he ever imagined.
Praised as one of Agatha Christie's most unusual forays into gothic, psychological suspense, this novel of fate, chance, and the nature of evil was a personal favorite of the author's as well.
Back when I first read ENDLESS NIGHT as a young teenager, I'm not sure I fully appreciated its brilliance. It cemented itself in my heart as my favorite Christie read immediately—the passage of the haunting William Blake poem from which it takes its title has been imprinted in my brain for years now. (Scroll down to read this passage!) Despite my instant love for the book, as I've grown and read more widely within crime fiction, I'm increasingly in awe of the masterful suspense story Christie has crafted in this lesser-known read.
ENDLESS NIGHT is not a detective novel, and it's not really a whodunnit. While there is a whodunnit element that is incorporated later into the story, the real meat of the book revolves around a piece of land and the "accidents" that happen to those who live on it. In many ways, ENDLESS NIGHT is actually a domestic thriller: it's a story of a young couple, a new home, and old secrets, with a plot twist worthy of any modern thriller. Readers fall in step with a young couple, and observe as their relationship blossoms and lives are merged in marriage. But, as any crime fiction reader knows, no one is without secrets—and the haunting (and possibly haunted) backdrop of Gypsy's Acre soon plays the instigator for the unearthing of the darkest parts of this couple's past.
No one writes crime fiction like Christie, and ENDLESS NIGHT is no exception. Woven in among the story's brooding atmosphere and potentially cursed piece of land is a thread of interpersonal suspense. ENDLESS NIGHT isn't a mystery, it's truly a psychological suspense novel - and it's one that will keep any crime reader hooked. I devoured this book in a day and a half during my re-read, and found myself completely immersed in the dark atmosphere and simmering tension Christie has crafted in this novel. It's important for readers to note that this won't be a traditional Christie novel: don't pick this one up if you're hoping for a classic detective novel. However, readers looking for atmospheric psychological suspense will absolutely love Agatha Christie's dark and brooding ENDLESS NIGHT.
Every Night and every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn and every Night
Some are Born to sweet delight.
Some are Born to sweet delight,
Some are Born to Endless Night.
What are your favorite Agatha Christie novels? Is ENDLESS NIGHT one of them? I'd love to hear from you!
ENDLESS NIGHT by Agatha Christie
Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: William Morrow; Reissue edition (February 1, 2011)
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