What is better: to pretend to feel guilt for something you did as a way of coming to terms with what you did or to cheerfully admit that you are a murderer and feel no guilt at all? This was what the BBC’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s And Then there Were None eventually boiled down to. Over three nights, as people were being murdered it became less of a whodunit and more of an examination of guilt and the various ways people handle their guilt.
Sophie Hannah has taken one of Agatha Christie’s best loved creations, Hercule Poirot – he of the little grey cells and exquisite moustache – and penned a new mystery for the sleuth. I was both excited and wary about this because can an imitation of a much loved author ever be as good, even if the imitation is done by someone who can write very well? Or with the imitation be nothing but a pale reflection of the original? When the book was released I bought it and I read it.
I get involved with World Book Night every year. It happens on Shakespeare’s birthday and on that night people are encouraged to give away books to people who don’t generally read. Every year I volunteer to be one of the official givers and so far I have been really lucky. This year not only am I giver but I get to give away one of my favourite books.