The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells

The Beauty of the End by [Howells, Debbie]

Publisher: Kensington

Date of Publication: July 26, 2016

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction, Psychological Thriller, Mystery Thriller, Suspense, Crime, Adult, Contemporary, European Literature, British Literature

Purchase Links: Amazon | AbeBooks | Alibris | Powells | Indigo

Goodreads Synopsis:

From the acclaimed author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about a man thrust into the middle of a murder investigation, forced to confront the secrets of his ex-lover’s past.

“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. . .

Set in a borderland where the past casts its shadow on the present, with a time-shifting narrative that will mesmerize and surprise, The Beauty of the End is both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love


I tried to get into this book and like it. I couldn’t get past Noah’s obsession with April. It was creepy and, at some points, smothering. Everyone around him could see that but him. It breaks him when she ends their relationship, and he is never the same.

The book starts when Noah gets a call from his childhood friend about April. She overdosed but not before killing her stepfather. He rushes to her bedside and begins investigating the mystery of what happened.

This is when I met Ella, a troubled 15-year-old in therapy. She has a terrible secret that she found while snooping through her father’s desk.

This is also where the book started jumping around. It would go from the present to when Noah first met April to the present to when they were living together. Then add Ella’s story (which was in italics), which got very confusing.

The suspense part of the book was well written. The author threw red herrings, but I was shocked when it came down to revealing the truth. It wasn’t even close to what I thought or what the author led me to believe.

The ending seemed a little rushed, leaving me feeling that there should have been something more. I didn’t like how April was portrayed at the end. It went against everything that we were told during the story. But, in a way, it made sense.

I would recommend The Beauty of the End to anyone over 16. There are nongraphic sex scenes, mild violence, and mild language.


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