Beautiful Bad

Beautiful Bad

by Annie Ward

Hardcover(Original)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778369103
Publisher: Park Row Books
Publication date: 03/05/2019
Edition description: Original
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 25,248
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

ANNIE WARD has a BA in English Literature from UCLA and a MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. Her first short screenplay, Strange Habit, starring Adam Scott was an official selection of the Sundance Film Festival and the Grand Jury Award winner at the Aspen Film Festival. She has received a Fulbright Scholarship and An Escape to Create Artists residency. She lives in Kansas with her family.

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Beautiful Bad 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous 7 days ago
kept+my+interest.++read+it+in+2+days+.+twisted++ending+++++loved+it++
sspea 8 hours ago
This book opens with a frantic 911 call., You know someone is dead, but you don't know who died or how they died. This book flips back and forth between a few characters and timelines, from the early 2000's to the present day. Slowly counting down to the day of the killing. This book was gripping. I read it in less than 24hours. Most mystery/thriller books start the same way, with a mystery that only gets solved at the end. But for some reason, maybe because this mystery was SO vague, I could not stop reading till I knew what was happening. I think this would be a great book club book, because not only is it a fast and easy read, not only does it have a great mystery to solve, but it also touches on some pretty dark subjects that would make for some great discussions.
TheLifeofaBookAddict 5 days ago
It all started with an emotional 911 phone call and a visit by the police to a quiet well-manicured neighborhood... Beautiful Bad had a really good beginning that grabbed my attention. I would consider this book to be more of a slow burn suspense/thriller story. The book is told mainly from Maddie’s point of view along with Ian’s POV jumping in here and there as the book progresses. Maddie was an interesting character to get to know; though I couldn’t really connect with any of the characters. That’s probably the point with a book like this. My only major complaint was that there were times when I questioned why Maddie and Ian were even together. I didn’t really believe in their love story. Aside from that, I thought that Beautiful Bad was well written and the author did a good job of building suspense and creating intriguing characters. I liked how the story flip-flops between the past and the present; before the incident and after the incident; which helped to draw the suspense out. I thought I pretty much had it all figured out on how everything would end. I was right about some things, but there were a couple surprises and twists at the end that I hadn’t expected. RATING: 3½ out of 5. **Even though I received this book on behalf of the Publisher, the thoughts & opinions expressed are solely my own.**
SilversReviews 7 days ago
Maddie and Joanna had been friends since they met in Spain. What happened, though? Joanna and Maddie have lost touch, Maddie married Ian, and now we come upon a 911 call as the first page of BEAUTIFUL BAD opens. We follow from when Maddie meets Ian overseas and when Ian and Maddie are married. The chapters are labeled in years as well as weeks before the 911 call. As you read, subtle hints were given to the underlying tension and the situations that caused everything to fall apart and turn into murder. Joanna seemed pretty volatile, jealous, and dangerous. Ian seemed to have some problems with women, had secrets, and seemed dangerous. Fiona seemed as if she could fly off the handle for any reason. She was also jealous of Ian. Maddie seemed to be the weak character and the most gullible, or was she? So many characters to wonder who made the 911 call and who the attacker was. The BEFORE-the-day-of-the-killing chapters weren't that interesting to me even though they were the lead up to everything. There are some frightening situations throughout the book including details of the 911 scene, bizarre happenings, and abuse. If you enjoy a many-chapter wait for the final scene, BEAUTIFUL BAD will be a book you will enjoy. The ending did turn out to be a surprise. BEAUTIFUL BAD was good, but I wasn't wanting to rush back to it. 3.5/5 This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher via BookishFirst in exchange for an honest review.
Laeljeanne 8 days ago
Maddie fell hard for Ian, British security detail, when she taught English in Bulgaria and her BFF Joanna was a humanitarian working in Macedonia before and during their civil war. He’s hard to pin down, even after she marries him despite Joanna’s inexplicable hostility toward him. He insists on moving from NYC to her small, Kansas hometown, though he spends much of his time in the Eastern bloc, working in a security business he started with his brother after leaving his government position. The story unfolds in layers as it goes back and forth in time and around the globe to explain the horrible murder. Ward does an excellent job evoking sympathy for Maddie, who appears to be on the receiving end of Ian’s PTSD. This novel portrays young American idealists who get caught up in tragedy, differences in maturity levels of best friends, and how lack of self-awareness contributes to obfuscation, as a mismatched romance leads to its horrifying conclusion. I was fortunate to receive this brilliant story from the publisher Park Row Books through NetGalley.
