Title: The Night It Ended
Author: Katie Garner
Publication: June 7, 2023
Genre: Thriller, Psychological Thriller
SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)
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?
**A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
This shining psychological thriller debut from Katie Garner really impressed me and put her on my radar for future reads. As a big thriller buff, I love all different types, but the psychological ones that mess with your head as you read are my absolute favorite. I knew I had to check The Night It Ended out immediately. Garner did not disappoint.
This story follows Dr. Madeline Pine as she takes a case in the midst of her own psychological issues and ends up at a boarding school in upstate New York where all but fourth young girls remain with the fifth dead. I have a little niche for boarding school stories. Nothing ever good comes out of a boarding school in a thriller novel. Nothing. The creepy setting at this very remote, middle of winter boarding school with some of the weirdest staff ever for a school in general set the scene. I was suspicious of EVERYONE! Garner had me second guessing every single guess I made and had every character suspicious in one way or another.
The writing Garner gives us in this novel messes with your head. I felt I was going a little crazy at times just keeping up with Dr. Pine, her medications, and the plot of who killed Charley. Garner sure knew how to mess with my head! Normally I like to point out who I could relate to in this book, because I feel that really connects a reader to a story, but I could not relate to anyone. This isn’t to say it brought the book down because I definitely felt like an outsider in the story and that is exactly how I believe Garner wanted us to feel and relate in a way to Dr. Pine.
My only complaint is that I felt the story dragged on longer than needed to and Dr. Pine’s realization that she was in trouble came a little too unrealistically late for me to be fully believable. However, the literal jaw-dropping ending to this story had me so shocked and definitely made up for that. I think I said “no way” at least ten times reading the ending of this book. You will NOT see it coming! I guarantee it!
While this does take place at a boarding school with teens, this thriller is for everyone! Its dark, creepy, and will drive you a little crazy in your quest to find out who did what. Absolute must read and I cannot wait until Garner writes another!