Beautiful Bad

Beautiful Bad

Book - 2019
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In the most explosive and twisted psychological thriller since The Woman in the Window, a perfect love story leads to the perfect crime

Things that make me scared: When Charlie cries. Hospitals and lakes. When Ian drinks vodka in the basement. ISIS. When Ian gets angry. . . . That something is really, really wrong with me.

Maddie and Ian's romance began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie 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, Charlie, and the couple's tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, 16 years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 9-1-1 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

But what in this beautiful home has gone so terribly bad?

Previously published under the title Beautiful Bad

Publisher: Toronto :, Park Row Books,, c2019
ISBN: 9781443458894
Branch Call Number: WAR
Characteristics: 364 pages ;,24 cm


From the critics

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Oct 06, 2020

Superbly written book, with fast flowing, dramatic action scenes.

Jul 28, 2020

Returned un-read as the jumping around was confusing.

May 25, 2019

I usually don"t like books that jump around chronologically, but the short chapters help the reader keep track of the characters & action.
I found it hard to put down and engrossing...the Eastern Europe lifestyle for the young bodyguard Brits & female Americans during war and unrest was fascinating.
I only actually read about 1/3 of the books that I get out of the library... can't get into most of them.
This book was a winner!

May 21, 2019

I find the jumping from today, then back X years, then to today, etc. to be confusing. Not a good style. Could have been an interesting read otherwise.

May 03, 2019

This wildly popular thriller lives up to its reputation. Although I suspected the end around the middle of the book, it was fun to see it turn out.

Apr 16, 2019

I really wanted to like this book but I had a hard time with the transitions and found my self asking, “who is that?” Anyways, I thought it was an okay book- I did like the ending as it was not what I expected and it was a good surprise.

IndyPL_LindsayH Mar 28, 2019

Nothing is always the way it seems. This chilling tale takes you from war torn Eastern Europe to the heartland of America. It`s part love story, part hate story. Beautiful Bad is full of twists and turns that will definitely make you think.

TSCPL_Miranda Mar 17, 2019

Once I started this book, I couldn't get my head out of it until I was finished. Twisty, sharp, and unpredictable. I thought I had the whole thing figured out near the end, then it twisted one more time. Unreliable characters, shifting perspectives and timelines, and a really well-written story. Fans of The Woman in the Window, The Couple Next Door, and Girl on the Train will enjoy this one--I liked it even better than any of those.
Bonus: Part of the book is set in Kansas, and author Annie Ward lives in Overland Park.

JCLKariE Mar 10, 2019

Annie Ward, a Kansas author, creates a suspenseful and twisty tale that travels the globe. The plot is well paced and keeps you guessing. The back-and-forth in time is very well done. The flashback scenes to Maddie's time in Bulgaria are stronger than the current day therapy sessions because there is so much depth to the characters. Reading about Macedonia, Cyprus, and Bulgaria in the early 2000s creates a unique setting. Flashing forward to current day life in the fictional town of Meadowlark, Kansas shows how far Maddie has come from her adventurous days of her youth. Maddie and Ian's strained marriage, courtship, and early days will leave you wondering who to root for. I won't give too much away because you will not see the ending coming. I'm impressed by this calculating killer and can't wait to read more from Ward.

Feb 22, 2019

This atmospheric, gritty thriller will appeal to fans of Gillian Flynn, Jessica Strawser and AJ Finn. Our main character is Maddie. She is married to Ian and they have a three-year-old son names CharlieThe author uses her trips to a therapist to show us her inmost thoughts through exercises like writing letters to old friends (Joanna), describing memorable photos, etc. The reader then feels like they are getting a reliable read on the whole situation . . . or are they? This is a haunting story that takes you on a bit of globetrotting (Bulgaria, Macedonia, Iraq and more), but the home base right next door near Overland Park -- another reason local Flynn fans will enjoy this one. I think the tale was a bit too winding when dealing with how Maddie and Ian finally get together, thus taking one star off my review.

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