Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Author : Annie Ward
Title : Beautiful Bad
Pages : 368
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : March 21, 2019

| ABOUT THE BOOK |

Maddie and Ian’s romance began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD, her concerns for the safety of their young son, Charlie, and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, 16 years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 9-1-1 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

But what in this beautiful home has gone so terribly bad? 

| MY THOUGHTS |

If you’re looking for a book full of damaged characters, then look no further. We’re not talking a wee baggage here but huge truckloads of it. In fact, these are probably some of the most damaged characters I’ve ever encountered.

Maggie and Ian first met decades ago at a party in the middle of the war ravaged Balkans. Maggie was a travel writer, visiting her best friend, and Ian was in the military. Now, they are married, parents to Charlie and living a seemingly perfect suburban life. Until a frantic call to 911. What happened behind closed doors?

These characters aren’t particularly likeable, nor could I find any way to relate to them. I luckily have no experience whatsoever with the situations they found themselves in throughout their lives but it was however relatively easy to imagine the impact certain events had on both Maggie and Ian. PTSD is not something to be underestimated and the author makes that very clear.

Admittedly, I found the first hundred pages or so rather on the slow side and I struggled quite a bit. I was in that place where I was just desperately waiting for something to happen. Fortunately, things did pick up a tad afterwards and despite my initial struggle, I’m glad I stuck with it because seeing the pieces come together was quite fascinating.

For me, this book comes in two parts. The first part being the one where most of the scene is set, the background into Maggie and Ian’s relationship and Maggie and Jo’s friendship, giving the reader the opportunity to see where these characters are coming from. This part was relatively slow-paced and read more like a drama than anything else. The aspect of what I define as a psychological thriller didn’t really appear until the second half of the book and this was definitely the part I enjoyed the most.

With multiple points of view, a lot of back and forth in time and intriguing characters there should be plenty here to grab your attention if you go in with an open mind. Slowly but surely you’ll discover the bad behind the beautiful and what really happened on “the day of the killing”.

Beautiful Bad is available to buy!

Affiliate link : Bookdepository
Other retailers : Amazon US | Amazon UK | Kobo | Wordery

15 thoughts on “Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

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