Beautiful Bad

Beautiful Bad In The Most Explosive And Twisted Psychological Thriller Since The Woman In The Window, A Beautiful Marriage Turns Beautifully Bad 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.

ANNIE WARDAnnie s sopho 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

[Reading] ➭ Beautiful Bad  ➵ Annie  Ward –
  • Hardcover
  • 368 pages
  • Beautiful Bad
  • Annie Ward
  • English
  • 14 March 2018
  • 9780778369103

10 thoughts on “Beautiful Bad

  1. says:

    After a reading experience like this one I have to wonder, am I just a silly woman blinded by optimism or a glutton for punishment I think in this instance, I have to go with the latter There were too many telltale signs, and pretty early on I might add, that I chose to ignore Things that could never be resolved with the turning of pages 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 put those literary acquired sleuthing skills to use As any good detective knows, going back to the beginning is often pivotal for gaining background on suspects and even possible motive And so it begins, in Eastern Europe.Annie Ward tries to sell readers on the past with the introduction of two carefree, adventurous American girls living their best lives drinking and partying it up in war torn Eastern Europe, but I can t say I was buying Maddie and Jo could tell me over and over, until they were blue in the face, that they were best friends The lack of substance to their relationship said otherwise though And honestly, theirs wasn t the only one The girls kept company with four British bodyguards, one of whom managed all too easily to finagle his way between the so called besties And why, I still can t figure out Far from charming, Ian brings very little, if anything, to the table The worst part, NOTHING significant transpires between Ian and Maddie to warrant nine years of torch carrying Yeah, you read that right, nine Timeline shifts offer a reprieve from the couple s lackluster start Maddie s present state now estranged from Jo and married to Ian accompanied by notations of time in relation to the opening scene It s the blood soaked floor in their suburban home that serves as the finish line Overall, the presentation is scattered and messy, much like the wayward woman Ward attempts to put on display.The unraveling of Maddie and Ian s truth is torturous Ward s overly wordy writing often works against and even overshadows the storyline itself More time is spent regaling readers with useless bits of information, rather than solidifying the connections between her characters or adding credibility to their struggles which is precisely why this novel didn t work for me The lack of emotional depth offered little choice but to float along the periphery of the story, which honestly, I despise I m a reader that wants than just words typed on a page I want to immerse myself in the story and feel every moment And, even if I could somehow wave a magic wand and overlook my inability to connect, the mystery itself is so darn obvious In fact, the predictable plot and unreliable narrator are enough to incite feelings of d j vu Chances are, this is just a much wordier version of some story your eyes have met before Thank you to Park Row for providing a review copy.

  2. says:

    I sometimes feel like my mind is possessed by another person or creature 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 itMADDIE IAN JOANNA Oh madnessmy 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 deceives whom, and who is paranoid about what And how does all this lead to.MURDERREDRUM This story begins in Bulgaria, or does it begin in Kansas or maybe Macedonia Is it when Maddie meets Joanna, or Joanna meets Ian, or when Maddie meets Ian Or does the story really start with an incident on a Missouri lake, back in the States, before any of them meet They are friends, but not really friends as a group They might hang out together at parties in Skopje, but really Joanna is friends with Ian, and Maddie becomes friends with Ian, but when they are together, somehow Ian has to choose They are all adrenaline junkies Maddie routinely crosses a very unstable border from her home in Bulgaria to go to Macedonia to see Joanna Joanna is involved with some very shady deals, trying to secure supplies for refugees She knows people, people who people like her should not know Ian is a Brit on security details, but even after his time is up for Her Majesty s service, he continues to take dangerous security assignments in the hottest spots of upheaval in the world Ian is tall He is strong He is handsome He is exciting For a girl like Maddie, a guy like that makes her go weak in the knees Needless to say, relationships like these tend to fall apart under the very weight of the personalities attached to them Each wants to be the center of the friendship, and eventually, someone has to spin off into an orbit all their own Let s check in and see what Maddie has to say about what happened Jo this hurts I hope you still don t think I chose him over you I didn t I swear to God that s not what it was It was just a mistake is all I made a mistake and I m sorry I d love to see you again Uhhh, you kinda did As we get older, we start to realize that real friendships are truly rare gems, but to shine as brightly as they should, they do need to be paid attention to and frequently polished back to a high sheen Annie Ward reveals this story in a mosaic of chapters We go from 2001 to 2017 and all points in between The chapters have been put into a blender, so 2017 might be before 2001, or 2010 might be before 2003 We begin in Meadowlark, Kansas, with a pool of blood on the floor, in 2017 By giving us a peek at a fragment of the ending, Ward enlists us as detectives With rather diabolical subterfuge, we are fed clues in a haphazard fashion I would be doomed if I were brought before a tribunal and asked when I knew what when Each clue provides a puzzle piece that we have to snap down into place with, hopefully, a discernible picture visible by the end A word of caution though be on guard for the potential of an unreliable narrator We are all masters at fooling ourselves After all, to be successful at disseminating misinformation, one must convince oneself of a lie before one can convince others that a lie is the truth Most of the time we don t even realize we are lying.Statements like this one are interesting I adored him, as damaged as he was I found him all the fascinating for the chunks that have been torn out of him I told myself that even if I could never change him, I would never abandon him Or how about this one You ve been a huge surprise, you know that Here s this extraordinary flower growing up through the crack in my concrete nightmare What am I supposed to do In an agonizing gesture, he touched the center of my bottom lip while looking in my eyes Like a petal, he said softly Blowing through all this You ll be gone before I know it Those are eternal love type statements that a person can always remember fondly when times get tough Will things said or thought at one point in time be enough to avoid a tragedy at a future point in time Ian is, frankly, shattered by the events he has seen They are the types of things that cling to a person with ghostly hands, even long after he arrives back in Kansas from some godforsaken part of the world Maddie isn t the same person now either, or maybe the real Maddie is finally emerging from the swaddlings of education, experience, and beauty, that she wrapped around herself, and now she is like an Egyptian mummy rising from the dead by the elixir of love She has a son now, and he is the sun and moon of her existence Let s not forget about Joanna She may be the least changed of the three, but maybe that is because she was the most genuine to begin with, or maybe she was always the most crazy.Maybe all three are crazy Intrigued Well, you should be You must accept, before you read this book, that you will be wrong in several of your suppositions It won t help that I ve swirled my hand through the puddle of information and left you with a cloudy pool to peer into It is nothing that three fingers of your favorite alcoholic beverage won t set right It might be best if you just buckle yourself into your favorite reading chair with this book in hand, put your phone on mute, and tell everyone to go duck off until you figure out what the hell is going on I would like to thank Park Row Books for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at

  3. says:

    Beautiful Bad is a psychological thriller about a mysterious accident, a murder, and a marriage at its breaking point While there are some interesting elements and one fascinating unreliable narrator, as a whole I struggled with the multiple POV s and timelines. 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 story The reader doesn t find out until the end what exactly happened in this seemingly beautiful house.Switch to 10 weeks before the murder and we are introduced to Maddie, the main narrator of Beautiful Bad It is her story to tell and her icy cold voice works to draw the reader in In the present, Maddie is in writing therapy she recently suffered a head injury and cannot remember how she was hurt Her husband, Ian, told her she slipped and fell, but the police believe domestic violence is involved In therapy, she focuses on her fears, especially on anything that could potentially harm her young son, Charlie She needs to go back to the time before she was paralyzed by anxiety to understand her current state of mind.Switch again to the early 2000 s Maddie recounts her years abroad and her adventures with her best friend Joanna and her romance with a British Soldier named Ian The narrative follows Maddie s relationship with Joanna and Ian over the course of many years, eventually leading up to the events that result in a murder.Told from multiple POV s and covering many timelines, Beautiful Bad suffers from trying to do too much I would have enjoyed this if told only from Maddie s POV I found both Diane s and Ian s POV s to be pointless I enjoyed the chapters told from Maddie s perspective I had her figured out early on, but there was something about her voice that lured me and kept me interested in the events of the story.The pacing is slow, and at times, nothing of significance happens I also found the outcome predictable However, I was thrown by the final twist, as I hadn t realized just how crazy the murderer was While Beautiful Bad has its flaws, Maddie s character makes for an interesting read Thank you to Kim and Park Row Books for sending me an ARC of this book

  4. says:

