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  1. I really was upset with the ending to this book! It was such a letdown to have read this whole book and then have no ending. It was like there should have been another chapter, but Ruth Ware just got tired or something. I have read 2 of her other books and enjoyed them, but I will not be reading any more after this.

  2. I found out this year that prisons always open and read an inmate’s mail first and then decide whether to pass it on. They reserve the right to withhold incendiary, seditious writing, fighting instructions and all nude and revealing photos and drawings, even if it’s the inmate’s lover or legal mate. The police will be told of anything important. This is a letter from the wronged family to the criminal who wronged the family so it’s a red alert to the police. The police would have interviewed the sender and writer if needed for clarity. Therefore they know about Ellie’s confession and Maddie’s actions. Yet they didn’t release Rachel, since she had to hide her letters (when police drop the charges, the prisoner regains all rights again, including privacy, so Rachel could take anything out of the cell and not be searched). That means that the police don’t believe that Ellie killed Maddie since, as I said above, Maddie was unconscious. They might have figured that Rachel met Maddie coming in through the window, found out that Ellie thinks that she killed Maddie and therefore Rachel knocked Maddie unconscious and threw her out, expecting Ellie to take the blame. A life sentence for sure. Either that or this is all a hoax played by a wreaker on the other wreakers, hiding his failed attempt at a prison thriller, Rachel’s letter, along with two other letters, and it worked, convincing his fellow wreckers that they were holding a letter from a real person, not a fictional one. Either way, it’s a disappointing ending.

  3. Yes all good points – Ware may not have assumed people would have that knowledge of inmates letters being monitored too.

  4. I suspect that Ware wasn’t even aware that prisons read and censor prisoners’ mail. I’ve only learned that from one commenter on one of the many review sites I checked, so it’s not common knowledge, but google it and it’s true. If your lover/spouse were in prison in the Western world, you would not be able to send nude or even semi-nude photos: they forbid those. They also forbid anything telling people how to fight. I think Ruth became enamoured of her idea of Rachel holding Ellie’s secret and she missed learning what she really needed. Also, the beta readers (people who read your novel before you submit it to publishers) and the publisher’s editors also missed this, among other mistakes in that novel. She got fascinated with the letter format and bungled the novel so it reads in a way she wasn’t expecting or wanted. Still, what you publish is what’s there: every mistake you made becomes carved rock in the story. That’s why you give endings, so people won’t be so puzzled that they analyze the story to the point where they see more than the author did, much to the author’s embarrassment. It really ruined the story, but most people didn’t understand, including all those web and newspaper critics. Tells you how good their advice is.

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