Tuesday, April 2, 2019

✱✱Book Review✱✱ Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Beautiful Bad
by Annie Ward 

In the tradition of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train comes the psychological thriller everyone is talking about, a twisted novel about a devoted wife, a loving husband, and a chilling crime that will stun even the cleverest readers.

There are two sides to every story… And every person.

Maddie and Ian’s love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas, while 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; her concerns for the safety of their young son; 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.

Momma Says: 2 stars⭐⭐

Beautiful Bad has an interesting premise, and it starts with a 911 call that certainly grabs the attention of the reader. Unfortunately, the story quickly spiraled downward from there, at least for me. Part of that lays in the many tools used here that have been done and done again. We have the unreliable narrator, and we're spoon fed the back stories of the characters as the timeline jumps from distant past to more recent past and back again with tidbits of the day the 911 call is placed. The story is quite wordy, much more so than necessary. For me, there were whole chunks of story in the middle that could easily have been left out without hurting the book as a whole. Those chunks made for a lot of lagtime that I could've done without. I also had some problems with the relationships between the characters in that I just didn't buy them. Nothing of real substance happens between Maddie and Ian in the beginning to warrant traveling halfway round the world after years have passed, and the friendship between Maddie and Jo seems pretty shallow for most of the book. I didn't see anything between these women to believe the amount of trust they have later in the story. There are some interesting twists in the end, but most are too predictable, and the one really good one at the very end just wasn't enough to save this for me. I once heard that no two people read the same book, and I realize that I'm in the minority on this book, so take it for what it's worth. For me, the story just didn't live up to its potential. 

❃❃ARC provided by NetGalley and Park Row

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