Marieke Nijkamp – This is where it ends

Marieke Nijkamp – This is where it ends

Teachers and pupils are gathering in the auditorium to listen to the principal. When she has finished, they stand up to leave and head back to their classes. But the doors are locked. Nobody can get out. Only Tyler gets in and soon has everybody’s attention since he is heavily armed. He is seeking revenge for what has been done to him in the last months. When the first teachers and classmates are shot, they realise that this is real. But who can stop him? His sister Autumn? But she is meant to be the next.

The story is told from different perspectives. We are thrown immediately into the action, there is no slow approach, nothing to prepare you. In small chapters covering two to three minutes, we learn what happens and what the different characters think and feel at that specific moment. We get to know Autumn, Tyler’s sister who remembers their mother who died a year before and thus triggered a lot of problems for the whole family. Sylvia, Autumn’s girlfriend, who had a fierce quarrel with Tyler a couple of weeks before. Tomás, Sylvia’s brother who is actually not inside the auditorium because he was about to break into the principal‘ s office with his friend when all started and now he tries to help is sister and classmates. Claire and the running team who did not attend the meeting and now are left to watch and wait.

There are many novels about school shootings, but most of them focus either on the motives of the shooter or what happens to the victims after this experience. „This is where it ends“ stands out since is only covers the minutes of the shooting and the immediate feelings and thoughts. The different perspectives from inside and outside and their diverse links to the shooter give not only a broad but also interesting views on the situation. We do not get any clever explanations and tips of how to prevent it, the action speaks for itself and leaves it to the reader to make up their mind about this topic.