Persephonereads 9 days ago
3.75 stars I would first like to thank Netgalley and Park Row Books for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. We first meet Maddie as a desperate voice at one end of a 911 call. As the story progresses we bounce back and forth between Maddie's first person POV to the third person POVs of her husband Ian and the first responding officer to the 911 call. Told from the early 2000's to present day we follow the complicated relationship of Maddie,Ian and her best friend Joanna all over the world. As we begin to fit the puzzle pieces together to discover what happened we also have a countdown to the event starting ten weeks prior. There is a lot of strong parts to the book. I loved the countdown, seeing what was happening in Maddie's life as she worked through the repercussions of an accident that has left half of her face scarred and her memories of the night that it happened blurry at best. Suffering from a brain injury she is not feeling at al like herself and is questioning if she is losing her mind. The biggest weakness I found in this novel is that seemed to be all over the place. Often there was so much going on that I felt a bit of an overload. I am a reader that enjoys many different characters and many POVs as well as a good journey along the way. The problem was that sometimes the journey actually got in the way. Though things did end up coming together in the end it still felt as if too much was going on and if a few bits and pieces had been cut the book would have ended up as a 4.5 to maybe even a 5 star for me. As it is now I would have to give it 3.75 stars. The characters are all interesting and flawed which is the way I like my characters in a psychological thriller and is definitely a good read. Just be prepared for a little bit of an overload. In the end the bones of this novel are great and I do recommend it.
bamcooks 9 days ago
This thriller engaged me right from page one. It is the story of Maddie, a young mother living in the far south suburbs of Kansas City, who has twice survived life-threatening accidents and has the scars, both mental and physical, to prove it. She is married to Ian Wilson, a British soldier of fortune who has spent more than his share of time in war-torn, unstable countries and has seen some pretty horrifying things. He says now he just wants to live in peace and quiet with his family. But does he? Can he leave the violence of his job experiences behind? The story is told in various timelines centering around 'the killing': there is 'weeks before the killing', 'day of the killing', 'day after the killing' etc, but intermixed in this is the backstory of how Maddie and Ian met in Macedonia in 2001 and much later, become a couple. Most chapters are told from Maddie's first person pov but I noticed a few times when it switched to third person omniscient pov, I suppose so the reader would better understand the entire picture. Maddie's best friend is Joanna Jasinski. They met while teaching in Spain and have been inseparable while working various jobs throughout Europe until Ian comes into their lives. And always lurking on the fringes is Ian's crazy bipolar ex-girlfriend who still sends him sexy selfies. So as one reads this thriller, one is constantly wondering who is going to be killed and by whom? The answer to that may surprise you. Nicely done! I received an arc of this new thriller from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks for some enjoyable reading.
Amanda_Dickens 11 days ago
When I finish reading a book but before I write my review I like to read what other thought of it. Currently the book has a 3.8 in Goodreads which is a very respectable rating. The reviews are also very positive. I feel that I must have read a different book. I was not attached to any of the characters and they were all unlikable. The relationships all seemed toxic from the beginning and none of the actions of the characters shocked me like I think the author intended. The pacing was painfully slow at times and I questioned why a lot of it was even in the book. It did not prgress the plot or build any of the charters. The foreshadowing felt heavy handed. The jumping between characters and time lines was just an added headache to the book. I do feel that the story was more original than most book in this genre but it could have been done better in my opinion. BUT I clearly do not share the same option as other reviewers and you may love this books so give it a go.
357800 13 days ago
Oh yeah.....A Chilling start and a Wicked end....my kind of read! The storyline..........follows a talented American travel writer (Maddie) on assignment in Eastern Europe...who often visits her spirited best friend (Jo) in a nearby country...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 disturbing list of fears Maddie reveals during a therapy session entitled: "Things that make me scared." And then we go to back to the past.........learn more about our protagonist's night life activities & friends, and ride along with Ian as he works in dangerous war torn countries nearby. For me, the three alternating timelines, varying POV's and complex plot with flawed characters flowed well resulting in a short day-and-a-half read. Honestly, at one point I was so engrossed in the European character driven story of the past that I was flummoxed when we returned to the present bloody crime scene. Nice! No doubt about it, there is more BAD than BEAUTIFUL here....with lies, evil doings, mysterious accidents and haunting memories from the atrocities of war, but I loved it! Well done psychological thriller.
