This Is How We End Things by R.J. Jacobs

The first word that comes to mind when I think about This Is How We End Things, the latest thriller by R.J. Jacobs, is: Deception. Other “D” words quickly follow: devious, dishonest, deceit, daunting, death.

For those who love a tightly woven psychological mystery/thriller, look no further than R.J.’s newest release available in mid-September. The story unfolds in the university town of Shepard, NC – it’s almost spring break.

Five top grad students are studying and learning the psychology of deception. Under the guidance of their mentor, Professor Joe Lyons, they become fully skilled “liars” in order to conduct a “dishonesty” study and experiment on clueless university students. They track the end results of their smooth, but jarring lies, and how it affects each subject.

Everyone involved in Professor Lyons’ group seems to get along. But the reader soon discovers it’s just for the sake of appearances. Behind the scenes there’s a flurry of serious accusations, backbiting, jealousy and downright hatred.

But here’s the thing – playing with people’s minds, even for the sake of educational experiments, “can” and “does” take a deadly toll. When someone working on the experiment is brutally murdered, local Detective Alana Larson focuses on Joe Lyons and his remaining group.

The author takes us on a trip into the lives and thoughts of each individual involved in the experiment. But as you try to figure out who is the real killer, the author mercilessly reminds you that everyone involved is a professional liar. Even the best armchair detective is going to be thoroughly confused – who is telling the truth, who is telling lies? Maybe everyone involved in the experiment is covering up and hiding secrets from the past or lying to protect their future.

While it’s almost spring break, the campus has already become eerily lonely and abandoned, except for a smattering of locals and the group of grads and their mentor. Then the weather has a vicious shift. Suddenly the ghostly town and campus is blinding white with snow and ice. And in the middle of the storm, yet another murder.

The inclement weather makes it even tougher for Detective Larson and her partner – now they have two dead bodies, plenty of red herrings and too many suspects. The author continues to take you through each individual’s thoughts – one by one. Each one is pointing a lying or truthful finger at each other. Each one professing their innocence could be lying.

As this climatic story unfolds, Detective Larson will be fighting for her life against a psychotic, devious killer who’ll stop at nothing to get what they want.

Anytime is the BEST time to read a good thriller, and R.J. Jacobs (once again) nails it! Pre-order your copy of This Is How We Ends Things NOW through your favorite retailers. The book is due out in mid-September, just around the corner.

A copy of this book and cover photo were provided by Sourcebooks/Landmark.

Visit this site’s books/mysteries category for other thriller and cozy mystery reviews, plus an exclusive interview with the author, R.J. Jacobs.

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