Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward | Review

Beautiful Bad | Annie Ward | Park Row Books | Pub: March 5, 2019 | Pages: 368

If you like slow-burning psychological thrillers, this may be for you! I love psychological thrillers, but I loathe slow-burning books. I’ll power through them, but I always end up rating them lower than action-packed, intensive thrillers! I almost need to feel my heartbeat go up to really fall in the love with a book, and this just wasn’t it for me. However, the chapters that had my heart pumping were definitely the “day of the killing” chapters! Those had my adrenaline spiked!

The story is told from different POVs and through different time frames. One of the main characters has an army background and there were multiple chapters describing military assignments, etc. and I just don’t enjoy those, so those chapters were just excruciating for me.

The book focuses on the character development between Maddie, Ian and Maddie’s BFF, Joanna. As with any psychological thriller, there is definitely character unreliability, which made the story kind of predictable. Still a decent story overall, but you really need to love slow-burning books, in my opinion, to adore this one.

Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing for providing me with an electronic ARC of this book via NetGalley. As usual, my reviews are my honest and unbiased opinions.


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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