Anonymous 15 days ago
GGGeiss 15 days ago
I was not a fan of Gone Girl, as this book has been compared to by some, but I am a fan of Beautiful Bad. My attention was held throughout this well written book. I read many other reviews and several readers wrote that the ending, albeit intriguing, was a bit unbelievable. I disagree. I am a realist.......read the newspapers, listen to the news, anything and all things are possible. Maddie is a complex, manipulative character, flawed and damaged, yet a survivor. Ian is a product of his horrible experiences in Iraq, Africa and other like countries where there is strife, dysfunction and where horrors abound in plenty. Jo, to me, an unlikeable and complicated woman. Their lives are intertwined forever and some of the reveals are eye openers and page turners. Some things were not entirely clear to me but I believe that was the intention of the author to have me ponder and come to my own conclusion. I would recommend this book. Thank you Netgalley and Harlequin for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.
Anonymous 15 days ago
Beautifully written story that will keep you up at night. Annie Ward did an amazing job in drawing the reader in and her descriptions throughout the book. I did not find the story or alternating narrators/timelines confusing whatsoever. I liked how the narrator added in real life events into the book, so I felt as if I was reading a memoir. I also liked the big contrast in her relationship with Ian where at times I felt as if I were reading a love story and other times reading a thriller. This was definitely one of the best books I've read this year, and I hope this gets made into a movie in the future. I predict this to be one of the most popular thrillers for 2019.
LuvSnoop42 15 days ago
Could not stop reading!! This sucks when you work til Midnight and have to be back at 6...... but that's what happened. I would put it down and pick it right back up! I loved all of the different POV's, but really enjoyed Maddies' the most. Very dark and twisty but came together very well! Look forward to more from Annie Ward! Thank you, #NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC!
Nanna51 16 days ago
A thriller with a lot of twists that you wil not be able to guess. This is the story of a marriage and a tumultuous relationship. The reader knows from the beginning that someone dies since there is a chapter entitled “The Day of the Killing.” However, it is not until much later that you find out who dies and how and when. The plot unfolds with multiple points of view and various settings, including the Balkans, a location that is rarely found in modern fiction. Maddie and Ian are married and have a wonderful son named Charlie and a good friend named Jo. It is obvious from the beginning of the book that one of them is a victim, but the essential elements of the story are revealed slowly, like a hidden picture mystery. There is indeed a hidden secret in this psychological thriller, and the secret is not easily guessed and is shocking when it is revealed. Since the story is told in reverse chronological order, it was a little hard for me to follow at times. It was also slow-moving sometimes’; I just wanted the big reveal to happen so I could know what was really happening in the story. The tale of Maddie and Ian was well done, a tangled one with a lot of very deep issues. I enjoyed the story once I really got into it and started understanding who played what role. This is not a story that is easy to forget but it is not one that is easy to read either. The perfect family has terrible secrets and a sinister occurrence that will leave the reader reeling and wondering how you missed the clues about what was really going on. This is a book for fans of thrillers and dark mysteries. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
Nanna51 16 days ago
A thriller with a lot of twists that you wil not be able to guess. This is the story of a marriage and a tumultuous relationship. The reader knows from the beginning that someone dies since there is a chapter entitled “The Day of the Killing.” However, it is not until much later that you find out who dies and how and when. The plot unfolds with multiple points of view and various settings, including the Balkans, a location that is rarely found in modern fiction. Maddie and Ian are married and have a wonderful son named Charlie and a good friend named Jo. It is obvious from the beginning of the book that one of them is a victim, but the essential elements of the story are revealed slowly, like a hidden picture mystery. There is indeed a hidden secret in this psychological thriller, and the secret is not easily guessed and is shocking when it is revealed. Since the story is told in reverse chronological order, it was a little hard for me to follow at times. It was also slow-moving sometimes’; I just wanted the big reveal to happen so I could know what was really happening in the story. The tale of Maddie and Ian was well done, a tangled one with a lot of very deep issues. I enjoyed the story once I really got into it and started understanding who played what role. This is not a story that is easy to forget but it is not one that is easy to read either. The perfect family has terrible secrets and a sinister occurrence that will leave the reader reeling and wondering how you missed the clues about what was really going on. This is a book for fans of thrillers and dark mysteries. Disclaimer Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
bookluvr35SL 16 days ago
This book has everything a good thriller needs.... characters to both like and dislike, danger, multiple shockers, and a really good plot twist. This is a book that you will want to stay up late reading because you can't bear to put it down. I highly recommend this book!
