This Is How It Ends – Eva Dolan


This Is How It Ends is published on 25 January 2018 by Raven Books

‘Elegantly crafted, humane and thought-provoking. She’s top drawer’ Ian Rankin

This is how it begins.

With a near-empty building, the inhabitants forced out of their homes by property developers.

With two women: idealistic, impassioned blogger Ella and seasoned campaigner, Molly.

With a body hidden in a lift shaft.

But how will it end?

Also by Eva Dolan

Long Way Home

My thoughts

Eva Dolan has ventured into the sphere of the psychological thriller with This Is How It Ends. She has done it magnificently, bringing wit and depth to this tale of two women.

We enter into a very different subculture. A rather fascinating and vibrant one. This is the world of the activist. These are the people who take direct action, rather than sitting at home and moaning about what is wrong with the world. The people who demonstrate in public, with placards and get the attention of authorities. The ones who end up being kettled by the police. Some cause disruption, damage property and take part in other criminal actions. It is a world of petty jealousies and competitiveness. They regard newcomers with suspicion. These are people who want to change the world.

We meet two very different women, living this alternative lifestyle. The drama is followed from their two perspectives and jumps back and forwards between time-frames. Molly is the seasoned long term activist, who earned her stripes at Greenham Common. Ella is the young university Phd student and blogger, finding her feet and eager to make her mark against authority. We see they have a sort of mother/daughter relationship. Molly is protective and supportive of Ella, guiding her in this new environment. They are both camped out in a semi-derelict tower block in London, which is marked for development. They intend to be a thorn in the side of the developers, for as long as possible. Definitely we see shades of Grenfell Tower, as gentrification is a reality here. Social cleansing in action.

There is a death. A man is killed. He is left in a lift shaft. Only Molly and Ella know what happened. We follow the drama, as both women have to deal with the emotional repercussions of this terrible event. This incident leads to an increasingly complex web of lies and deceit. Can Ella trust Molly? Can Molly trust Ella?

This is incredible. A masterclass in uniting a strong storyline, with escalating tension and thoroughly complex characters. It is utterly unique. We get a dollop of realism. Dolan takes us right into the heart of this unfamiliar world, to see the realities of living an anti-establishment lifestyle. It is powerful. It is harsh. It is bleak. Although I guessed what was coming, I was completely enthralled by the way it played out.

Clever. Brilliant. Stunning. Top marks!

Highly recommended, for fans of quality crime.

About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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2 Responses to This Is How It Ends – Eva Dolan

  1. Steph says:

    I’ve just finished it. Brilliant book, I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough

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