Monday, October 22, 2018

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

5 Stars

Before I even begin, let’s address the newest pink elephant in the room . . . .

“In the most explosive and twisted psychological thriller since The Woman in the Window, a beautiful marriage turns beautifully bad.”

Please note this is coming from a person who looooooooooooooooved The Woman in the Window, but FFS this is like comparing apples and orangutans. These two books are NOTHING alike. Has no one learned from the debacle which was “the next Gone Girl”????

But enough about that. Let’s get on with the book. First, allow me to apologize for not only reading but also falling all over a book that doesn’t come out until Spring 2019. Y’all know I’m normally a failure that reads my ARCs months after they’ve been released. I don’t know why this one was calling to me from the TBR stack, but I picked it up and never put it down until I was finished. And now?????

Oh Lort do I want to vomit all the words and tell everyone everything about this. But I shall refrain and only give you these tidbits instead:

1. It takes place in a fictional southern suburb of Kansas City called Meadowlark (which is the Kansas state bird – so clever girl Annie Ward).

2. There are three timelines: The first takes place in the “now” (2010) where police are responding to a 911 screaming hang up call and have found blood all over the inside of a house. The second is around 9/11 where the two meet (he’s a soldier in Macedonia/she’s a journalist in Bulgaria). The third starts several weeks before the 911 call and works its way forward.

3. There are MANY possibilities when it comes to the potential superbadawful. It could be her, it could be him, it could be her friend, it could be his ex, it could even be the neighbor. The best thing of all, though? By the time the narrative had circled back to the present I was so invested in the story of them meeting and the various things that were making me go hmmmmm surrounding their relationship that I had totally forgotten why there was a cop at the door. For real, it was like . . .

That’s probably all I can safely say about the story before getting a cease and desist letter. I will say that this tops the charts for me when it comes to a domestic suspense/thriller so it’s getting every star.

To prove I’m still a nitpicky asshole, here are my super minor complaints:

(1) I’m not super keen on the title because it is so generic and this cover is ugly. It appears there is another cover option so I hope they go with that.

(2) This takes place where I (and apparently the author) live. All of the locations and descriptions (excluding the town itself) are spot on excluding one reference to a horrible incident at a water park which is said to have happened near the airport. Ummmm, the water park and the airport aren’t even in the same state so I’m not quite sure why creative license was chosen regarding that and nothing else.

But for real. Nitpicky, right? This thing was perfect.

ARC received from Park Row in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much! I would have never even known what I was potentially missing if it weren’t for your offer.

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