    Put on those detective hats and prepare for a heart pounding thriller, sure to shock even the most masterful of sleuths 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 it unbearably cruel when a man comes between them, destroying their friendship Maddie cannot believe that Ian is into her Being Jo s best friend, she is no stranger to playing second fiddle Jo has the looks and the charisma Even so, to Maddie s delight, Ian wants her and this creates a massive chasm between them filled with jealously and hate In addition, Jo knows there is something off about Ian and tries to warn Maddie again and again, but to no avail Because. after all. Maddie wasn t just in love, she was conquered.This wasn t just a psychological thriller, but also a meditation on friendship I especially enjoyed the closeness that Maddie and Jo shared Although it was a little predictable that a guy had come between them, it didn t bother me That happens all the time, although, it shouldn t This book also had some darker themes, involving abuse This novel was well written and was not only plot driven, but character driven, as well Those are my favorite forms of suspense I think it s all about balance, the Goldilocks formula, if you will There shouldn t be too much or too little of one thing, and Annie Ward nailed it Thank you to Park Row books for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

  5. says:

    Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward is a 2019 Park Row publication 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 to marriage and the birth of their son, Charlie It also brings Maddie full circle, as she and Ian decide to settle down in her old hometown in Kansas, a place that in her youth, Maddie couldn t wait to escape from Now, an urgent 911 call sends police units to Maddie and Ian s peaceful neighborhood where they discover a shockingly violent scene From here the story takes the reader back ten weeks prior to the 911 call, walking us through the events which lead up to the Day of the Killing , while also keeping us informed about the investigation as it proceeds The various timelines are not hard to keep up with, and for a while the murky shadows of Ian s world held my attention, and intrigued me, than any other character in the novel Ian has obviously seen too much for a human to fully cope with psychologically, which has left him with PTSD His mental state directly effects the nomadic Maddie who feels stifled by Ian s inability to socialize and travel And what about Jo After Maddie married Ian, Jo cut off all contact with her, although Maddie still cares for her friend and misses her And what about the accident that left Maddie s eye disfigured Everyone seems to think Ian is responsible for what happened to Maddie, but she refuses to accept that However, she does try writing therapy to help her deal with the aftermath and perhaps remember what really happened to her Meanwhile, Maddie s most pressing concern is keeping Charlie safe I found myself invested in the story early on, but as it progressed, things began to click into place like a child s picture puzzle instead of a complex jigsaw puzzle Yet, despite my having guessed where the story was heading, I kept turning pages, hoping to see a ingenious plot development or a surprise twist in the works Unfortunately, the story became and obvious and predictable Yet, I had to see how it would all end The conclusion didn t disappoint me, but it didn t wow me either I can tell the author put some thought into the book and to be completely honest, it isn t a bad story It is just a little uneven too ambitious in some ways, but not challenging enough in others I did, despite the predictability, find the book strangely absorbing In the end, the outcome did provoke some deeper thought, especially on the topic of PTSD Many books are enjoyable and entertaining without requiring intense concentration and there s nothing wrong with that Often, we go to see movies to escape and be entertained at the end of a long week, and don t seem to mind mid range films that were good in the moment but perhaps not all that plausible, realistic, or memorable in the long term Maybe we are too hard on books that fall into that same mid range zone Even in this book, Ian admitted he wasn t always up for hardcore military strategy or role playing games, occasionally opting for a casual game of Candy Crush Not every book is going to challenge us in the extreme and to expect every book to reach that level reduces some of the entertainment value books provide to us This one wasn t mind blowing, but it was entertaining and enjoyable in the moment and sometimes that s good enough 3 stars

  6. says:

    A whirlwind ride, guaranteed to keep you on your toes right to the end 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 scrumptious turn when Ian British Military, enters the bar with his friend Well, well the sparks are flying everywhere Told in multiple times lines and points of view The future of Ian and his wife comes to a frightful head A frantic 911 call So who will walk away Oh come on, you ll have to, actually, want to read this one to find out Annie Ward writes an ingenious, gripping psychological thriller that will shock you and leave you breathless I was surprised I was entranced Couldn t wait to see how far Annie Ward would take this thriller Well apparentlyright to the edge A buddy read with Susanne Thank you to NetGalley Harlequin Park Row and Annie Ward for an ARC to read and review

  7. says:

