(Agatha Christie tricked me! again! sigh).
“Endless Night” is another mystery, although at first I had to say, I was ‘taken in’ and decided that, Christie had departed from her usual plot and had attempted to pen a romantic novel. This was a cleverly disguised mystery though, one that did not have a dead body until three-fourths (or more) of the way through the book.
I enjoyed reading “Endless Night” as much for it’s build-up of suspense and story line, as for the mystery aspect. However, I have to say, I didn’t really ‘like’ it. It was more ‘dark’ than most of her novels although never gory or explicit.
Christie keeps you reading. You WANT to find out if your suspicions are correct, and as the foreshadowing builds, you begin to actually dread what you know will eventually happen…and it does.
What is fun in this novel is the exploration of human motivation, the typical and very-human trait of dismissing superstitious belief, and how nuance and suspicion in turn affect the characters lives. Once you realize (near the end of the book for me!), that you’ve been ‘had’, it’s all downhill from there!
Ellie is the ‘poor little rich girl’ in this novel, the girl who has it all, and whose life has been surrounded with suspicion (of those who might be after her for her money), and sheltered. Mike is the (downtrodden) ‘hero’ of the story who marries her and helps Ellie find her dream….but will the dream turn out to be a nightmare?
“And I went to see my mother,” I added.
“You’ve never spoken much of your mother….aren’t you fond of her?”
I considered. “I don’t know,” I said. “Sometimes I don’t think I am. After all, one grows up and – outgrows parents. Mothers and fathers… I’m afraid of her in a way,” I said. “She knows me too well. She knows the worst of me, I mean.”
“Somebody has to,” said Ellie.
“What do you mean?”
“There’s a saying by some great writer or other that no man is a hero to his valet. Perhaps everyone ought to have a valet. It must be so hard otherwise, always living up to people’s good opinion of one.”
Greta is a character that at first I did not like at all… but later, felt sorry for!
And as always, watching the author play around with motivation, and the interaction between the uncultured, low-society and not-quite-acceptable Mike, and Ellie’s trustees and family, is entertainment in itself. Is it true that some are just ‘born to endless night’, or do we have a choice in determining who we are?
“She knew there was something threatening her, she knew there was danger… Perhaps all three of them knew…we were very happy together.
I wish I had known then that we were happy…I had my chance. Perhaps everyone has a chance. I – turned my back on it.”
If you like novels that slowly build with suspense you will enjoy “Endless Night”!