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Thanks to Harlequin Books and TLC Book Tours for the free advanced copy in exchange for my honest review.
BEAUTIFUL BAD – Annie Ward (out now!)
A devoted wife, a loving husband and a chilling murder that no one saw coming.
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 love story 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; 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: 3.5/5 stars
When I heard that this had originally started out as a memoir I was immediately intrigued. A thriller/suspense that is heavily based on/influenced by the author’s life and events? Yes, please! BEAUTIFUL BAD by Annie Ward is beautifully written and she had me captivated from the start.
This is about the love story between Maddie and Ian. A chance encounter overseas has led them to their new home in the US – decades later married with a son. After an accident while camping, Maddie begins to attend therapy sessions and her fears about Ian are slowly coming to the surface. I did enjoy the mystery and suspense around “The Day of the Killing” and those sections of the book. We were slowly fed information and it helped with the overall tone.
I don’t want to give away much more about this one, but if you’re a fan of the domestic suspense novels then this will be perfect for you! I do feel like this is more of a suspense rather than a thriller because the pacing wasn’t as fast as you would come to expect from the thriller genre (so definitely good to know going into it). There were a few things I wanted more information from, so I think that is what kind of took away from the story for me. I get wanting to keep the readers guessing but I wanted just a little more detail. Overall, I loved the writing and will always be a fan of the domestic suspense genre. I love how authors put their own spin on the seemingly perfect marriage concept, and knowing that Ward put some of her own experiences in this made it all the more intriguing.
About the Author:
Annie Ward has a BA in English literature from UCLA and an MFA in screenwriting from the American Film Institute. Her first short screenplay, Strange Habit, starred Adam Scott and won awards at the Aspen and Sundance Film Festivals. She lives in Kansas with her two sons and British husband, whom she met in the Balkans. She was recently awarded a Fulbright scholarship and An Escape to Create artist’s residency.
Connect with Annie
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