The End of the Pier

The End of the Pier

3.0 4
by Martha Grimes
     
 

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In a sleepy resort town, Maud Chadwick waits tables at the Rainbow Cafe. Her confidant is Sheriff Sam DeGheyn and what they have in common is obsession. Maude doesn't want her son to leave home, and Sam cannot let go of the unsolved murders of three local women — or his intuition that the killer is still out there. How these lives intertwine reveals a rich and

Overview

In a sleepy resort town, Maud Chadwick waits tables at the Rainbow Cafe. Her confidant is Sheriff Sam DeGheyn and what they have in common is obsession. Maude doesn't want her son to leave home, and Sam cannot let go of the unsolved murders of three local women — or his intuition that the killer is still out there. How these lives intertwine reveals a rich and startling story of parents and children and the pain they cause one another.
"Gripping."
CHICAGO SUN TIMES

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Something completely different from the author of the popular, ever-so-British Inspector Jury mysteries (The Old Contemptibles, etc.). This time the setting is small-town America, the mystery is secondary (a psycho serial-killer of sporadic interest), and the emphasis instead is on earnest character-studies that never quite add up. The primary character under scrutiny is Maud Chadwick, a divorc‚e in her late 40s who works as a diner waitress in sleepy La Porte, a town somewhere considerably "up north" from N.Y.C. Maud, dreamy and depressed, spends her free time obsessing about son Chad, 20, whose increasing adult-ness and separate-ness devastate her. She whiles away her summer evenings sitting at the end of her backyard pier—fantasizing about the rich summerfolk who party across the lake, puzzling over Wallace Stevens's poetry, and chatting (edgily yet amiably) with La Porte's sheriff, Sam DeGheyn, himself lonely in his lousy marriage to unfaithful Florence. Sam, meanwhile, has his own obsession: the savage murders of four local "loose women" over the past few years, crimes not solved to Sam's satisfaction (despite the conviction of young "Boy" Chalmers for some of the killings). And indeed Grimes introduces us, without naming names, to the real psycho-killer, through run-of-the-mill interior monologues. She also interjects—with far less coherence—a long episode in which young Chad visits the stately home of a decadent college-pal and gets entangled in the family's glitzy, dreary pathology. (This section reads like a watery American imitation of Brideshead Revisited.) At its best, atmospheric psychological suspense reminiscent of L.R. Wright. At its worst, apretentious mishmash: though linked by a theme (parent-child relationships), the pieces don't fit satisfyingly together—and Maud's ultra-sensitivity has limited appeal. Still, Grimes writes fetchingly at times, has a large following (much of which will be plenty disappointed), and a first printing of 100,000 copies is planned.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780679426462
Publisher:
Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/27/1993

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The End of the Pier 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
theshippingnews More than 1 year ago
I never really enjoyed Ms. Grimes' series detective, but this book and the Emma G. mysteries are original, offbeat, well-written and enthralling. I wish she would write more like this. Truly a good book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It isn't the typical Jury/Plant book (as far as I know I've read them all and loved them all), but it is original and I enjoy Ms. Grimes' character development. I think the book is getting a bad rap. I consider it the background to the 'Hotel Paradise' series which I also have enjoyed very much. Three cheers for Ms. Grimes for not getting stuck in a rut with her writing. Anyone who was disappointed with this book should try the Jury/Plant books. They are great fun. Ms. Grimes is one of the best mystery writers going.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first book (may well be the last) that I have read by Ms. Grimes and the title of my review pretty well sums up the entire book--dysfunctional. The book gets off to an extremely slow start and the slow beginning sets the plodding pace of the entire book. Within this book, there does not appear to be a single, solitary character that is not psychotic in one aspect or another; every individual seems to be suffering a mental imbalance in one way or another. Also, she really doesn't 'flesh out' her characters in any other way except for their aberrations and as societal misfits. The entire book seemed to be disjointed. It was as if every time Ms. Grimes was interrupted while writing, she would lose her train of thought and have to start off from a new line of thought when she could begin again. As for her chosen killer psychopath, very little was written to develop the killer's character; and there was a failure to demonstrate the motivation of the killer. Although the killer was depicted as being in more or less of a mesmerized state during the killing process, at least one murder was out of character as it definitely required forethought and planning ahead for the provision of an alibi during the time of the killing. Another failure in this book was the sporadic insertion of expletives and obscenities throughout the book for no apparent reason other than a lack of the english language to be able to adequately express herself. It seemed as if not one character in her book was able to speak without using an obscenity or two. This is not so in actual life. This is one book that, even though I bought it at a greatly reduced price, I rue having purchased it at all. About the only thing that this book is fit for is to be shredded and used as mulch in my flower garden; but I am not even certain it will be any good for that. If I may suggest, if you have money to spend on a book, make another choice other than this book or just save your money and your time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was the first Martha Grimes book I have read, and I was extremely disappointed. Too many people named 'Bubba' or 'Bunny', who seemed interested only in Coors Light and American Soaps.