Book of the Day



By Eva Dolan

ISBN 978-1635570526
Publication Date:  March 13, 2018


Review by Grace Miller

Eva Dolan’s This Is How It Ends (Bloomsbury) submerges its readers not only in the dark world of murder but also the dark side of gentrification. Though the novel is packed with tension and intrigue, it’s the characters who take center stage. Dolan’s masterful storytelling will have you guessing, second-guessing, even triple-guessing everything you think you know until the very end.

Ella Riordan’s community activism has made her a local celebrity as well as a victim of negative attention from everyone ranging from internet trolls to the police. That’s why when a dead body shows up in a condemned apartment building Ella’s trying to save, her friend and mentor Molly convinces her to forego calling the cops and hide the body instead. Molly doesn’t hesitate to believe Ella when she says she acted in self-defense—until another resident reveals he heard Ella arguing with the man the night he died. As the story hurtles toward the forceful ending the title promises, both Ella and Molly flip and flop between trusting and suspicious, honest and deceitful.

What makes this story far more than your average whodunit is the masterful way Dolan is constantly subverting her readers’ suspicions and beliefs. Told from the alternating perspectives of both Molly and Ella beginning the night of the deadly party, Ella’s story goes back in time while Molly’s storyline moves forward. Each chapter reveals another twist that reshapes the meaning and context of what came before it. These revelations, not just the actions, are what drive the story forward and escalate the stakes. Though this manipulation of time—similar to what Mary Kubica does in The Good Girl—is becoming common in crime fiction, Eva Dolan uses this manipulation to continuously keep readers on the edge of their seats, considering and reconsidering just who they are rooting for in the narrative.

By the time the ending comes, the stakes have risen astronomically. This Is How It Ends will stick with readers for days after they’ve finished the book, making readers wonder just how far is too far to go when accomplishing a worthy goal.

Many thanks to Tara Kennedy and Bloomsbury for providing Killer Nashville with the advance review copy.