Blog Tour Review, The Night It Ended

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The Night It Ended
Katie Garner

383 pages
published June 27, 2023

Buy Links:

HarperCollins | Barnes & NobleBookShopAmazon | Books-A-Million

About the book

“Disarmingly sensory, with plot twists that are sure to give readers whiplash, Garner has done a phenomenal job of giving us just enough information to think we know where the story is going, only to pull the rug out from under us—over and over again. A nail-bitingly spectacular debut!” —Amanda Jayatissa, author of You’re Invited 

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 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 the girl was found shoeless and in pajamas at the bottom of an icy ravine on campus, the police ruled it a tragic accident. But the private investigator hired by her mother has his doubts. And 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 still 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?

Intertwining the narrative with the transcript of an anonymous interview, this stunning suspense debut from Katie Garner will take you on a twisting path where nothing–and no one–is what it seems.

My Review

Right from the start you can feel something isn’t quite right, but I had no idea what it was.  Over and over again I thought I pieced together what it was but while I was slowly piecing together twists before they happened, nothing prepares you for the end of this one.  I think this is one of those books that will make epic twists lists.  There are two timelines.  The first is the present where the death of Charlie is being investigated by Matt and Madeline.  And a year ago, a police investigation into an unknown crime with either an unknown witness or maybe the suspect.  The reader is dropped into these chapters knowing very little and there is the right amount of tension that grabs you and makes you need to know more.

It really is a very slow burn.  I’m not usually a fan of these, but something made me want to know what weird things were happening at this school.  Or maybe it should be this weird school.  Or maybe the weird students.  Like I mentioned, there was just this feeling that everything is off.  I could not put my finger on it.  So the two stories play off of each other even though they don’t seem to be connected.  And as any good thriller reader knows, this is not usually the case.  Since I had so little to go on in the timeline in the past, my brain filled in the details as I saw fit.  And I am sure it was meant to happen this way.  I was more interested in the story in the past.  Partially because it was so secretive and probably partially because it is such a small part of the book because there is only a chapter here and there for many chapters in the present.

I should also mention the atmosphere of the present setting.  An isolated school, surrounded by woods, as a storm approaches.  I know this isn’t the first time I’ve read a book in this setting, but it didn’t feel old and familiar.  It did a good job of setting the tone for the mystery surrounding the death and the school.  It is a pretty dark tone thorough the book and I must say the slow burn never turns into a frenzy, but the reader is rewarded at the end with that twist!

If you are a fan of dark academia and slow burns, this debut book needs to on your radar.  And if you are just a fan of ending the book with your jaw on the floor, pick this one up.

Author Bio: 

Katie Garner was born in New York and grew up in New Jersey. She has a degree in Art History from Ramapo College and is certified to teach high school Art. She hoards paperbacks, coffee mugs, and dog toys and can be seen holding at least one of those things most of the time. 

​Katie lives in a New Jersey river town with her husband, baby boy, and shih-poo where she writes books about women and their dark, secret selves. The Night It Ended is her debut novel.



“The ending was pretty shocking and definitely not what I was expecting” —Novel Gossip

“Standing ovation for the brilliant Katie Garner! Captivating, ingenious, and absolutely audacious, this tour de force in structure and storytelling kept me turning the pages as fast as I could. Yes, The Night It Ended is a dark gothic murder investigation at a mysterious school for troubled girls—but don’t judge, don’t assume, don’t try to figure it out—just let Garner’s masterful sleight of hand carry you away through the gasp-worthy twists and turns. Do not miss this!” —Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of The House Guest

“A gorgeously atmospheric dark academic thriller set at a snowy boarding school so vividly rendered you can practically feel the frost freezing your blood. Garner centers female rage in the most delicious and page-turning of ways, plunging readers into a world where women’s machinations, conspiracies, anger, and even violence rule all. The Night It Ended is a twisty, frantically-paced story you’ll be desperate to devour all the way to the ice-cold ending.” —Ashley Winstead, author of The Last Housewife

“Set at an exclusive school for trouble teenaged girls, The Night It Ended by Katie Garner is dark, twisted, and utterly compelling. Impossible to put down, you won’t know who or what to believe and the creepy location will have you looking over your shoulder more than once. One heck of a debut with an ending that left me speechless.” —Hannah Mary McKinnon, internationally bestselling author of Never Coming Home

“Disarmingly sensory, with plot twists that are sure to give readers whiplash, Garner has done a phenomenal job of giving us just enough information to think we know where the story is going, only to pull the rug out from under us—over and over again. A nail-bitingly spectacular debut!” —Amanda Jayatissa, author of You’re Invited

“Wow. I loved this. Compulsively readable. I flew through it. Brilliant use of the unreliable narrator. I enjoyed the police interviews interwoven with the present-day mystery. It kept me on my toes. And that last plot twist…amazing. I did not see it coming.” –Amber Garza, author of When I Was You

“Katie Garner’s debut novel is a chilly, twisty ride—think dark academia meets Gillian Flynn. The Night It Ended is both a brooding Gothic mystery set at a boarding school for wayward girls and a jittery domestic thriller and just when you think you’ve got a handle on the story, Garner pulls the rug out from under you. I couldn’t put it down.”—Halley Sutton, author of The Lady Upstairs

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