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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Beautiful Bad Review

photo from Goodreads
Beautiful Bad
Title:  Beautiful Bad
Series: a novel
Author: Annie Ward
Where to purchase: Amazon
Print Length: 368
Publication Date: March 5th 2019
Publisher: Park Row Books
Edition: paperback Advance Reader's Edition
Genre: thriller, mystery, fiction
BOOK LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon |  

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. All opinions are my own.  


In the most explosive and twisted psychological thriller since The Woman in the Window, a beautiful marriage turns beautifully bad.

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, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

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Main Characters

  1. Madeline 'Maddie' Brandt- journalist
  2. Joanna 'Jo' Jasinski- aid worker
  3. Ian Wilson- a personal bodyguard for the British Ambassador
  4. Dr. Camilla Jones 'Cami J'- writing therapist


DAY OF KILLING: The story starts with a 9-1-1 call and police responding to the home of Ian and Maddie. When the police arrive they find a lot of blood and go searching for the child.

NOW: Maddie and Ian are married. Maddie is a stay-at-home mom suffering from a recent traumatic brain injury from a camping accident. Ian is no longer in the military but his job still takes him overseas to dangerous locations for extended periods at a time. After the accident Maddie started having crippling anxiety so she decides to see a writing therapist. Maddie is told to write about things that make her scared, about Ian, about things that provoke strong emotional responses, and the accident.

"Write down 20 things that set off your anxiety, what scares you or makes you sad or nervous. 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"

THEN: Maddie is an American journalist stationed in Bulgaria as a teacher while she creates a travel guide. Joanna is Maddie's best friend and college buddy who works as a refugee advocate in Macedonia so Maddie gets a lot of passport stamps traveling between the two locations. While visiting she meets and falls in love with Ian, a British bodyguard.


There are a couple different timelines so readers get to see the big picture unfolding. The weeks leading up to 'the killing' told from Maddie's POV in Kansas, the day of the killing told from police POV, and the unfolding of Ian and Maddie's love story from 2001 to present day told mostly from Maddie's POV but also some of Ian's in foreign countries.

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What did I like about the book?

The pacing is wonderful and kept me actively interested in the characters. Readers are shown little snippets about Maddie's life and her relationships between friends and family throughout the years. The police chapters got my heart racing wanting to know who was killed and how it actually played out. I did guess some of the story but not all of it.

Included with my ARC was a letter from the author about her inspiration with the story. I didn't read it until after I finished the story but I liked how the author wrote about some of her worldly experience. Since I've never traveled outside of the continental USA, I really enjoy traveling through the stories I read.

Without giving any thing away- it was amazing. Much better than my previous read.

What did I not like about the book?

n/a-maybe that it isn't out yet and I can't gush over it with everyone else!

Date Started/Finished : January 12th - 13th 2019

Recommend? yes

If you like fast paced thrillers, you'll love Beautiful Bad.
Rating: 5/*****
based off Goodreads' ratings:   stars – it was amazing, highly recommend

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to
Disclosure: This book was provided to me at no cost. Whether positive or negative, my blog review is my own and may differ from others opinions. This review is simply a compilation of my thoughts and opinions of this book.  If you have any questions, just post them and I'll be happy to answer as best as I can. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
**No monetary compensation was received for this review. Posts may contain affiliate or referral links. Thank you for your support!**

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