Overall Rating: 2.25/5
Do you know that feeling when you just read a string of phenomenal but heavy books, and really need a breather? Or when things have just been too stressful and you need your escape world to be filled with a little less darkness but still twist your mind in delicious and devious ways? That’s how I was feeling when I started reading “The End of Her”. I was looking for a fast-paced, engaging thriller – something akin to “Gone Girl” or “Verity” – that would satiate my need for excitement during yet another weekend indoors. This book was certainly fast paced but as for the rest of it…I was just left wanting so much more.
The book looked like it had all the elements to make for an excellent thriller – a determined sociopath, a dubious husband with a dead ex-wife, and an adopted child whose parents are terrified to lose him. But that is really all it was. The characters were so entirely one dimensional that everything became repetitive and a little…boring. Perhaps it is because I just read “The Sociopath Next Door” but I could not help but mourn the loss of opportunity that was Erica. We could have explored her conniving, intelligent side (for it was certainly implied that she had one), we could have traced the nuances of her behavior and delved into the chasms of her cruelties. But no – she came in cold blooded and callous and met her end in a similar manner. And the same could be said for nearly all of the personalities entangled in this dark tale. The exception is Stephanie – but her arc was so drastic that I was unable to buy into her motivation. I appreciate the efforts to uncover the depths of Stephanie’s desperation, but I could not make the leap from her innocent beginnings to a carefully premeditated killing.
While there were plenty of red herrings and tangents, unfortunately, the plot actually fell apart for me in the first few chapters. So much of the narrative relied on the reader to understand the extent of Stephanie’s sleep deprivation and its impact on her cognitive health and abilities. But that stopped making sense the second we were bestowed with the knowledge that she received a significant inheritance, begging the question as to why the couple did not solicit child care assistance. All in all, I thought “The End of Her” had loose ends dangling throughout the pages and unformed thoughts clouding the essence of the story. It felt as though the book had been conceived backwards; that everything had been precariously constructed to fit the half-baked whodunit mystery that is only unveiled in the epilogue. Sadly for me, I still have the mystery itch, but I am excited to go hunting for my next pick!