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The End of the Pier

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  928 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews
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 s ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published April 24th 1993 by Ballantine Books (first published 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 30, 2015 Data rated it really liked it
Mothers and sons; fathers and daughters; and murder. This is my favorite of Grimes' mysteries. I had to read it a second time just to savor the idiosyncrasies of her ordinary and far-out characters.
Oct 06, 2016 Bobbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It is the prequel to the Emma Graham series which I read first. I don't know if I would have enjoyed this one as much if I had not read the series first. So reading them backwards seems to have worked very well for me, since I enjoyed having already been acquainted with the main characters. I was glad to get to know these main characters better in this book, since they seemed rather sketchy in the series. This book had a much more satisfying ending than the later books, as wel ...more
Dec 11, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
Hard to get my head around this book having been written BEFORE the Emma Graham books as the world that is pictured contains Emma's world so seamlessly. The characters and the place feel so real they could be real, but that's probably just the artistry of the author. Obviously they are based in her childhood world but she has spun a web with cunning and passion.
Dec 10, 2009 Gabby rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Gabby by: The Mystery Guild
Shelves: mystery, 2009
I've never been able to "get" Martha Grimes. It's not that I outright don't like her books; it's more that I just don't know what she's trying to get her characters to convey. The End Of The Pier is the perfect example of this. I'm not sure if the characters in this book are deep (as in profound thinkers), crazy, or maybe just flat out stupid.

There's a serial killer loose in Elton County, a small town-America rustic area, only no one seems to have put together the clues indicating that the murde
An Odd1
Jan 20, 2014 An Odd1 rated it did not like it
Not to my present interests, so quit early. An unambitious waitress, after work in a pokey redneck cafe, drinks martinis alone at the end of a dock, to observe lights from a summer cottage party across the lake, seek meaning in poor poetry, avoid participation in life, and wish her son not to leave for university early.

I could not be curious about the where, who, why, and obscure un-rhymes, enough to read beyond a tiny positive - wry humor from a silent customer and his quiet pal, named for the
Nov 01, 2011 Jacque rated it liked it
This book is very hard to describe. A lot of it takes place in the minds of two people, Maud and Sam. Maud is a single mother, whose son has left for college. She has a very strange way of looking at the world around her. She is always an observer, almost voyueristic. Sam is a sheriff, whose knows his wife is cheating on him. He stakes out all the lonely women in the county, trying to prevent the next murder in a chain no one else can see. Maud's son also gets his own story line, which plays off ...more
Nov 28, 2007 Kim marked it as abandoned
Shelves: fiction
Sadly, if Martha Grimes wrote it but didn't include Richard Jury, I just can't be brought to care.
Sep 17, 2016 C3wach rated it really liked it
The train of consciousness style works well. More gore (relatively restrained) than I want to think of. I want to see other non-Jury books.
Aug 09, 2011 Heather rated it really liked it
This one's a bit different from her previous books. There's no Detective Richard Jury, and the story is set in America rather than England. Most of her books also start with a murder scene, but this one slowly builds to it, as we learn that there were previous murders. Sam, the sherrif of the small town, believes they've had the wrong man in jail for years now. His boss doesn't want to believe it, and Sam seems to be the only one trying to figure out what really happened.

The characterization is
Sep 02, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Rating: 3.5 stars

This is the first time I've read Martha Grimes, so I really didn't know what to expect. It's about 10% mystery and 90% character-driven. The story takes place in a small New England town where several women have been murdered in a similar fashion. This mystery, however, isn't explored very deeply. I loved the character of Sam (the small-town sheriff), and his interactions with Maud (divorced mother, waitress) made me chuckle many times; his quiet exasperation with her was very f
Jan C
Apr 26, 2009 Jan C rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
I loved this book. I always thought it took place in Maryland but after reading a subsequent book, believe it must have been in the Southwest.

I think one reason I liked it so much was because it reminded me of my aunt's cottage on the Magothy River in Maryiand. They had a pier, they were right near an island where the wealthy people lived, Gibson Island. And there was a bar down the road that sold kids pop out of the back door. It just all seemed very familiar to me.

I'd never felt that in a book
Ann Aldrich
Apr 05, 2015 Ann Aldrich rated it liked it
this is a non-Inspector-Jury, non-English-pub Martha Grimes book. apparently she was just on a break,,since there are ten or so more Jury books subsequently. what is typically Grimes is that the story is almost completely introspective. there is very little active plot -- just lots of flashbacks. the resolution is unexpected, since it happens suddenly and is a sharp change from the hypnotic pace of the previous 98 percent of the book. I actually liked it better than most oof the Jury books, beca ...more
Always Pink
May 28, 2016 Always Pink rated it it was amazing
This book is a gem. It is not only one of the finest crime novels I know, but also a detailed description of a writerly mind-set (watching not doing) plus it also gives a nuanced portrait of several forms of depression. That might perhaps not sound like an ideal mixture, but astoundingly makes for a whopping read as Martha Grimes knows what she is doing. Writing is masterly, not a single word here is out of place, the setting is as solid as cast iron and the cast a bunch of fierce, sensitive, br ...more
Edward Creter
Sep 13, 2011 Edward Creter rated it really liked it
This is a departure from her Richard Jury novels but I think you might enjoy this one. In a quiet town, three women are brutally murdered by a man who hates women to the core, but ironically it's not the male sherriff--but his wife!--who stares her killer down and solves the murder. Cool!
The descriptions of the small town of Hebrides adds flavor and suspense, and the soiree is straight out of F. Scott Fitzgerald, who I think woulda been proud of Ms. Grimes. She's one of the best mystery writers
Jan 20, 2013 Melissa rated it it was ok
This is a tough one for me. I so enjoyed Hotel Paradise by Martha Grimes and immediately set out to read some of her other books. I was excited to see that this one, although written quite a few years earlier, had some of the same characters as in HP. However, Maud and Sam just weren't as appealing in this book. The book itself is nicely written and is a fairly quick read. It really delved in to the strong and yet delicate mother/son relationships.

