Book Title: The Beauty of the End
Author: Debbie Howells
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Mystery, Fiction
Date Read: 02/21/16
Pub Date: 07/26/16
“I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. . .”
So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier. Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose–and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.
While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April’s name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.
Or so everyone believes. . .
I received my digital copy on Netgalley via wish granted from Kensington in exchange for a fair and honest review- many thanks! 4 STARS
I have heard of Debbie Howells previous work but have not personally read any previous to this one. The Beauty of the End impressed me wildly! Ms. Howells clearly is talented in constructing a complex tale with an interweaving timeline of the past and present with only 1 narrator. The summary does a good job describing the plot overall but, to not raise any spoilers, I was a little confused on the relation between Noah’s story and Ella’s story.
Hardly any of the characters were likable and I had a hard time feeling for all of them except for Ella. Also, this is a book where you are only allowed revelations when the author chooses to dole them out. If non-empathetic characters (but very well developed) are not your thing, you probably won’t enjoy this. Also, if you are the type who enjoys solving a mystery while reading a book because all the pieces/clues were laid out early in the book, you just had to find them, you probably won’t enjoy this either. Otherwise, this was an awesome read that truly sucked me in. I couldn’t turn the pages quick enough. I think the only aspect that kept me from giving this one 5 stars was that, for me as a reader, I felt it was a tiny bit formulaic. I had almost all of the twists figured out before they were revealed. However, the writing was so great and the few twists I didn’t see coming really made up for that. Definitely recommended and will be checking out more of the author’s books!