    4 Stars.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 Her husband, Ian told her that she simply slipped and fell The police however, find her injuries suspicious Maddie spends her days writing, hoping to remember what happened while also spending time with her son, Charlie whom she desperately wants to keep safe Now, every moment is devoted to him Ten years earlier, Maddie was a travel journalist on assignment overseas when she and a girl named Joanna became fast friends There, they met Ian Maddie became star struck You know the story Ian was tall, dark, handsome, enigmatic and mysterious He also had a girlfriend and kept secrets What could a girl like Maddie want Everything seemed fine until things start to sour between her and Joanna If only she had some idea as to the cause What follows is cut throat suspense Maddie s life didn t turn out quite like she anticipated But then I guess you already figured that out Every moment of Beautiful Bad is choreographed to perfection The story is chilling and had me wondering which narrator was reliable At times, my heart was pounding in my chest and my eyes were darting back and forth desperately searching for clues Admittedly, although I guessed the ending, it did not take away from my enjoyment of this crazy novel, as the anxiety and suspense ratcheted up and kept me glued to the pages If you are looking for a high end thriller, look no further This was a buddy read with Kaceey which we both really liked Thank you to Harlequin Park Row for providing me with an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review Published on Goodreads on 2.18.19 Will be published on Twitter and on 3.5.19.

  8. says:

    Not sure if I m in the minority with my thoughts on this I m noticing average to fantastic.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, not at all I just wish it was just too many pages of facts at one time.Thinking about Ian and Maddie and how they became attracted to each other at the beginning was written really well.The chapter headings were brilliant as the lead up to THE DAY OF THE KILLING chapters came to the forefront.That gripped me.This author can really spin a tale when she s writing the action scenes.This is a book written in reverse and written well It worked.So to sum up..I think the books pages could have been shorter and skimmed down and still have impact on a reader.The narration although needed was just too many pages of information that I tended to wander off in my head.But..The actual psychological story was good, the ending brilliant.Publishers, please please stop comparing books to others Let it stand in its own right.I ve given this 3 stars as the ending redeemed itself.This is my review and you may have different thoughts, nonetheless I think it s a book well worth reading Just don t expect fast pace all the way through.

  9. says:

    TWO STARSI 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 those millions of words are mostly wasted Ughhhh I m not a fan of the excessive writing style.There is a very sad twist at the end, but it is by no means shocking and most psyche suspense lovers will guess it long before it happens The audio production is outstanding and definitely propelled me to finish the novel

  10. says:

    Luckily, this came around at the end with a delightfully twisted finish Just enough to push it into that 3 star, good book , territory This being said, many parts of this dragged for me Upon reflection, I honestly think between 50 to 100 pages could have been done away with.The setting of this was 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 my favorite aspect of this book It s not often you read an Adult Thriller that has Macedonia and the Balkans as a backdrop.Maddie, working as a Travel Writer, meets Ian while visiting her best friend, Joanna, in Macedonia Joanna is working for a relief agency at the time and Ian is in private security Along with some other Brits and Americans living there at the time, they chum around, drinking and getting to know one another.Maddie is quite taken with Ian from the very beginning and despite Joanna s warnings, she ends up with major heart eyes for him Jo and Maddie have a huge falling out because of this and don t speak for many years afterbut she ends up marrying Ian, so there you go.The story begins with a murder That was exciting right off the bat Then Maddie is seeking help for her depression and anxiety Her meetings with her new psychologist, also interesting Then the history beginssometimes interesting, occasionally not Also, at times, not super believable The fact that Joanna and Maddie call each other best friends is astounding They are pretty terrible to each other With friends like this, who needs enemies Slowly, we piece together Maddie and Ian s courtship and marriage, as well as the birth of their only child, Charlie Their relationship is also terrible It s never great The fact that they are trying to sell this story as a beautiful marriage gone south is laughable.The pace definitely picks up towards the end and although I managed to piece it together prior to the reveal, I did hella enjoy the ending So, props to you, Annie Ward I was satisfied with this and happy I read it I would recommend this to people who enjoy literary fiction with a mysterious or thrilling twist Avid Adult Thriller readers may be slightly underwhelmed.Thank you so much to the publisher, Park Row Books, for providing me with a copy to read and review As always, I appreciate the opportunity

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