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The Inmate

Questions, Ending & Explanations

See below for an explanation of the ending and other questions about The Inmate by Freida McFadden. If you have other questions that aren't already covered here, feel free to drop a comment!

Where can I find a full plot summary for The Inmate?

Right here! You can find a quick recap and a lengthier version of the summary over here.

What is the ending of the book The Inmate?

Brooke is dating Tim, but after Brooke finds Kelli’s body in Tim’s basement she tells the police and he’s arrested. She then recants her testimony about Shane, saying that it must’ve been Tim that night, and Shane is released. Brooke goes to pick Shane up, and introduces him to Josh finally. The next day, when Brooke takes Shane back to his house along with Josh, Shane and Josh go for a walk.

Being back in the house triggers her memories, and Brooke realizes that it must’ve been two people who conducted the murders together, Shane and Tim. There’s also news that a prison guard that Shane didn’t get along with was found dead today. Brooke then calls Shane, who tells her that he has Josh and is going to make her suffer for what she’s done to him. Brooke runs for help and she encounters her babysitter, Margie, but she turns out to be Shane’s mother, whose real name is Pamela Nelson.

Pamela then pulls a gun on her and says she’s wrong about Tim. Tim was innocent. He was left alive that night to be the patsy, but Brooke ruined the plan by getting away and accusing Shane. Instead, Pamela was the one who helped Shane murder everyone. Shane also murdered Tracy that summer 11 years ago, and Pamela killed and planted Kelli’s body in Tim’s basement for the police to find so that Brooke would recant her accusation of Shane. Pamela says she had an affair with Brooke’s father for a year when Shane was young, and he promised to leave his family for her and support her, but he didn’t. Instead, she watched Brooke and her mother live the life she should’ve had. Pamela admits to engineering the car accident that killed Brooke’s parents. Now, Pamela plans to kill Brooke so she, Shane and Josh can be a family.

There’s a struggle, and Pamela is shot. When Brooke gets to Josh, he says that there was a snowdrift that fell on Shane. Brooke sees that Shane is dead. A month later, Tim has been released from jail. Pamela ends up surviving the gunshot wound and confesses to her crimes. Josh encourages Brooke to speak to Tim. He’s angry with her, but he says that he doesn’t hate her. The begin to rebuild their relationship.

In the Epilogue, the book reveals that Tim had warned Josh that Shane was dangerous and could hurt Brooke. During their walk, Josh heard Shane being mean to Brooke on the phone, and he saw an opportunity. Josh was the one who purposely made the snowdrift fall on Shane and then he killed Shane with a large icicle.

Did Shane know about Josh being his kid before Brooke accidently told him?

Yes, his mom says that she found out about Josh from social media, which is why she engineered it so that Brooke would come back and work for the prison. Josh looks just like Shane. So, Pamela and Shane have known all along since before Brooke moved back that Josh was Shane’s child.

Why did Shane and his mom kill the others that night?

The others were just collateral damage. The point was always to kill Brooke and everyone else was to make it less obvious that Brooke was the target. Tim was left alive so they could frame him for the murders.

Have more questions? Leave them in a comment below!

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