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Wow! No Marple, no Poirot, no Pyne, in fact no sleuth at all. This tale is narrated by the central character: a no-count who woos and weds a wealthy young maid. Of They buy and build on property that has a curse on it. course, she dies tragically. But is it the curse, an accident, or murder? Aha! That is the business of the narration. Don't expect to solve it.
Endless Night was first published in 1967, in the latter part of Christie's long writing career. This is a stand-alone novel that really packs an unexpected punch at the end. The narrator and protagonist of the novel is Michael Rogers who works as a sometimes chauffeur by taking well-to-do people on tours of Europe by motor car. While in a remote village in England, he visits an old estate up for auction called "The Towers" and longs to own the land around it and build a proper house on it. The locals call the place Gipsy's Acre and they think it has a curse on it because of several accidents that have occurred there. While Michael is there, he is warned away from the property by a local gypsy named Mrs. Lee. But Michael yearns to own the land and randomly meets a young lady, Ellie Goodman, who seems to share his passion for the spot and she is also a wealthy heiress. Michael and Ellie hit it off and our soon married in secret once Ellie turned 21 and was able to inherit her fortune. They hire a noted architect to build their dream house at Gipsy's Acre which seems to make them happy but is there really a curse on the property?
This novel seems to go on for a long time laying the groundwork for a very disturbing and surprising climax that I was not expecting. Endless Night was one of Christie's own favorites which she ranked highly along with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Pale Horse, and Moving Finger. This is according to Max Mallowan, Christie's second husband. He believed that Christie liked this work "because it gave the reader a penetrating understanding of a twisted character who had a chance of turning to the good and chose the course of evil."
I have read quite a few of Christie's works including her Poirot and Miss Marple stories and I usually enjoy them as leisurely "cozy" mysteries. Endless Night was somewhat out of her normal story-telling techniques in that the murders take place near the end of the narrative and were quite unexpected.
Michael Rogers dreams of having a rich, beautiful wife that he can live "happily ever after" with in a wonderful house in the country. Marriage to the fabulously wealthy and gorgeous American heiress, Ellie Guteman, brings Michael as close to his wildest dreams as he can possibly want to get. Michael and Ellie happily purchase Gipsy's Acre and start to build their dream house together. Michael studiously ignores the country gossips who whisper that Gipsy's Acre is a cursed tract of land. That's until a mysterious murderer strikes much too close to Michael's ultimate dream life for his liking.
I really enjoyed this story. It was the first time that I had read this book and I give it an A+! It was quite interesting to receive this particular book in the mail - I received it directly from Ireland and opened the package to discover the back cover was written in Chinese. The book was written in English but the synopsis on the back cover was written in Chinese! :) I asked my daughter to "translate" for me and she burst out laughing when she saw it.
One of Agatha Christie's favorite novels, this mystery was published in 1967 when it received a good deal of acclaim. Her 58th detective tale, obviously one of her later books, it's often described as Gothic because of its dark ominous atmosphere. From the book description, "Love turns to terror and terror to murder most foul in a final, monstrous twist that will amaze even the most careful reader."
Michael Rogers who is from the working-class works as a chauffeur takes wealthy individuals on tour in Europe. Then he meets Ellie Guteman, a wealthy American heiress, whom he courts and they marry. Michael knows Rudolph Santonix, an architect, and has dreamed that he will build a house for him. An old estate known as The Towers seems the perfect site. It just so happens that the land on which they want to build seems perfect when a gypsy, Mrs. Lee, warns them against building and living on it. It is cursed, she insists, but they ignore her advice. Residents of the area call it Gipsy's Acre and they believe it cursed, too, because several accidents have occurred on the property.
Then Ellie is injured. Later she fails to appear for lunch and a search finds her dead of no apparent injuries. Ellie had a heart condition. Was this the cause of her death or was it something else? The police believe she died of shock. Mrs. Lee is found dead in a quarry, and Claudia Hardcastle, a friend of Ellie, dies while out riding.
The auther placed this novel among other favorites including The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, The Pale Horse, and Moving Finger. She felt that it allowed readers to understand a character who chose evil over good. It's a very good read that keeps the reader guessing.