Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Beauty of the End - Review

The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells (Amazon)
Rating: Good
Source: Publisher

Description:  "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 the 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 a both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love. (from Goodreads)

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been in the mood for thrillers lately and this one was looked intriguing!

My Impression:  The Beauty of the End was one of those sleeper books for me.  The first sentence didn't grab me and I wasn't completely pulled in after the first page but somehow somewhere during the next pages I was hooked without realizing and just had to find out what was going to happen next.

I wanted to know just who was April and what had happened between Noah and her.  There were so many secrets and just little hints that I couldn't wait to find the next hint to see if I had a better idea of what was going to happen.  I was right along with Noah on the investigations and looking for clues in the flashbacks.  The pacing was really great and definitely kept me turning pages and it was a book I looked forward to picking back up to see where it'd go next.


Noah.  I mean I feel bad for the guy.  He's had the rug completely pulled out from under him by this girl no less than 3 times and he just doesn't seem to see the cracks.  I like April a lot.  She's definitely been dealt a raw deal and has done her best to make something of herself but she's not perfect and she clearly has her own demons which Noah just can't seem to see.  I felt sorry for her because being the "goddess" that Noah fell in love with as a teenager cannot be easy.  His complete and total faith in April's inability to do some act of violence got a little hard to take at times as did his aimlessness and his seemingly stuck in the day that April walked out.

However, as the story went on I began to like him a little more.  His confidence seemed to grow a little and he seemed more in control over what was happening.  I have mixed feelings about the ending of the book.  I liked the ending for Noah as a character but there were just so many threads that it felt a little more open ended than I like (keep in mind though I like my endings all tied up with a nice big bow!).

This was more psychological than creepy though there were a few unsettling moments.  While it wasn't my absolute favorite thriller this year I did enjoy it and would definitely look for more books by this author.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely!  I've heard good things about her previous book and look forward to picking it up.

Would I Recommend this Book?: If you like books on the psychological end of the psychological thriller genre I think you'd enjoy this one.


  1. I totally missed this one but love psychological books so will be adding to my TBR for sure. Plus the cover is really eye catching to me. Great review!

  2. I like the kind of thriller where you piece together the story along with it unfolding. Whilst not perfect, this sounds like a good read. Great review - thanks for sharing :-)

  3. I've been reading more thrillers lately and this one is new to me but sounds intriguing! Sounds like the guy is stuck in the past a bit but he grows as the story goes, and I'm curious now if the April character really did it- I always love trying to figure out what really happened. :)

  4. By the cover and opening line I thought this would fall on the paranormal side. Obviously not. Lol.
    It's like Noah immortalized 14 year old April. She was never allowed to change in his mind. It's so super easy to get frustrated with that kind of thinking. I'm glad you warmed up to him though! And hey, you found another mystery author to add to the list. :)

  5. It sounds like you liked this one a bit more than I did. I just kept thinking how things would have never worked the way they did in the story. I am glad that you enjoyed it. I am also curious about some of her other work since I have heard great things.

  6. You and me both - I like an ending all wrapped up in a bow too! I get it most of the time but not always!

  7. Thrillers and suspense novels have been my focus lately, as well, and this one sounds really good. I like the characterization and glad it picked up quickly to grab you. If a book doesn't grab me in the first chapter these days, I'm usually outta there! (lol) Great review! Hugs...

  8. While not the best you have read, it certainly sounds good for a weekend by the fire:)

  9. I definitely prefer tidy—and happy—endings! I'm glad you enjoyed this despite some reservations regarding the characters and the ending. I don't tend to gravitate toward psychological thrillers, but will pick one up occasionally, so I'll keep this in mind.

  10. This cover is gorgeous! Great review.