Author : Chris Whitaker
Publisher : Bonnier Publishing Fiction
ISBN : 9781785769412
About We Begin at the End
WATERSTONES THRILLER OF THE MONTH
'A beautifully written mystery, packed with unforgettable characters' JANE HARPER
'Contender for thriller of the year' SUNDAY EXPRESS
'An accomplished and moving story of crime, punishment, love and redemption' GUARDIAN
For fans of Jane Harper's The Dry comes a powerful novel about the lengths we will go to keep our family safe. 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?
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT WE BEGIN AT THE END:
'Magnificent . . . an instant classic, a West Coast Where the Crawdads Sing . . . a special, vital novel. I'm grateful to have read it' A J FINN
'Surely destined to conquer the world' RUTH JONES
'A magnificent crime novel. It deserves to win a hatful of awards. A BIG hat. Consider me a major fan' MARK BILLINGHAM
'So beautifully written' LYNDA LA PLANTE
'I LOVED this book . . . This is a book to be read and re-read and an author to be celebrated' LOUISE PENNY
'Incredible writing, characters so brilliantly drawn they jump off the page. Outstanding' BA PARIS
'A stunning and heartbreaking book - will keep you gripped until the last moving page' CLAIRE MCGOWAN
'An exceptionally beautiful and accomplished crime novel' ALI LAND
'One of the best books I've ever read' FIONA CUMMINS
'An absolute masterclass in crime writing and story-telling' JO SPAIN
'One of the year's best crime reads' VASEEM KHAN
'One of my favourite books of all time' M. W. CRAVEN, winner of the CWA's Gold Dagger Award
'Breathtakingly beautiful. Another stunning story from the genius of Chris Whitaker' COMPULSIVE READERS
'A spellbinding masterclass in storytelling . . . one of the best books I have ever had the joy to read' ALEX J BOOKS BLOG
'A masterpiece . . . a contender for my top book of 2020' FOR WINTER NIGHTS BLOG
'I was totally seduced by this absolute masterpiece . . . took my breath away' SUIDI'S BOOK REVIEWS
'This book is bound to become a classic . . . Reader, Chris Whitaker's book made me cry . . . such is the power of this writing' LIVE AND DEADLY BLOG
'Utterly brilliant . . . This isn't just crime fiction, this is a masterclass' MELANIE READS BLOG
'A masterpiece of storytelling with clever twists and an ending to knock you sideways' CANDIS MAGAZINE
'This heart-rending story . . . is among the most powerful and moving I have read in years' DAILY MAIL
'Cements Whitaker's status as one of the most talented authors writing today' HEAT MAGAZINE
'Masterly novel' SUNDAY EXPRESS
'A dark yet painfully human tale that is impossible to forget' CRIME MONTHLY
'Beautifully written and deeply moving' SUNDAY TIMES CRIME CLUB
'A gorgeous, crystalline novel' JEANINE CUMMINS, author of AMERICAN DIRT
We Begin at the End Review
Beautifully written and absorbing mystery novel with genuine and believable characters who engage the reader and engender caring and compassion.
I am something of a Chris Whitaker novice having read none of his other books yet. I was so impressed with this outstanding literary mystery! The premise of the book beckoned to me and I knew that I had to read this novel. In We Begin at the End, the reader gets the opportunity to meet Duchess Day Radley, just thirteen years old. Friendless Duchess is doing her best to look after her troubled single mother, Star, and is also ostensibly the sole carer for her beloved brother, Robin, aged six. Never giving an inch, Duchess copes with adversity by imagining and living with the persona of a Wild West outlaw with the result that many fear and avoid her. Meanwhile, Thomas King, who at 15 was responsible for the death of 7 year old Sissy, the sister of Star, is being released from prison, returning to his home in Cape Haven. Chief of Police Walker (Walk) was Kings closest childhood friend and Walk's loyalty and belief in King has never wavered. Regardless of his deteriorating ability to do his job as illness takes its hold on him, he continues to watch out for Star and her children. Menacing property developer Dickie Darke has plans to develop Cape Haven but the property that stands in the way of Darke making a million from his ambitious business proposals belongs to King. Attempting to protect her troubled mother, Duchess unintentionally sets of a series of events that see the Radley children sent to Copper Falls, Montana and their estranged grandfather. Chris Whitaker wowed me in this classy contemporary mystery with style and flair. The plot execution was tremendous, as was the characterisation, and pacing. There were no disappointments and I was completely gripped from the outset, loving the drama, secrets and lies. I couldn't help but get caught up in the each of the characters' lives. In We Begin at the End, the lengths that people will go to in order to protect those that they love, and the ultimate sacrifices that they are willing to make for one another, are explored. With an amazing narrative packed with vivid description, I certainly wasn't prepared for the emotional impact I felt when the truth was finally exposed. In essence, We Begin at the End is an immersive, captivating and satisfying piece of fiction, delivered with aplomb. I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel at my request from Bonnier Books UK/ Zaffre via NetGalley and this review is my unbiased opinion.
This is the first book I have read by this author and one thing I will say is that I will be definitely be on the lookout for more. I really enjoyed the writing style and despite being a thriller it is very beautifully written. The story follows Vincent King who is released from prison thirty years after being convicted for murder. The sister of the girl he killed who also happens to be his ex girlfriend now has her own children and her daughter sets off a chain of events in the town. I held my breathe due to the suspense built up many times whilst reading this novel!! It is amazing how even after 30 years the past can still rear its head in the future. If you are a fan of a thriller then this is definitely one you will enjoy!
Wow! I couldn't put this book down. The characters are great, the two characters at the heart of the story are Duchess and Robin, two children who have been brought up by their troubled mother Star. Star has spent all her adult life trying to live with the fact that her sister was murdered. The murderer is in prison but his childhood friend chief Walker is trying to stop the pending death sentence hanging over Vincent King, Chief Walker knows that his friend isn't a murderer, especially as the victim was the sister of Star, Vincents former girlfriend. The story tells of the impact that these events have on Duchess and Robin, a story which Duchess believes she knows the answers to getting revenge for her Aunt whom she has never met, Duchess is a tough girl and will stop at nothing to avenge the wrongs done to her family. A fantastic book which I thoroughly recommend.
Chris Whitakers latest novel We Begin at the End is his third novel, following his successes with All the Wicked Girls and Tall Oaks. This time his thriller is set in a small town called Cape Haven in California and features a rich, atmospheric narration and a deep, character driven theme. Blurb - Thirty years ago, Vincent King became a killer. Now, he's been released from prison and is back in his hometown of Cape Haven. 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. Foul mouthed, blunt and not frightened to offend, outlaw Duchess Day Radley is arguably hard to like but as a mother myself, I totally endeared to her and truly felt her pain. Being a surrogate mother to her young brother and looking after her often drunk/drugged up mother must have been so hard for her and considering her young age herself did amazing well to make sure her brother was suitably cared for. The character that intrigued , me the most was Vincent King and I felt there could have been a bit more focus on him and his direct emotions. Although this book is exceedingly descriptive which added to the already intense atmospheric location, it was perhaps a little too much for me and I found it dipped in places which caused my interest to wane. The plot is revealed very slowly which may not be to every readers liking and the twist in the tail is guessable if you can work out the logistics of it. A suitable ending created a well thought out denouement and conclusion to this interesting and emotional slow burn thriller, featuring fractured relationships, broken characters, love, loss and redemption. 2.5 stars purely due to the immense slowness of it.