End of Story by A.J. Finn #review

Book cover of End of Story by A.J. Finn

Title: End of Story
A.J. Finn
Publisher: HarperFiction


“I’ll be dead in three months. Come tell my story.”

This is the chilling invitation from Sebastian Trapp, renowned mystery novelist, to his long-time correspondent Nicky Hunter, an expert in detective fiction. Welcomed into his lavish San Francisco mansion, Nicky begins to unravel Trapp’s life story under the watchful eyes of his enigmatic wife and plainspoken daughter.

But Sebastian Trapp is a mystery himself. And maybe – probably – a murderer.

Two decades ago, his first wife and son vanished – the case never solved. Is the master of mystery playing a deadly game – and if so, who will be the loser?

And when a body surfaces in the family’s koi pond, they all realize the past isn’t buried – it’s waiting.

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My review:

A.J. Finn’s latest novel, End of Story, is an intense story revolving around Sebastian Trapp, a reclusive crime novelist who invites aspiring writer Nicky Hunter to chronicle his life. As Nicky delves deeper into Sebastian’s past, a long-unsolved mystery surrounding the disappearance of his first wife and son twenty years before resurfaces.

The novel does a great job of pulling in elements from the golden age of detective fiction. There are many references to iconic authors such as Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler throughout the story, which made me nostalgic for those timeless novels. The setting, a sprawling mansion with hidden secrets, further reinforces this atmosphere. I thought the writing throughout was consistently strong, as it was in The Woman in the Window which I also really enjoyed.

The dual narrative, following both Nicky and Sebastian’s daughter, Madeleine, adds depth to the story. Nicky’s obsession with uncovering the truth kept me intrigued while Madeleine struggles with questions about her father and what really happened all those years ago. I guessed one of the twists but it didn’t affect my enjoyment and there were plenty of other surprises to keep me interested.

The pacing, however, felt inconsistent, with some sections dragging and others rushing towards revelations. I really liked the ending but I could imagine that it might leave some readers wanting a bit more.

Overall, End of Story is a compelling read for fans of classic mysteries and psychological thrillers. The novel’s engaging central mystery and skilful writing kept me wanting to read on.

My rating: 4/5

Many thanks to the publisher, Harpercollins, for providing a copy of this book on which I chose to write an honest review.


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