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  • Writer's picturePaul Burston

This Is How It Ends

With Grenfell tower burned into the collective consciousness and homeless people freezing to death on our streets, Eva Dolan’s new novel couldn’t feel more timely. This is the story of Emma, a young blogger-activist and her friendship with an older campaigner, Molly, who’s lived the life and knows the personal costs all too well. Together they’re battling greedy property developers in Nine Elms, scene of much discord in recent years as local communities are displaced to make way for more glass and steel towers, office blocks and luxury flats.

As close as they are, Emma and Molly each have something to hide – and a secret that binds them together. The story is told from each time woman’s point of view – Emma in the present and Molly in the not-too-distant past. Gradually the two timelines converge and all is revealed.

Anyone who’s been on the front line of political activism will recognise these characters – idealistic, angry, driven by a strong sense of social injustice and in danger of burning bridges and burning out. Dolan takes us inside their heads while keeping certain key pieces of information back, allowing for enough ambiguity to make the final twist both surprising and satisfying.

This is crime writing at its best – complex, disturbing, with compelling characters and a story line which begs questions about the way we live today Seriously good stuff.

Raven Books, £7.99

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