‘’Some crimes God does not forgive!’’
Last week, I watched (for the gazillionth time…) ITV’s 2010 production of ‘’Murder on the Orient Express’’ with the inimitable David Suchet in the role of our beloved Hercule Poirot and it prompted certain thoughts in my mind. Why is this considered one of Christie’s finest creations? Many say that, arguably, it is her best work and this view I do share.
I don’t think any of us need a synopsis. To say the story is well-known would be an understatement. Even people who haven’t read the book know of the outstanding outcome and the resolution of, possibly, the most controversial murder (but is it a ‘’crime’’?) in Christie’s marvellous works. So what is it that makes this novel by the Lady of Crime so iconic and a point of reference?
Is is the exceptional cast of characters, each one battling with the demons of the past? Is it the wintry atmosphere? The intense feeling of claustrophobia, of being trapped in a train, within a snowstorm, in a foreign country with a dead body lying in a compartment? Or is it the absolute, ultimate questioning of the moral values we have come to adopt? What is right and wrong? When injustice isn’t punished, to what extent can we bend the human limits? God and Law can’t always protect us…Here, Hercule discovers that his little grey cells are only a small part of the solution. It is his heart that has to do the rest.
This is a jewel not only of Crime Fiction, but of Literature in general, regardless of the genre. A work that doesn’t ask the reader to think of the ‘’who has done it’’ question, but to contemplate on the ‘’what would you have done’’ issue. And as for me, I fully agree with Greta Ohlsson. Some crimes God doesn’t forgive….