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The End of Everything by Megan Abbott

As I said in my review of Tess Gerritsen’s The Surgeon, I was out looking for other mystery writers to read other than white men. One female writer who came up time and time again was Megan Abbott. So I grabbed The End of Everything since it was a past read of the Pulp Fiction community on Goodreads. Usually I don’t pay attention to the Goodreads’ ratings as I find them a bit inflated, considering my average rating for books is 3.27 out of 5 while most of the Goodreads friends are somwhere above 4.  The End of Everything came in at a 3.37, the lowest Goodreads ranking of a book I read.

But it was not that I was ignoring the numbers, rather I paid no attention to them and set forth Megan Abott’s 2011 novel. A couple of days later and I was perplexed with all the praise for Abbott. I was half-way through The End of Everything and only one thing had happened, the abduction of the narrator’s friend. Meanwhile there are too many passages like this one:

There was something here, something that might mean something. Something found, something that put an aha catch in my throat, but I can’t reckon it now. I can’t hold the ends together and lift it to my eyes.

I stumble around to the back of the house, stubbing my toe three times, the last time feeling a hot push of blood under my toenail.

Something’s there, wedged beneath my foot.

I bend down and look upon it.

The fluorescent bend of the garden hose, the spike from its hard nozzle.

But it reminds me. It puts form to that hovering thought.

If these passages were less frequent, maybe my reading of the second half of the book might have been more attentive.

Maybe I don’t get this whole “domestic noir” scene lead by Gone Girl and Girl on a Train, neither of which I have read, but Abbott’s The End of Everything is not helping on the decision to pick up these books.

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Books

The Apprentice by Tess Gerritson

I definitely enjoyed the Tess Gerritson’s first novel, The Surgeon, in the Rizzoli and Isles book series, so I was looking forward to the second installment, The Apprentice. In the latter book, Jane Rizzoli becomes the main character while Maura Isles is introduced only as a significant minor character. So even in the book two, the Rizzoli and Isles series really isn’t about Rizzoli and Isles yet.

Another big misconception that I had from occasional glimpses of the TV show of the same name was that the cop and the pathologist were fast friends; at best they could be considered work acquaintances. Yes, yes, I am aware that TV shows are not books and books are not TV shows, but I thought it was a deviation I should point out.

Before delving into The Apprentice, one should have read The Surgeon prior to it; not because the reader would be lost, but only because of spoilers regarding The Surgeon that are sprinkled liberally throughout The Apprentice. I will try to keep the spoilers of The Surgeon at a minimum in this review of The Apprentice.

Rizzoli finds herself overwhelmed at work; the murders are literally piling up. Naturally, the Newton Police contact Rizzoli to have her come out to see another murder outside her jurisdiction. It turns out Rizzoli is definitely interested as this murder and missing person case is almost an exact copy of the work by the Surgeon who happens to be behind bars. Rizzoli is now off to find the killer as she battles with her peers in Boston, new cops in Newton, and an FBI agent who may or may not be freelancing. And the hunt begins.

The Apprentice like its predecessor is a fun and entertaining read. There is nothing wrong with that. And, by the way, the books are much better than the TV show — much, much better.