The End of Time is a seriously disturbing read, not only because the events told are real but for the skill with which the authors manage to inhabit the mind of the killer. Detailing the real life murder and following suicide that took place in a small Iowa town in the 1920s, this book portrays the mental deterioration of a man who was once the pillar of the community as his demons overpower him. Besieged by feelings of betrayal and hurt pride, Fitch Swan gradually descends into a world where the only thing that matters is revenge.
For those who are looking for a traditional murder story this will come as a shock. The pedestrian pace and meticulous detail draws the reader into the sense of gentleness that surrounds the town, so much so that as Swan’s mental state starts to fall apart one finds a sort of sympathy for his plight. His fixation on his one time friend and now rival, Volger, drives his every waking moment until the only way out is deadly revenge.
The Authors, Tom and Sharon Savage, are residents of the town and live just a stone’s throw from the scene of the murder. They are also well qualified to delve into the mind of a paranoid as they both teach psychology in college.
In a world where you can rely on the bookshelves to be full of James Bond-lite or CSI style novels, this story is a wonderful relief. A thriller, a very well researched historical novel and a great exploration of a mind slowly dissolving. Based on real life, with characters drawn from the records it’s an intelligent novel and a great read.