The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells

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The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells

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Category: Crime
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Sophie Diamond
Reviewed by Sophie Diamond
Summary: Disturbing, tense and beautiful. A story that never stops twisting.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 352 Date: July 2016
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-1447278139

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Noah is happily lonely; he's built up his seclusion to block out the pain of his past. But when he gets a call out of the blue from a former friend, his past catches up with him violently. Noah must delve into the life of his childhood love, April, to prove she's innocent of murder. But why is everyone else so certain that she's guilty? What secrets is she keeping? And what does a young girl called Ella know that holds the key? As more characters from Noah's past emerge, Noah has to question everything he thinks he knows if he wants to save April.

This book gave me chills. Noah is a very uncomfortable and very unreliable narrator. Throughout the book I never felt I was being told the whole story. And subsequently whenever I thought I'd worked it all out, the picture changed. The mixture of past Noah and present Noah's voice and Ella's seemingly unrelated therapy sessions was brilliant. It ensures the plot is teased out bit by bit, but it's not for a moment slow. This book is spectacularly written and plotted, Howells is a masterful thriller writer, so if you're a fan of the genre, you must, must put her on your list.

A warning, this story is dark. Howells doesn't shy away from the gritty sides of the plot, which are very upsetting. While I like a good mystery, I tend to stay away from the gritty murders, preferring the jaunty detective genre but this was definitely worth the grit to read. I stayed up half the night to finish it and didn’t stop thinking about it for a long time afterwards.

Howells mixes the dark of the crime with the chill of the mystic in her writing and the effect is beautiful. There's something about her writing style, or maybe her writing of Noah as her protagonist, that unnerved me in the best way. She handles horrors delicately but without shying away from them. Howells' whole writing style is a beautiful balancing act. It’s not the beauty of the end, it’s the beauty of the book in its entirety.

This story is a little cracker. It explores the dark side of privilege and human nature and also how it's dangerous to cast too rosy a glow on people or memories. Thank you to the Bookbag, the publisher and of course the author for my copy. wer also have a review of Howells' The Death of Her.

If you liked the sound of this, then you will enjoy I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh, equally, if you’ve already read I Let You Go, you will definitely love The Beauty of the End.

Booklists.jpg The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells is in the Top Ten Crime Novels 2016.

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Buy The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells at


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