Friday, March 29, 2019

Review: Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Title: Beautiful Bad
Author: Annie Ward
Published: March 2019, Park Row Books
Format: ARC Paperback, 368 pages
Source: Publisher

In the most explosive and twisted psychological thriller since The Woman in the Window, a beautiful marriage turns beautifully bad.
Things that make me scared: When Charlie cries. Hospitals and lakes. When Ian drinks vodka in the basement. ISIS. When Ian gets angry... That something is really, really wrong with me.

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, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

My thoughts: I picked up this gem last Spring at Book Expo and have been so excited to read it. I just knew it was going to be a book that had the potential to stir up discussions and boy, have I seen some/been part of some good ones!

I loved the way this book was told. It's definitely more of a slow-burning type of suspense that just pulls you in and keeps you hooked by dropping little hints as to what the big reveal is finally going to be...a reveal that I sure didn't see coming! It starts in the present day with a 911 call in a chapter entitled "The Day of the Killing" so you know someone ends up just don't know who. And believe me, you will come up with many possibilities that will change many times over the course of this book. Maybe you will figure out who is killed, but will you know why? The other chapters alternate between the weeks leading up to the event and going back into the past when Maddie and Ian first met.

I loved that I had such mixed feelings about these characters. I was constantly flipping back and forth as to how I felt about them and whether I trusted them. This is definitely the kind of book that gets under your skin with how the characters behave, so much so that you really have a hard time putting it down. I was completely invested in this book, desperate to find out just what had happened and why. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough!

This book is dark and at times quite intense. It takes you to Balkans where the social climate there seems to mirror the already growing tension of the book. It highlights just how unstable things really are in this marriage. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading more by this talented author. 



  1. Ooh, this sounds neat!!! Great review, I'll definitely keep an eye out for this!


  2. too good !!!

    hi from Brasil


Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I love interacting with other book lovers and appreciate any thoughts or feedback! If you read a book after seeing my review, please let me know. Come back and leave me a link to your review so I can read it. Thank you!!!

Blogger Template Created by pipdig