Not to through the baby out with the bath water
Apr 04, 2011 Emily rated it liked it
For fans of Grimes' Emma Graham series, this book is novel in that it gives a little bit of an adult perspective on the town and townspeople 12-year-old Emma describes. It's not a particularly strong mystery, but more of a blending with a dramatic, character-based story. It is dramatic and well written, but only one of the several plot threads is resolved. I imagine Grimes meant to revisit these characters, but moved on to Emma as a way to do that.
Feb 22, 2015 Harry rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
After reading Cold Flat Junction, I thought I had found an author I'd really enjoy but this one was a lot less satisfying. The crime descriptions seemed unnecessarily gruesome, there were not enough clues or twists to make it a good mystery, and the characters weren't that believable. I am getting the feeling that Grimes is all about character and if you can't believe the characters you don't enjoy the story.
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
The story idea was good--a serial killer had been killing women in a resort area, and the wrong man was convicted--but Maud, the main character, was very annoying to me. I had no patience for her moodiness, depression, and odd behavior.

(I really cannot remember any details. This is what I wrote seven years ago when I read it. A disappointment to me, a Martha Grimes fan.)
Diane Large
Jun 18, 2015 Diane Large rated it liked it
Shelves: grimes
I love the Richard Jury mysteries with his quirky group of friends. The characters in the book were weird! They were interesting, however, I had a hard time figuring out what in the world Maude and Zero's mother were thinking. The story ended abruptly with the killer appearing on the pier. Not the best of Grimes for me.
Katie Lynn
A bit disjointed, I thought. But I didn't know who the killer was until it was revealed. Partly because it wasn't that intriguing, almost like that was an entirely side story or something. odd. I'm not sure which characters you were supposed to like or not like. Nice to not have it ridiculously mapped out for you, but also would be nice if you were interested in them or the story.
Nov 10, 2015 Jan rated it liked it
Not your average Martha Grimes novel. The End of the Pier is NOT a Jury-Plant mystery. I'm not even sure it's a "mystery". It takes place in America & is a crazy mixed up mish mash of several different stories that may or may be not related. It was ultimately readable after I picked it back up again. The ending was smashing!
Oct 06, 2014 Lexi rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I usually don't like suspense that doesn't help you figure out whodunit, but this was absorbing, personal, and well-crafted. I don't always like Grimes, but this one was great. I'll look up some others.
Erika Nerdypants
Aug 02, 2011 Erika Nerdypants rated it did not like it
My first Martha Grimes mystery, and I expected much more from what others told me about this author. The plot was confusing, there were too many people with names like Bubba drinking too many Buds. Unless this is very different from her usual style, I wouldn't read her again.
Dec 18, 2015 Benjamin rated it really liked it
Not a whodunit, even though there is a serial killer involved. Rather this is a reflection on parents and children and the complex interactions between them. More of an exploration of human interaction by a keen analyst than it is a murder mystery.
Nancy Ellis
Feb 12, 2016 Nancy Ellis rated it it was ok
I've enjoyed all of her Richard Jury books, but I really did not care for this stand-alone. I almost put it down but decided to keep on going. Both the story and the characters are depressed and depressing. I'm glad it was not a long book.
Apr 27, 2015 Chuck rated it it was ok
I don't have much to say about this book, however, I do not want to meet any of the characters and don't want to visit their towns or homes. A study in aberrant behavior that is neither funny, clever or entertaining.
Aug 15, 2012 Tricia marked it as abandoned
I really really tried to get into this book, but decided to give up after about 75 pages. I guess slow-paced "psychological thrillers" aren't my cup of tea. Hopefully whoever picks it up from the hotel lobby where I left it (with note to do so) will enjoy it more than I did(not).
May 21, 2008 Rae rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
Martha Grimes usually writes British traditional mysteries. This was her first novel (that I am aware of) set in America and it is a psychological mystery about a serial killer. She has very well-developed characters, but the story just didn't grab me. It was OK.
Jan 07, 2009 Cassandra rated it it was ok
It's supposed to be a psychological thriller. I guess it was ok, not much of a who dunnit. It was more about characters in a small town. I enjoyed it sometimes. I think if you like Gabriel Garcia then you might like this book.
Jul 06, 2015 Georgene rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Not one of Ms. Grimes better books. This one takes place somewhere in the mountains of the eastern Appalachians. Maybe because I've enjoyed the Richard Jury books so much, this one just pales in comparison.
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Martha Grimes is an American author of detective fiction.

She was born May 2 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to D.W., a city solicitor, and to June, who owned the Mountain Lake Hotel in Western Maryland where Martha and her brother spent much of their childhood. Grimes earned her B.A. and M.A. at the University of Maryland. She has taught at the University of Iowa, Frostburg State University, and Montg
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