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End of Story Bets On...

End of Story

March 2024

There is something about thrillers that makes it difficult to write Bets On copy. The best of them work because they have great twists, but sharing those would ruin the read.

The setup of A. J. Finn’s END OF STORY gives you an ominous feeling right from the start. A cab driver has chilling banter with his passenger, Nicky Hunter, as he drops her off at the fabulous mansion of reclusive mystery novelist Sebastian Trapp. He reminds her that both the wife and the son who lived in this house died 20 years ago. Nicky, who is schooled in detective fiction, has been invited by Sebastian with this message: “I’ll be dead in three months. Come tell my story.”

Nicky finds herself staying in this palatial home with Sebastian; his second wife, Diana; and his daughter, Madeleine. The latter two are highly suspect of Nicky. They want to protect Sebastian and know he is failing quickly. Nicky spends time with him hearing his stories and meeting people who know him. She is digging for his story. There are lots of characters, but as a reader you have to keep a keen eye to see which of them really matter. Who will help tell the end of the story, and who is there for a bit of a diversion so you may miss what is happening?

I went into END OF STORY knowing that there were a number of twists in it, but I did not see what A. J. pulled together. He is known for being a scholar of crime and mystery novels. Others are far better than I am at quoting which passages pay homage to those who came before him. I confess that I am not a student of crime fiction and have not read all of the masters. What I do know is that the book A. J. has delivered is one that I was wowed about when I finished it.

End of Story
by A. J. Finn