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.
3 people found this review helpful
She was a beautiful young lady in a foreign country writing travel magazines. There was nothing that made sense of them being together, but they got under each others skin. This was a dysfunctional relationship with all kinds of alarms and reasons for it to go no further. Everyone saw it. The signs were everywhere. I haven't read this author before and I have to say it's a really good read that is very well written. Nothing is what it seems. The back and forth with glimpse from the opening being the 911 call to the end being the emails. This author feeds us the story through a questionable source. The characters and imagery are well played and make you really see it through their view. This could easily be a 5 star read by the author providing a little less, as it took away from the suspense heightened angst, in my opinion. It doesn't mean it wasn't a good read it just made it a little slow in some spots. But I have to say the end is well done and yeah throughout the book you're wondering and changing until it's done. Great read.
1 person found this review helpful
This is a love story. It is also about friendship .. and loyalty ... and love ... and secrets and lies. Maddie and her friend, Jo, are working overseas. Ian is serving in the British Army and he is instantly attracted to Maddie .. but then he's also attracted to Maddie. Maddie falls head over heels almost immediately. Many years pass with Maddie and Jo out of touch and Maddie and Ian also out of touch. Nineteen years later, Maddie and Ian are married and the parents of a young boy, Charlie.. the light of Maddie's life. Ian is still working sporadically overseas, and when he comes home, he's different ... changed. Ian is is huge Vodka drinker which doesn't help the situation. He's not physically abusive, but he yells a lot, calls her names, questions the things she does. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie with short term amnesia and 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. The story runs the gamut of places from the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas. The chapters are mainly told by Maddie intermingled with Ian's voice. There's a lot of back and forth leading to an explosive ending with a twist that I never saw coming. This is a well written Psychological Thriller with credible characters that are finely drawn. The dynamics among the main character is what kept me glued to the pages. I think I read this one in record time ... just couldn't seem to put it down. Secondary characters, such as the writing therapist and the female detective held the suspense from start to finish. Many thanks to the author / Harlequin Books / Park Row / Netgalley / Edelweiss for the advance digital copy of this Psychological Thriller. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
1 person found this review helpful