September 20, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

Katie Garner’s The Night It Ends Is Dark Academia At Its Best, With Extra To Boot.

The Night It Ended By Katie Garner- Summary

The Night It Ended By Katie Garner Goodreads Summary (book tour review below):

Finding the truth seems impossible when her own dark past has her seeing lies everywhere she looks…

From the outside, criminal psychiatrist Dr. Madeline Pine’s life appears picture-perfect—she has a beautiful family, a successful mental health practice, and a growing reputation as an expert in female violence. But when she’s called to help investigate a mysterious death at a boarding school for troubled teenage girls, Madeline hesitates. She’s been through tragic cases before, and the one she was entangled in last year nearly destroyed her…

Yet she can’t turn away when she hears about Charley Ridley. After Charley was found barefoot and in pajamas at the bottom of an icy ravine on campus, the police ruled her death a tragic accident. But the private investigator hired by her mother has his doubts. If it were Madeline’s daughter who died, she’d want to know why.

Arriving at the secluded campus in upstate New York, Madeline’s met by an unhelpful skeleton staff and the four other students staying on campus during winter break. Each seems to hold a piece of the puzzle. And everyone has secrets—Madeline included. But who would kill to protect them?

This stunning suspense debut is told with a narrative that intertwines with the transcript of an anonymous interview, beginning a twisting path where nothing—and no one—is what it seems.

The Night It Ends- Review

What to say about The Night It Ended? What a book! This is what dark, gothic academia should be. It has everything. First, there is the creepy factor. Second, there are ALL the secrets. Hell, the secrets have secrets. Then there is the twist and turns.

Those twists and turns, though! I couldn’t breathe throughout most of The Night It Ended. Katie Garner didn’t just drop a bunch of reveals at the end (although there are those, and they are everything) but twisted things throughout the book. All the while, she brilliantly grows the mystery and the suspense throughout the novel. There is nothing slow roll about The Night It Ended, either. It starts and takes off from the runway right from the beginning.

Review and Summary

Thank you to Mira Books, Harper Collins, and Harper Collins Audio for inviting me on this book tour.

Part of the way Katie Garner builds the suspense throughout The Night It Ended is through two different narratives that switch back and forth. First, you have the present time while Dr. Pine is investigating Charlie’s (police-decided) accidental death. Then you have flashbacks to a year ago when an unknown psychiatrist interviewed an anonymous patient. There isn’t too much I can say about that, but a thriller fan will know (it will be the only thing you know) that these two narratives will weave together.

The other way Katie Garner keeps The Night It Ends Gripping is by creating mystery around both timelines. The flashbacks are a slow reveal of past events that you know have a connection to current events. In contrast, the current timeline utilizes fantastic characters and a deepening sense of dread. It is almost like watching two different pictures on your tv at once—a plot inside another plot. Trust and believe that google maps couldn’t help you find your way through these dark roads.

Anyone is capable of anything.

The Night It Ended By Katie Garner- Characters

The characters in The Night It Ended are executed flawlessly. The current timeline is told from Dr. Pines’ point of view. She is both adamant about solving the mystery of Charlie’s death and everything happening at this boarding school for troubled girls. Meanwhile, she is running from her own past. Right up front, you know that Dr. Pines’ life isn’t in good shape. Her family isn’t spending the holidays with her, and she has been to a doctor for medication because of work-related trauma.

Katie Garner writes the girls with unique voices and needs, with their own stories to review. The girls are both sympathetic and as scary as a heart attack. You want to help them, but you sure as hell can’t trust them.

Katie Garner

“I just have to get out of here, I can’t be here.”

“Alice don’t, there’s a storm coming.” She rushes past me, spins around. “I don’t give a shit,” she chokes out. “You all think I’m this girl, this bad girl, right? Isn’t that why I’m here? Isn’t that all what you think when you look at me? I’m just some giant fuck up… So fine… I’ll just make it true.”

This story just wouldn’t work if these characters weren’t written in the manner that Katie Garner manages.

The Night It Ended By Katie Garner- Final Thoughts/Audiobook

This review wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t talk about the audiobook. First, it is produced perfectly, switching between the current and past timelines. However, the star here is Xe Sands. She is a long-time favorite of mine. The first audiobook I heard her narrate was Plain Bad Heroines. Her voice, intonation, and cadence absolutely nail The Night It Ended. She was the perfect choice, and she made everything of it. Xe Sands brings The Night It Ended to life by amplifying the mystery, the gripping suspense, and each character’s unique voice. Brava!

Whether you read The Night It Ended or listen to the audiobook, you will be enthralled by the story and Katie Garner’s writing. There are no regrets about reading it.

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