Book Review: The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells

Synopsis from goodreads

beauty“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. . .


A special thank you to Kensington and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This story is really well paced. It has a nice flow to it and moves well. It is fast in the sense quote 2that a lot is happening in each chapter, however, it is also  well balanced. The voice of the narrator feels calming and enthralling even in the chaos. I felt drawn into the narrative from the start and was mesmerized by the narrator’s voice which is why I fell in love with the story right from the start.

The writing is beautiful. I got lost in the story and in Noah’s life. I love how the writer portrayed the relationship between Noah and April. For instance, I loved how in Noah’s eyes April was a goddess no matter what she did (this relationship reminded me of he notebook). The writing is quite convincing.

Noah is the main narrator in the story. He tells the story in two main timelines, the past and the present. His narrative starts off with April being in a comma and a murder suspect. As Noah rushes off to help April, he also narrates about their past. He explains about his relationship with her from the first time that he saw her twenty years ago. The narrative on the ups and downs of the relationship through the years helps provide a background to the current happenings.

The interesting bit is that there is a third narrator whose identity is not immediately revealed. In between Noah’s narrative, the second narrator’s story would come up mainly through sessions with a therapist. At first, this really nagged me and I found the narration annoying and interfering with Noah’s narrative. However, it soon became apparent that this was an important part of the story as this character is tied to the main narrative. One of the main twists in this book concerns this narrator and their relationship with the main characters. I admit that I didn’t see that coming. Through the story, I kept trying to guess the identity and role of this narrator but I was so wrong.

quote 1

I loved the characterization in The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells. Noah and April are so damaged, fighting their own demons but they are sympathetic characters and so it was easy for me to connect with them. Their flaws were endearing instead of being repulsive.

There are different themes in this story. There was love, abuse, murder, rape and deceit. It was hard to guess how everything would unravel. I really liked how the author built the suspense with wonderful twists along the way and then tied up everything at the end.

I enjoyed reading this book and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells. This book is perfect for readers of suspense novels. If you fancy a good love story with the right amount of twists, mystery and tragedy then this one is for you.


About the Book

Title: The Beauty of the End

Author: Debbie Howells

Hardcover, 320 pages

Expected publication: July 26th 2016 by Kensington

My Rating: 5 Stars!

ps: The two quotes used in this review were in the book.