The Beauty of the End
By: Debbie Howells
Publication Date: 7/26/2016
My Rating: 4 Stars From the acclaimed author of The Bones of You comes a haunting and heartbreaking new psychological thriller about a man thrust into the middle of a murder investigation, forced to confront the secrets of his ex-lover's past.
"I was fourteen when I fell in love with a goddess. "
So begins the testimony of Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer with a sideline in armchair criminal psychology. Now living an aimless life in an inherited cottage in the English countryside, Noah is haunted by the memory of the beguiling young woman who left him at the altar sixteen years earlier. Then one day he receives a troubling phone call. April, the woman he once loved, lies in a coma, the victim of an apparent overdose--and the lead suspect in a brutal murder. Deep in his bones, Noah believes that April is innocent. Then again, he also believed they would spend the rest of their lives together.
While Noah searches for evidence that will clear April's name, a teenager named Ella begins to sift through the secrets of her own painful family history. The same age as April was when Noah first met her, Ella harbors a revelation that could be the key to solving the murder. As the two stories converge, there are shocking consequences when at last, the truth emerges.
Or so everyone believes. . .
Set in a borderland where the past casts its shadow on the present, with a time-shifting narrative that will mesmerize and surprise, The Beauty of the End is both a masterpiece of suspense and a powerful rumination on lost love.
A special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Enter a Book Giveaway Mar 16-21 Enter Here US and Canada only. (closed) Debbie Howells returns following The Bones of You with a complex dark tale--a slow burning psychological domestic suspense connecting past and present. Noah receives a call from an old friend---Noah’s old girlfriend April Moon (The Goddess) supposedly killed a man. Her stepfather. The police are looking for witnesses. She cannot be guilty. She is unconscious. Suicide attempt? If April is a murder suspect, she needs a lawyer. He will help. From 1989, to 2016 there are memories of a girl, Noah’s first love, now defenseless—desperately needing a voice to speak for her. Someone who believes in her. A girl who left him before a wedding with no explanation. A guy who has never gotten over his love. . Noah Calaway, an ex-lawyer (now an author). Now, that April is in a coma and a possible suicide attempt, he is assured she is innocent. He dreamed (obsessed) they would live the rest of their lives together until she broke it off. Readers are also introduced to a teen, Ella with her own past. She is the same page as April when Noah first met her and she could be the key to solving the murder. Who is the real April? Can a goddess fall from grace? Has Noel turned a blind eye? A lost love. Ghost of the past. Haunting. Evil. Blackmail. Torture. Fear. Suffering. Dysfunction. Then there is Will. “We were butterflies. Some of you fly, the rest of us get our wings ripped off. My wings had gone before I knew you. And I’m not sure wingless butterflies have anywhere to go.” The author slowly unravels the dark sad emotional mystery. With flawed damaged characters all the way around, a disturbing tale, from murder, rape, abuse, and unspeakable crimes. Emotionally complex—would not classify as a thriller, more of a domestic psychological mystery suspense.
Advance Praise “One of those books that captivates you from the first page, holds tight and never lets go. I savored every word, character and psychological twist. Truly brilliant!” —Lisa Jackson, #1 New York Times bestselling author “Suspenseful and poignant debut . . . the increasingly tense storytelling and astute observations on mother-daughter relationships will keep readers turning the pages.” —Publishers Weekly “Has been compared to Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones . . . Indeed, Rosie's voice offers a dynamic narrative. Her disembodied perspective, tempered with other points of view—chiefly Kate’s—adds an unusual and haunting layer to the novel.” —Library Journal
“Debbie Howells is a terrific new talent—she paints with words and takes a scalpel to emotions.” —New York Times bestselling author Peter James "A combination of lyrical writing and smart mystery. It's a winner.” —Sandra Block, author of The Girl Without a Name
About the Author
Debbie Howells lives in West Sussex with her family. Having worked as cabin crew and a flying instructor, she spent several years running a very successful wedding flower business.
She started writing as an escape from a busy summer of weddings. Her first books This Your Life and The Impossible Search for the Perfect Man were written under the pen name Susie Martyn and self-published as eBooks on Amazon.
Encouraged by positive feedback, Debbie used her love of flowers and first hand experience to write the contemporary women’s fiction novel Wildflowers, the first book self-published under her own name.
The Bones of You by Debbie Howells
When none of the above secured her an agent, she started writing her first psychological thriller, The Bones of You. Read Debbie’s blog to find out more, but to cut a long story short, Debbie is thrilled to be represented by Juliet Mushens of The Agency Group.
The Bones of You was published in July 2015 by Pan Macmillan in the UK and by Kensington Books in the US. Rights have also been sold in Germany, Holland, Brazil, Greece and Japan.
Debbie’s next book, The Beauty of the End, will be published in 2016. Website