CLynnT 16 days ago
This is a book that meticulously crafts the jagged and cracked world where PTSD meets survivors of near-death experiences. It’s not a beautiful ending. Maddie is impressive. You’re really going to like her. She travels to write and has no fear no matter where her assignments take her. She’s a hard-drinking party girl who throws caution to the wind and lives her life to the fullest; almost too full. She constantly relives a moment in her youth where she almost drowned during a boating incident. It becomes clear that her entire life is altered by this event; she believes she’s invincible. Ian is the standard good-looking hunk of a British military guy who now does contract work providing security in Iran, the Balkans, the Middle East, wherever the pay is great. He’s deeply flawed by the death and savage destruction he’s seen, and he believes Maddie can ground him and help him stay sane. After years of traveling in different directions, they finally get together and share a home in Kansas to raise their beautiful son. But something’s not quite right. Maddie has a terrible scar along the side of her face, a result of a fall during a camping trip. Or so she’s been told. She begins to see a therapist in hopes that she can figure out why she’s so confused and unsure of her life with Ian. The couple has a common acquaintance, Joanna, who was friends with both when they met each other. She’s also just as hardened as Maddie, and her role in their relationship is pivotal. I loved these characters; their scars, visible and unseen; their skewed view of life, their obvious desire to tempt fate. I couldn’t put it down. I was unprepared for the ending. This is a deeply moving book about the lingering and constant damage from PTSD and war. If you enjoy a thriller that puts the pain of sorrow deep in your chest, this is your book. I absolutely loved it. (I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Thank you to Harlequin – Trade Publishing for making it available.)
Rhonda-Runner1 16 days ago
This is a hard book to review. I had a love/hate relationship with this book from the beginning. I loved it when I first started reading it but then it went downhill from there for me. There were too many POVs and too much switching back and forth in time and place. I would love it in parts and then parts of it did not hold my interest at all. The characters were all pretty much unlikable and most of them were weird except for Detective Diane Varga. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ms-Hurst 16 days ago
Maddie and Ian have, what you know from page 1, will be a tragic relationship. When the second chapter is The Day of the Killing, you know what comes next will not be a happy story. Maddie and Ian lived crazy lives when they were younger. He was a British soldier, guarding people in the most dangerous parts of the world. She is a travel writer who only seems drawn to similarly dangerous places. They meet when she is visiting her friend, a relief worker, in...also a dangerous part of the world. All of the characters are obviously damaged and obsessive types. What follows is not a quick romance. It's a slow train wreck. And all along, while the story flips back and forth between the police investigating the killing and the story of Maddie and Ian, you know it never should have happened. This is not a story of destiny. This is a story of "Get away from each other." Through much of the book, we are seeing the story through Maddie's eyes. It bothered me for a while because sometimes it didn't make sense. I had to consider that maybe I wasn't hearing from an unreliable source. We work our way up to understanding how everything happened. Everything. The murder. Some sort of accidental fall or attack (wait to find out). A childhood accident involving water. How these two people ended up with a child in Kansas. We get to understand Maddie the best of all but we get to know Ian a little, through the lens Maddie chooses for us. So when we get to the end, it really isn't a surprise. I wasn't sure that it was supposed to be a twist. I would rather it wasn't. Just the ending that the whole thing was working toward. This may sound like a criticism. It's not. So many go for the big twist but it's not necessary. I prefer when you get to a point in a story and everything clicks. It's not a twist, it's what you have obviously been reading all along, even if you don't know it until now. In other words, too many twists come from nowhere. I did think the very end was a little clunky. It seemed like one of those quick explanations; hurried and unnecessary. It could have been, and should have been, just written in the same style as the rest of the story. All in all, I enjoyed it. Which is most important. Thank you to Annie Ward, the publisher, and Netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. I will look for more from the author in the future. Also see the review on may new blog-I'm Gonna Read at the End of the World at https://readeotw.wordpress.com
CCinME 16 days ago
The prologue was so interesting but then the next two-thirds of the book were a chore. After that the story picked up and was really well done. Quite a twist of an ending!
Candice_S 17 days ago
I completely devoured this book - this has to be one of the fastest-paced domestic suspense thrillers I have read in a long time. I had read some mixed reviews of this book going in, and I wasn't at all surprised to find myself firmly on the "LOVED IT" side of the discussion when I hit the last page. Annie Ward does a magnificent job of creating a tension on the pages and between the characters. I love a book that moves back and forth between timelines, especially when it's done as well as it is in this story. Jumping between the day of the killing, the early days of Maddie and Ian meeting, and the many years between the two dates, the way that the story unspools a bit at a time had me on the edge of my seat guessing while finding myself totally surprised over and over again. Even when I had ideas of what twists might be, they were never quite what I expected, and I that is a mark of a terrific book in my world. As usual, I won't offer a single spoiler for this book. I will say that its a fantastic character drama, and a very well done suspense novel, and that I cannot imagine a thriller reader out there who won't be entertained by this one!
