Title: The Final Chapter
Author: Jerome Loubry
Translator: Maren Baudet-Lackner
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
First published: September 19th 2018
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Finished reading: April 28th 2021
(Originally written in French: ‘Le Douzième Chapitre’)
“But now I’m afraid I’ve become one of the characters. I feel like someone has rewritten my past without my permission. And the worst part is that it’s really happening.”
*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me by Netgalley and Hodder & Stoughton in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***
I love stories with bookish elements, and there was just something about the blurb of The Final Chapter that made me want to read it immediately. I hadn’t realized initially this was actually a translation of a story that was originally written in French, which made me even more excited to read it as I always love discovering new international authors. And I’m so glad that this story caught my eye, as I ended up having excellent time reading it.
First of all I have to say that the translation seems flawless and really makes the story flow naturally. There were some abrupt POV changed that made me reread certain parts, but that was most likely just a layout issue in the ARC… As a whole, I definitely loved the concept of a book within a book and having the chapters of the text that is sent to the three characters fully incorporated into the story itself added an unique touch. These chapter work as flashbacks to 1986 and the mystery around the different final chapters and what they hide added a healthy level of suspense to the story.
I enjoyed learning more about the different characters and what happened during that summer in 1986. The small French holiday town made for a great backdrop and I liked how the different characters were woven into the plot. I did guess part of the final reveals, although the big twist did come as a surprise for me… I’m not sure how everything was wrapped up would be actually credible though. I mean, wouldn’t there be more percusions for hiding the truth for that long?! That said, it was interesting to see everything come together at last.
I ended up having mixed feelings about the different characters in play, but I liked that they all had their flaws and it was intriguing to see them develop as well as to learn more about their past. I do always love a bookish main character, although David did come over as a bit of a cliche… But he works well in the plot I guess.
In short, The Final Chapter turned out to be an intriguing and quite unique take on a book within a book that has quite a surprise for you in store before you reach that final page.