Monday, 16 April 2018

Sofa Spotlight - Endless Night, Agatha Christie

Endless Night is the last Christie I’m going to read for a while, but it’s definitely my favourite so far. There’s no Poirot or Marple, or any detective at all, just a narrative of how the murder happened. In my opinion the ending wasn’t as strong as it could have been. I would have liked so see the murderer made more of, but they just seem to crumble, somehow it just didn’t seem to fit.

The story is told through the narration of Michael Rogers, who is a working class guy who meets a rich heiress, Ellie. They get married and Michael’s friend Rudolph Santonix, an architectural genius, builds them a house on Gypsy’s Acre.

There are so many ominous things that happen in this story. Santonix says some very telling things to Michael though out the story. He might be a brilliant architect but he is dying, although I was never overly sure of what it was that he was ill with. When he does eventually die his final words to Michael seemingly mean nothing, but Michael puts a meaning to them later on when he sees a ghost.

If you’re not a fan of ghosts and stuff that’s spooky I would leave this one alone.

Gypsy’s Acre is the crux of the story. The local folklore is that the land belonged to some gypsies, who were forced to move off the land, which didn’t make them very happy, so they put a curse on the land. Esther Lee is the local gypsy, and she keeps popping up warning Ellie of the curse and lots of strange and frightening things happen that all attributed to Esther. It all comes to a head when Ellie dies and then all the threads of the story come together.

The title comes from William Blake’s poem Auguries of Innocence, which I attempted to read but didn’t get very far with. What really interested me was the dedication, which is to Nora Pritchard and says that it was from Nora Pritchard that Agatha Christie first heard the legend of Gypsy’s Acre. Which gets me thinking – what is the original legend of Gypsy’s Acre. I’ve asked google and Wikipedia tells me who Nora Pritchard is but that’s it. So if you know what the legend is, let this curious one know.

Not sure what I’m going to do now that I’ve overdosed on crime fiction for over a year. I do have Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks by John Curran if I start to have withdrawal symptoms.

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