Wednesday 26 January 2022

Book Review | It Ends at Midnight by Harriet Tyce | prettylittlewriter



‘New Year's Eve, when the clock strikes twelve. A lavish party in one of Edinburgh's best postcodes is sent spiralling into chaos when two guests fall tragically from the roof, impaled on the cast iron railings below.
For Tess, it was about more than reuniting with long lost friends. Recently diagnosed with an illness that could be terminal, it was her last chance to make things right. Having grown apart from her husband Marcus, she knew this would be the perfect opportunity to renew their vows, surrounded by everyone they love.
Their time is running out. Tess' closest companion Sylvie knows this better than anyone. She's trying desperately to offer her friend some closure from the guilt that has plagued them both for decades.
But as midnight approaches and the countdown begins, it becomes clear that someone doesn't want a resolution.
They want revenge.’

It’s taken me a couple of days to get my thoughts together on how I’m going to review and rate this novel.

On the one hand, the storyline/plot is great and has a clever twist, but in other ways, I found it shocking and offensive.

This is the first novel by Tyce that I’ve read (I have Blood Orange on my TBR) and she did a great job of creating suspense and keeping you guessing surrounding who the bodies were that were found impaled. I did however, find most of the characters annoying and very entitled, which made me not really care what happened to any of them, even Sylvie. The only characters I had any sympathy for were Linda and Marcus.

There was a lot of legal/law jargon that unless you know your stuff, it kind of just goes over your head (as it did mine). However, I did like that Sylvie was a judge, as I've never read a novel with the main protagonist of a judge rather than a
lawyer, so I enjoyed that it was slightly different. 

Sylvie's friendship with Tess is a toxic one. She is always on edge around her, not knowing if she has said something to annoy/upset Tess, and I found myself wanting to jump into the book and shake Sylvie, telling her that Tess is a terrible friend and she deserves better. 

There is a particular scene within the novel that shocked me to the core, and I couldn’t believe how badly Sylvie reacted to it. This scene involved a graphic sexual assault, and Sylvie was very passive and acted ignorant to it. This infuriated me and I had to stop reading for a couple of hours as I just couldn’t believe it had happened.

Overall I thought the storyline was good, and the very final twist at the end was unexpected, but I found myself getting more annoyed with each character as the story went on, and I just did not find how Sylvie reacted to things very believable, so this reduced my enjoyment of the novel.

3/5 stars

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