Honolulubelle 18 days ago
Favorite Quotes: “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 looking into my eyes. One of his fingers batted at my hair. “Your wool is far too dark.” And all the while I was sitting there getting my head wrapped in foil like it was a giant baked potato, these girls kept bringing me drinks. In retrospect I see very clearly that I should have been suspicious of a salon that felt the need to get you drunk before you see the results of their handiwork. Something profound had happened to me just before I lost consciousness. At the exact second that I gave up all hope of surviving, my mind sparkled with unhinged, ecstatic, unbridled euphoria, a joy of such magnitude that I was instantly captive to it, and of a replete and searing sensuousness so irresistible that I opened my mouth to take it all in more deeply. I knew with utmost certainty, as it were as simple as two plus two or the sky is blue, that there was nothing at all to fear. My Review: My mind is still processing this compelling tale, it was ingenious and frustrating, and mesmerizing, and maddeningly paced all the way to the chilling end. The characters were a train wreck, and much like arriving at a train wreck I couldn’t look away; they fascinated, vexed, intrigued, antagonized, annoyed, and held me captive to my Kindle. I wasn’t sure who was the most disturbed as they were both over the edge and a hazard to themselves and others. The storylines were intensely absorbing, deviously plotted, and distressingly tantalizing. The narrative thrummed with tension and I read with a ratcheting sense of apprehension. Ms. Ward’s writing was lushly descriptive, profoundly observant, and hauntingly addictive. I fear I will be ruminating on this one for days and am in need a glass of wine or ten. It was brilliant, unsettling, yet brilliant none the less.
IrishEyes430 18 days ago
This book is a little different than I expected from the description. It is very dark and suspenseful. It’s set all over the world with many of the places wartorn and impoverished. All of the characters are well developed and complex. The three main characters I would describe as broken people. It’s unclear at the beginning what really makes these people tick. They all come from different backgrounds but meet through their very different jobs. The ending will absolutely blow you away!
diane92345 18 days ago
Beautiful Bad tells the story of Maddie and Ian’s relationship that ended in murder. The story starts with a bang: a female calls 911, a child screams in the background and the call is abruptly cut off. When police arrive, they find a large bloodstain on the open concept kitchen’s floor. From that scene, we are shown the story of Maddie and Ian’s relationship from the beginning through the day of the killing and forward. Within Beautiful Bad, the day of the killing sections were fantastic. Unfortunately, you had to slog through a lot of details to get to them. While the end is twisty, it probably won’t be much of a surprise to experienced thriller readers. 3 stars. Thanks to Park Row and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Katie__B 18 days ago
This is the type of book you want your friends to read because you just know everyone's opinions are going to be all over the place and you can't wait to hear what they think. The things I enjoyed about the book could easily be someone else's least favorite parts. Some heavy subjects are tackled and certainly the chapters towards the end would provide material for a lively book club discussion. Near the beginning of the story you know a 911 call has been placed and a police officer arrives at a home in suburban Kansas. The plot alternates between this which is referred to as "The Day of the Killing", and events in the past. Maddie and Ian meet at a party in Macedonia years ago and they are now married and raising their young son, Charlie. While Ian is away in Iraq doing security work, Maddie begins attending therapy sessions in which she slowly reveals the sources of her anxiety. Obviously you have to read the book if you want to find out how everything is connected. I honestly think the length of this book could have been trimmed by about 50 pages as it felt very slow moving at times. But despite that, I really was caught up in the story and seeing how everything pieced together. I loved how some of the story took place in the Balkans as the social climate there added to the tension plus it's it's not a setting I typically get to read about in fiction. This book is already being compared to other recent best selling psychological thrillers which I don't really agree with. I feel like when a book is promoted like that you just automatically expect all of these dramatic twists and turns and end up feeling disappointed if you are able to predict things before they happen. I think if you just watch this story of a married couple unfold naturally and as more of a general fiction book, you will have a better reading experience. Thank you to Bookish First for providing me with an advance reader's copy. I was under no obligation to post a review and all views expressed are my honest opinion.