IT ENDS AT MIDNIGHT By Harriet Tyce @Wildfirebks @harriet_tyce #ItEndsAtMidnight #BookReview

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It’s New Year’s Eve and the stage is set for a lavish party in one of Edinburgh’s best postcodes. It’s a moment for old friends to set the past to rights – and move on. 

The night sky is alive with fireworks and the champagne is flowing. But the celebration fails to materialise.

Because someone at this party is going to die tonight.

Midnight approaches and the countdown begins – but it seems one of the guests doesn’t want a resolution.

They want revenge.


Harriet Tyce never fails to surprise me. This is the third book I have read by her now and each one has been twistier than the last. I had no idea where the story was going to take me with this though.

The opening is a Fox prowling he streets of Edinburgh looking for food, initially finding nothing until she catches the smell of blood, she licks some of it like it’s nectar from the gods, until a dog starts to approach with its owner.

It’s 12:00:35 The new year is just about to start but not for this person, but the question is who is it? This is the question throughout the whole book. Who is dead? Every so often the chapters go to a timeline seconds after midnight. Along with the investigators looking at the scene.

The rest of the book is focused on the relationship between Sylvie and Tess. Sylvie is the main narrator throughout, but how reliable is she? I really struggled to know who to believe throughout.

Sylvie is successful in her career as a Barrister, her next step or aim is to become a Judge, she’s already a district judge, but she wants to be a Crown Court Judge. She seems to be heading in the right direction. She also has a new man in her life Gareth. She is dying to tell her best friend Tess all about him. But when Tess and Sylvie meet up for a drink Tess has news for Sylvie. She also asks her a couple of favours.

One of those favours could affect her application to be a judge, in fact it could wreck her whole career. Because Tess and Sylvie have a secret from when they were 17, they had testified in court, which sent someone to prison. What had they testified? What happened? Tess is desperate to get some closure on what happened, but what if someone doesn’t want closure but revenge?

Sylvie has a trial where she is the judge, three boys are accused of attacking another boy. All three boys deny being guilty, one of those boys is from a very well to do background and have hired a QC David Lamb. The case brings back memories for Sylvie as these young boys take the stand. But what does it remind her?

This is such a suspenseful read, I have to say I didn’t like any of the characters, but they are so well written, I normally struggle when I don’t like anyone, but I wasn’t sure on Sylvie, Initially I liked her but then there were a couple of things she did to not rock the boat for getting a good recommendation to be a judge, things she should have reported. That made me wonder.

Then there is Tess, how much of what Tess says is true? I found her to be the stronger character of the two women, she seemed able to wrap Sylvie round her little finger. I couldn’t have remained friends with Tess if she had treated me the way she treated Sylvie. Sometimes it was almost like blackmail the way Sylvie was manipulated not just as they are older but also when they were teenagers. But again how reliable is Sylvie as the narrator?

I did correctly suspect one person of something and got that part right but the rest of it I was way off the mark.

If you like to be led down the garden path and round the gardens then this is a book you will enjoy, there are literally that many twists. You also have to read right until the end to find out who is dead. I was trying to guess that one, but again, wrong! So thank you @harriet_tyce for another engrossing, suspenseful, twistie read. You certainly know how to keep your readers guessing.

Thank you so much to @Wildfirebks for an ARC of this book. All opinions are my own and no influenced in any way.


Harriet Tyce was born and grew up in Edinburgh. She graduated from the University of Oxford in 1994 with a degree in English Literature before gaining legal qualifications. She worked as a criminal barrister for ten years, leaving after the birth of her first child. She completed an MA in Creative Writing – Crime Fiction at UEA where she wrote Blood Orange, which is her first novel. It Ends At Midnight is her much anticipated third novel.

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