four-stars
Bookmarks Issue: 
23-July-Aug-2006
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A Novel of Suspense

A-EndOfStoryMost struggling writers would do anything for a great story. So when a screenwriter friend offers unpublished writer Ivy Seidel a gig teaching creative writing in a prison, she jumps at the opportunity. Once inside Dannemora Prison, however, Ivy comes to realize that there’s no such thing as authorial remove in the penitentiary. Most of the inmates’ violent stories scare her, as do their glowering authors. But one convict, Vance Harrow, shows real talent—and a handsome face to boot. Convinced that Harrow has been falsely imprisoned, Ivy takes up his cause and becomes a character in her own drama.
Morrow. 336 pages. $24.95. ISBN: 0060726652

Rocky Mountain News 4.5 of 5 Stars
"You might attempt to find another story this year as deftly constructed and unforgettably dead-on as End of Story, but in that case, you might as well try to find pigs that fly. There isn’t an off-key note in this superlative story." Peter Mergendahl

New York Daily News 4 of 5 Stars
"Abrahams’ own mastery allows us to take each chilling step with her when she pursues her own investigation into Harrow’s crime. As Ivy ferrets for the ‘truth’ of his innocence, Abrahams slyly undermines her ‘evidence,’ leaving the reader to worry that her fiction has escaped the page." Sherryl Connelly

NY Times Book Review 4 of 5 Stars
"Among other things Abrahams seems to be saying in this very scary cautionary tale is that writers who routinely manipulate others for the sake of their work do so at their own peril." Marilyn Stasio

Washington Post 4 of 5 Stars
"As the novel races to a climax, we aren’t sure if Ivy is about to become a new literary star in Manhattan or wind up dead because of her meddling upstate. Or both. The novel is a delight and, if you haven’t discovered Abrahams, a fine place to start, despite an ending as unnerving as it is abrupt." Patrick Anderson

Critical Summary

The Washington Post calls Abrahams "one of those writers you tell your friends about." Name-checked by literati as diverse and prolific as Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates, the author of the juvenile Echo Falls series, Oblivion and The Fan, seems to have put his best stuff into his latest outing. Examining questions well beyond the conventional whodunit, End of Story is a riveting, clever examination of prison life, the writing life, the gossamer boundaries between truth and fiction, and the psychological link between writers and their material. The critics’ excitement is palpable in their reviews, leaving readers to hope that Abrahams’s title isn’t to be taken literally.