Eva Dolan

This Is How It Ends

"Eva doesn’t just create characters, she creates people."


Ella Riordan is a community activist who became famous when she was beaten by police during a social protest. Now, Ella is a squatter in a building where the owners are evicting tenants so the building can be torn down and replaced with luxury, over-priced apartments.

One night, after a rooftop party, Ella is attacked and the man ends up dead. She contacts her friend, Molly, who tells her the police will never believe her story. Together, they hide the body in a disused lift shaft. It isn't long before the body is discovered and questions are being asked.

As the investigations continue, evidence comes to light that drive a wedge between Ella and Molly and soon, mistrust and deceit envelopes them both. This is how it began. But how will it end?

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Eva Dolan takes a break from her hugely successful and critically acclaimed Zigic and Ferreira detective series with her first foray into dark psychological thriller territory. It's always a risk when a writer tries something new, but Dolan need not panic. 'This Is How It Ends' proves what I have said since her first novel - she is a highly literate writer with great depth; a natural storyteller who gets under the skin of her characters and into the heads of her readers. Eva doesn't just create characters, she creates people. As her stories unfold, the reader is taken on the emotional journey with the main players. We feel their angst, their pain, their fears. That is the power of Dolan's fiction. She has a rare talent in invoking genuine sympathy in her readers. 'This Is How It Ends' is an original concept as we follow Ella and Molly after the death of a man in an abandoned apartment block. Molly's chapters, written in the first person, take us forward, as we see the aftermath of the body being found. We watch the assured and capable Molly crumble as she doubts everything and everyone around her. Ella's chapters take us back in time and show us how she became the person she was on that fateful night. It's such a simple storytelling device but it is used to great effect. I cannot praise Dolan's writing highly enough; the way she weaves between the two points of view, the ways she wrong-foots the characters, and her audience. This is psychological fiction at its very best. The denouement is slowly uncovered as the truth is revealed in heart-breaking detail. As we have invested so much in Molly and Ella, we feel the crushing blow from the finale. My favourite of the two is Molly - a confidence, no-nonsense, strong and determined woman, but so incredibly sad and lonely. She had heart. She cared. And I'll be thinking about her for weeks to come. As much as I want more Zigic and Ferreira novels from Dolan, I want more standalones too. A powerful writer with a finger on the pulse of society and a natural storytelling ability.

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