8 September 2020

Review: WE BEGIN AT THE END, Chris Whitaker

  • format: e-book through my local library through Libby
  • ISBN: 9781785769627
  • Published April 2020
  • 464 pages
Synopsis (Allen & Unwin)

A blistering story of murder, revenge and retribution, set under the Californian sun.  As nuanced as it is intense, We Begin at the End is a thriller of exceptional psychological flair, filled with characters who will get under your skin – and might never leave.

This is a story about good and evil and how life is lived somewhere in between.

Thirty years ago, Vincent King became a killer. Now, he's been released from prison and is back in his hometown of Cape Haven, California. Not everyone is pleased to see him. Like Star Radley, his ex-girlfriend, and sister of the girl he killed.

Duchess Radley, Star's thirteen-year-old daughter, is part-carer, part-protector to her younger brother, Robin - and to her deeply troubled mother. But in trying to protect Star, Duchess inadvertently sets off a chain of events that will have tragic consequences not only for her family, but also the whole town.

Murder, revenge, retribution. How far can we run from the past, when the past seems doomed to repeat itself?

My Take

A layered novel full of mysteries. Like peeling a never-ending onion - the final solution is staggering and unexpected. Duchess Radley seems to have missed out on having a childhood, torn between looking after her mother and ensuring the safety of her young brother. She has an old head on very young shoulders.

Things come to a head when Vincent King returns to the town, and Walk, the Sheriff of Cape Haven, becomes determined that his childhood friend will lead a "normal" life.

There is little that I can tell you about what happens after that, without spoiling the narrative for you. I found it a challenging read, full of interesting characters, and mind-boggling scenarios.

My rating: 4.6

About the author
Chris Whitaker's debut novel, Tall Oaks, was published in 2016. It was a Guardian crime book of the month as well as featuring in Crime Time's top 100 books of 2016 and BuzzFeed's incredible summer reads. It won the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, and was shortlisted for the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award. All the Wicked Girls, Chris's second novel, was described by Look magazine as 'the next Gone Girl'. Chris lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young sons. 

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin