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 ...more
A frantic 911 call draws readers in initially, but the bloody crime scene sparking the plea for help proves to be the strongest pull—an opportunity to ...more
One of the main characters thinks this thought towards the end of the novel, and the fascinating thing is it could be any one of them thinking it. Was it
Oh madness...my sweet embraceable you.
This is a tale about a tangled web of desire, deceit, and paranoia. If you don’t drink vodka, gin, scotch, or bourbon at the beginning of this story, you may be indulging by the end of it.
Who desires whom; who de ...more
The book opens with a chilling 911 call in the small town of Meadowlark, Kansas. An investigator arrives a house in an upscale neighborhood to discover a lot of blood. Who the blood belonged to becomes one of the main threads of the st ...more
I was not at all prepared for the epic twist in this book. I think I've become numb to the formulaic twists and turns I'm accustomed to reading. This book, however, was NOT that. Annie Ward is supremely fresh in the way she writes, but also, in the way she can spin a tale.
Jo and Maddie are thick as thieves, as close as two people can be without being related. This fact makes i ...more
Strange, absorbing, but too predictable-
Maddie and her friend, Jo, travel abroad to dangerous locations, which puts them in contact with paid ‘bodyguard’, Ian. Maddie and Ian begin an emotional affair, which is complicated by Ian’s entanglement with an unstable woman, and by Maddie’s friendship with Jo.
Nine years after they parted ways, they are reunited, and embark on a torrid, yet disturbingly intense, affair which eventually leads t ...more
Get lost in the Wickedness of “Beautiful Bad!”
You know those twisty turny books that have you so wrapped up that you forget all else? Yeah, that is what this book did to me.
It starts with a 911 call where a Detective is called to a home in Meadowlark, Kansas where a lot of blood is found at the scene, which becomes known as “The Day of The Killing.”
Ten weeks earlier, housewife Maddie is attending writing therapy sessions to try and recover memories of the head injury she sustained. He ...more
Maddie wants desperately to explore the world. Living abroad has been her life-long dream. The freedom and excitement of working in Eastern Europe, far away from her family in Kansas, is absolutely intoxicating. And to top it all off…her best friend Joanna is just a border crossing away.
Finally, a much anticipated visit to Joanna, and here we go! A night out on the town! The evenings’ festivities in Macedonia take a scrumpti ...more
I put it somewhere in between for several personal reasons.
I struggled at times with the back and forth in time. It took me a while to get it all in my head, especially from the beginnings 911 frantic call the opens the book. It slowed down its pace and although I’m aware the information had to be narrated I sometimes got to a place in my mind where I wandered. That’s not saying it was useless information ...more
I really struggle with reviewing novels like BEAUTIFUL BAD. The novel has a lot of good points and an unusual premise, HOWEVER... it is a fail for me.
Despite having several interesting passages set in foreign countries, the story moves at a snail's pace. I don't necessarily hate slow-reading novels if the author goes deep in character analysis. Unfortunately, two of the three main characters remain mostly superficial throughout the novel.
There is a ton of wordage in BEAUTIFUL BAD and t ...more
Beginning with an alarming scene and a 911 call. You know something bad has happened...
A slow burning domestic suspense with some page-turning chapters (at the beginning and the end). It also has a literary feel with the descriptive story telling and complex layered plot. It is well written with some interesting and flawed characters.
Maddie and Ian have an intense relationship and we learn their backgrounds, history and what makes them click through the author's detailed writing and t ...more
Near the beginning of the story you know a 911 call has been placed and a police officer arrives at a ...more
The storyline..........follows a talented American travel writer (Maddie) on assignment in Eastern Europe....who often visits her spirited best friend (Jo)....soon falls in love with her new surroundings....AND a handsome, but damaged British bodyguard (Ian).
BEAUTIFUL BAD..........begins present day with an urgent domestic violence 911 call, then quickly flashes back to ten weeks before (as the countdown begins)....with a di...more
Annie Ward made my head spin with this absorbing and wild read. I had no idea what to expect with this book, in fact for some reason I thought it was about a beauty pageant gone wrong, so boy was I surprised when I started this one. In fact at one point I looked back at the cover to make sure I was reading the right book. This book was gritty and raw, and oh so good! I love a book that keeps me off b ...more
This really came around at the end with a delightfully twisted finish. This being said, there were parts of this that definitely dragged for me. Upon reflection, I honestly think 50- to 100-pages could have been cut from this.
The setting of this was definitely unique. Beginning in Kansas, then shifting back in time and taking us over to Eastern Europe, Iraq and back to the United States, this was one of my favorite aspects of this book. It's not often you read an Adult Thril ...more
I may be nuts, but I was not crazy about this story. Amongst all the glowing reviews, including one by a GR friend with whom I invariably agree (helloooo Carol!), you are going to see this rather lackluster rating of mine. It may be nothing more than having read an overabundance of this genre, and finally OD'ing on this one. Multiple time lines and POVs are starting to wear thin, too.
In all fairness, there were a couple of little tweaks ...more
BEAUTIFUL BAD by ANNIE WARD starts off with quite the bang and is graphically intense with some cringe-worthy scenes that definitely gave me the heebie jeebies. It is just too bad that those feelings didn’t continue on for the duration of reading this whole book. The storyline gave me something to think about and I could feel the obsessiveness & anxiety levels emanating throughout the pages of this book but somewhere along the ...more
Before I even begin, let’s address the newest pink elephant in the room . . . .
“In the most explosive and twisted psychological thriller since The Woman in the Window, a beautiful marriage turns beautifully bad.”
Please note this is coming from a person who looooooooooooooooved The Woman in the Window, but FFS this is like comparing apples and orangutans. These two books are NOTHING alike. Has no one learned from the debacle which w ...more
Maddie and Ian meet each other overseas when he’s in the British army, and she’s a travel writer visiting a friend, Jo.
Almost twenty years later, they have a son named Charlie and are living the American dream together.
There’s a camping accident, which leaves its mark on Maddie emotionally, and she seeks therapy. In those sessions, she reveals Ian’s PTSD symptoms, her worries over Charlie’s safety, as well as the complicated past she and Ian have with Jo.
I of course had a feeling that I would be the minority in this one... because I keep seeing 4-5 stars on this? Am I missing something here?
I really struggled with the multiple point of views and the timelines in this one. I was really struggling with all the war information and in all honesty... in the middle was just unnecessary information to the plot. I feel that a HUGE chunk of information could have be ...more
Wow what a start!! There is an emergency call to the police with a woman shouting for help and a child screaming in the background. The police arrive and there are signs that a violent act has been committed!!
Told over several timelines and from different perspectives. Maddie is overseas teaching English ...more
A psychological thriller, with a the theme that seems to be marital abuse. The book goes back and forth, starting in 2001 when the couple first meets and moves forward from there, and current day, when they’re married with a young child. You’re given glimpses of what’s happened. You know Maddie recently had an accident while on a camping trip and did some major damage to her face and possibly her brain. You know there’s been an incident at their house and the police woman who first enters the ho ...more
In a small town in Kansas, a 911 dispatcher receives an emergency call involving a possible home invasion or domestic disturbance – a woman’s voice, screaming for help, a shrieking child heard crying in the background. Diane Varga is the first officer on scene. She rings the doorbell, yells, “Police!”. Receiving no answer she looks through the window, and sees blood – a lot of blood. Something terrible has taken place at this quiet residential address in a nice neighbourhood. Re ...more
“What do you fancy? The throat or the crap?” He pushed the menu in front of me. It was immediately obvious to me that whoever had translated “trout” and “carp” for the English menu had made some very unfortunate spelling errors.
The toothless octogenarian playing the accordion suddenly fell upon our table like a vampire bat on a herd of cows, and I started digging through my wallet for a tip.
“You could never be just another one of the flock,” Ian said, leaning close to me and look ...more
Loved every bit of this dark and delicious tale!
Thank you to Annie Ward and Harlequin-Park Row Books for this ARC, in exchange for my honest review.
With it’s lovely cover and description, I had high expectations. I was not disappointed! The book grabbed my attention with the cover and kept me hooked until the very last page. If I hadn’t had prior commitments , I could have devoured it in one sitting!
Maddie—We watch her transform from an adventurous and carefree young w ...more
The water poured into my mouth and down my throat. It took over and that was it. Everything was different.
Maddie is married to Ian and they have a son named Charlie. There is a 911 call made to Maddie's house and the detectives get there right away to invest. Theres blood everywhere and a lot of questions to be asked.
Maddie and Ian's love story started overseas. He was in the British Army and she is a writer who is traveling with her bff Jo to different places. One night they meet, hav ...more
Maddie a journalist and Ian a soldier fall in love and eventually get married. They have problems from the start. Maddie has an accident while they are on a camping holiday and is left with a brain injury and no memory of the incident.
I enjoyed this book except for the timeline going back and forward but eventually I saw the reason for this and it made sense.
I would like to thank NetGalley and Q ...more
The present story has readers on the edge as the police get a call from a frantic woman who gets cut off before giving a hint to what is going on. Then upon arrival find a lot of blood and the search and ...more
Annie’s sophomore novel and first psychological thriller BEAUTIFUL BAD will be published by Harper Collins/Park Row books in March, 2019.
Annie received a BA in English Lit with an emphasis in Creative Writing from UCLA and an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. While studying at AFI, she sold her first short screenplay to MTV/ BFCS Productions. Starring Adam Scott, STR ...more