The end…

I wrote yesterday about tying up the loose ends of a novel. I am so near the end of my novel ‘Raddy and Syl’ and I’m trying to bring everything together so all the readers’ questions are answered, all the puzzles and mysteries resolved. I mentioned yesterday that I had solved the mystery of the  Moroccan who the old lady had brought back from her cruise, and I had solved the other mystery of the missing woman; now I have to draw the genealogical mysteries together, so that everyone is clear on why the eponymous Raddy and Syl had such a disastrous marriage…

This morning I finished reading ‘Dead Water’ by Ann Cleeves. This is the latest in a series set in the Shetlands about the detective Jimmy Perez. I have written about how I found the previous novel in the series ‘Blue Lightning’ had an ending which I found unsatisfactory… clever, unexpected, disturbing… but somehow, for me, disappointing. The ending seemed somehow a cop-out, as if she had become fed up with a certain character, a particular situation, and had solved it in a dramatic, and to be fair, very unexpected fashion. So as I read ‘Dead Water’, which I enjoyed and found gripping and intriguing, I found myself thinking about the ending… would it be disappointing (to me) would it be what I term unsatisfactory?

I have to say it was an intriguing book, absolutely riveting, and I even broke my normal rule of only reading at bedtime by reading it first thing in the morning so I could finish it. I really recommend it; even if you haven’t read any of Ann Cleeves previous books I’m sure you will enjoy it. However… however… I did find the ending after a very dramatic scene to be… well… confusing…  We knew who had committed the crime – and the perpetrator was unexpected, I do have to say, but when the rationale of the murders was explained, I did get very confused. There was a whole chunk of explanation, necessary, vital even… but I struggled to keep up with it all… Maybe it was me, maybe I’m not a very good reader, but although in the end I understood, I did feel struggle with a whole chapter of exposition.

Back to my own novel… I must learn the lesson and try and have a light touch…


  1. Alice

    I’ll bet the characters surprise you and write their own ending. Yes, I have read novels where the author hurriedly ties up things a on the last page. Disappointing. Did someone give up too soon? Sometimes beginnings and middles unravel too much. Middles…those are my biggest challenge.


    1. Lois

      The longueurs of the middle bit… yes, it’s easy to become embroiled in detail and lose sharp focus in the middle… so much has to be narrated or explained and sometimes it’s easy to get lost – I know I become very repetitive and have to chop it all out afterwards!


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