Now this is more like it! If you saw my first encounter with Shari Lapena’s novel The Couple Next Door, you will have read that I was not a fan and made the mistake of listening to the audiobook which put me off – but how it has now changed…

The End of Her features many twists and turns, depicting the end of perhaps more than one female character and had me guessing until the very end. (I made sure not to listen to the audiobook this time!)

Set in the small US town of Creemore, The End of Her follows Stephanie and her husband Patrick, past figure Erica comes back from his past to blackmail him (and a few others) claiming he is responsible for the death of his first wife Lindsey and their unborn child.

Even though Patrick profusely denies it and Stephanie supports him, Lapena was great at making me question otherwise – was it an accident? Did he do it? Maybe Erica was involved…

Whilst supporting her husband, Stephanie is also battling severe sleep deprivation thanks to their twin baby girls Jackie and Emma. Then the front door starts being left open, her handbag goes missing, a pan left to set aflame on the stove – is it her, or is there more to it? I was honestly questioning everything! Just when you think you know, Lapena adds another drip to the tension between all of the characters, where anyone can reveal their true colours.

Who can be trusted?

Erica is utterly unlikeable, especially as it turns out she intends to blackmail everyone in her way, including Patrick’s colleague Niall, as well as her son Devin’s adoptive parents, Gary and Cheryl (and who knows, maybe more). Every single word is convincing, making the reader a witness to the emerging crime.

What is everyone’s intentions? Will there be a trial – if so, what will it reveal? This ranges from everyone before, to the Sheriff and more. And my goodness, I was not expecting a cliff hanger as big as that!

Based on this improvement (on my perspective at least), I like (and hate) the fact that this leaves room for a possible sequel!

Rating – 4/5 ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Genre – thriller, crime, domestic fiction


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