This Is How It Ends by Eva Dolan covers current issues of the gentrification of London suburbs by property developers, who are turning the poorer working classes from their homes in order to profiteer from rich overseas investors. It also delves into the lives of political activists, many of whom are seasoned campaigners from the days of the Greenham Common protest camp.
Ella Riordan, who left the Garton Police Training facility in N.E. England after reporting the physical bullying by a male fellow trainee is now a blogger and activist. She is currently squatting in a tower block, where tenants are being evicted. She is protesting at plans by developers to turn it into luxury apartments.
After a rooftop party to promote her book, she ends up in one of the empty apartments with the body of a dead man. In a panic she phones her friend, and seasoned activist, Molly, for help, claiming the death was caused by self-defense when the man attacked her. The women dispose of the body down the building’s lift shaft, where the mechanism has been disabled, hoping it will not be found.
There are repercussions, however, when the body is found by other tenants and reported to the police. A full-scale investigation ensues.
The story is written from the perspective of Ella and Molly. Ella’s narrative goes back and forth in time to the present, whilst Molly’s goes forward, although she does reminisce of former times when she was at the height of her activism. The women have become close friends and middle-aged Molly has come to regard Ella as the daughter she never had and is prepared to support her no matter what.
As the story progresses and Ella’s tale of self-defense begins to unravel Molly begins to suspect Ella of deceit and possibly murder. The ending has an unexpected final twist.
This is an intelligent and heartfelt narrative dealing with modern issues, whilst creating a cleverly plotted crime novel with a politically shocking ending. This is how it Ends is a thrilling read.
About Eva Dolan
Eva Dolan was shortlisted for the CWA Dagger for unpublished authors when only a teenager. The four novels in her Zigic and Ferreira series have been published to widespread critical acclaim: Tell No Tales and After You Die were shortlisted for the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year Award and After You Die was also longlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger. She lives in Cambridge.