The Beauty of the End
by Debbie Howells
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 26 Jul 2016 | Archive Date 18 Aug 2016
Kensington Books, Kensington
"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.
Advanced Praise for The Beauty of the End
“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
Praise for The Bones of You
“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
A Note From the Publisher
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“Compelling…Howells has a knack for conveying authentic emotion.” - Publishers Weekly
“The mystery itself, a murder, is interesting because the author delves deeply into the past of the primary suspect. Secrets are revealed…Spellbinding.”– RT Book Reviews
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 217 members
Howells returns with a book that is sure to make her a household name in 2016. After receiving a cottage in the English countryside, lawyer Noah Calaway has given up the practice of law and is doing a whole lot of nothing. Then he gets a phone call. April, the love of his life, the woman who left him standing at the altar 16 years earlier, is in a coma. It would seem that she overdosed….and that she’s a murderer. It’s simply not possible, Noah loved this woman, and while she may have jilted him, she would never harm anyone. He decides to use his knowledge of the law to help exonerate April, not knowing that a fifteen year old girl named Ella and her family’s past may hold the answers he’s searching for. This was a wild ride, with jolts and surprises at every turn. Howells is going to be huge, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this become the next “Stranger on the Train”
Wow! I absolutely loved this book! Gripping read from start to finish. Debbie Howells is fast becoming one of my top favourite authors.
You will not want to put this book down! Noah falls in love with April at age 14 . Many years later he receives a phone call from his boyhood friend telling him April Is in a coma and wanted for murder . Noah knows she is innocent and sets out to clear her name .Riveting and thrilling until the very last page this book will keep you guessing and up all night.
Thank you Netgaleery and KENSINGTON BOOKS for granting me my wish to read The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells. This is the first time I have read one of Howells' novels and I am hooked. The story is told vividly as it goes back in time. Noah is in love with a "goddess" as a young man, and he has never quite gotten over it. Switch to current time, and his "goddess" is charged with murder - can Noah save her, did she do it, is he still in love?:?? Well you will have to read this one and I could not put this book down. Howells sculpts a novel that will keep you guessing till the end. Recommend and I am so glad my wish was granted and I was able to read and review this book. RECOMMEND.
Four school mates, four lives intertwined, murder, love story, what else could a reader want. The plot is tightly drawn and each character has a valuable piece to the story. The title reflects the true meaning of the book. Excellent read. Don't miss it
Noah has been living a quiet life far from his past when a call draws him back into all that he had left behind. The love of his life, April, is laying in a coma fighting for her life after a suicide attempt and accused of murder. Noah has not talked to his friend in many years and he is not sure why he called about April because he and his friend did not part on good terms. This call draws Noah back into his old circle of friends because he does not believe April capable of murder but as he uncovers more and more details of the life she has lead maybe he did not know her at all. Great read. I would like to thank the Publisher and Net Galley for the chance to read this ARC.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book! Another great psychological thriller - Noah is living his life as a reclusive writer when he receives a phone call from a childhood friend. This friend, Will, tells him that Noah's on/off girlfriend, April, is suspected of killing a man and subsequently taking an overdose. She is in the ICU. With that premise, this book doles out the story in different time frames so that we can explore Noah's relationship with April and Will. But who is Ella? Her story also begins to appear and the reader has no clue who she is and how she fits in the story. I haven't read this author's previous book, but she is so skilled at drawing out this story and leaving the reader guessing and holding on for the ride. Highly recommended!
4.5 Loved it!! And stayed up way too late last night to finish it! Great story and characters with the main storyline keeping everything together as we traveled from past to present learning just enough each time to keep you racing towards the end. I enjoyed that the main mystery in the book blurb was not the only one and just really felt connected to the main character as he uncovered more and more, whether in the present or pieces of his own past. Great read that I will be highly recommending!!
Having enjoyed Debbie Howells' previous novel, I was very excited to read this one. She did not disappoint! There are secrets at every turn, and it takes the entire book to uncover them all and get the answers. This is an excellent mystery and if you enjoyed her first book, you will enjoy this one as well
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. 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
The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells is a mesmerizing, psychological thriller that I could. not. put. down. I read and enjoyed The Bones of You by Debbie Howells last June, so I was already familiar with the author’s writing style. With The Beauty of the End, Debbie Howells is firmly on my must-buy author list. The Beauty of the End is told in present day scenes and flashback scenes. I stayed up way too late because I had to know what was going to happen next. The book had so many twists…some I was able to figure out but others that kept me guessing. Noah is a character that you just feel bad for~things never seem to work out for him even when he is a good guy just trying to do his best. I don’t want to give away any specifics…so I’ll just say, if you enjoy psychological thrill rides full of mystery, then you should definitely pick up The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells. I loved this book and cannot wait to read more from Ms. Howells. A full five stars from me.
This is a beautifully written, gut-wrenching novel. Our main protagonist, Noah, has been in love with his goddess, April Moon, since his formative school days. As an adult, he receives a telephone call from a former friend/current nemesis instructing him that Noah's beautiful April, his dream girl, is in a coma after trying to commit suicide. Noah is unable to come to grasps that the April he knew and loved is her abstractive stepfather's murderer who would try to take her own life, so he tries to prove her innocence. Unfortunately, he's forced to rehash and revisit his past/their past and the part that he himself played in April's life. The novel was very intense and I was awake until way way too early in the morning trying to read what would happen. This novel is full of secrets, twist, longing, suspense - I strongly recommend it to mystery lovers. It is not your typical mystery, no blood and gore, more of an emotional psychological thriller. Noah needs to come to grasp with whether April actually killed her stepfather or if she was set up. Noah and his former friend, Will, a pediatric cardiac specialist with a super successful life, play a cat-and-mouse game back and forth and you come to realize how many people have been manipulated him throughout Will's life. Noah has a hard time realizing what to believe and whom to believe. We also meet a character Ella, a 15 year old young girl with her own story, one filled with intrigue and she has a burning need to know the real her. Is she who she thinks she is? I honestly had a hard time figuring out till the very last pages. It was a very shocking conclusion and I totally recommend this book to anyone. * I would like to thank the author/publisher/ Netgalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a fair and honest review*
Once again Debbie Howells takes to moving you thru a wonderful story and does it in such a fashion that you want more. How she writes so that it makes you get lost. This is an outstanding book..a must read
Slowly building mystery in which all is not what it seems. When former attorney, Noah Calaway, receives news that his first love, April Moon, is accused of murder and has od'd he rushes to her defense. The narrative, told primarily from Noah's POV, alternates between the 1980's when he first meets April, the 1990's when their relationship develops, and 2016. Noah is completely blinded by love. However, holes begin to appear in his story and the reader will come to question his reliability. The mystery isn't so much about April and the crimes that she might have committed, but rather about Noah's version of reality. I received an ARC of this book from Kensington Books and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first book I have read from Debbie Howell,s but I have heard great things about her, and I was not disappointed. This tale weaves from the past to the present and back again, but it is easy to follow and beautifully written. Noah's story and Ella's story will draw you in and really make you speed read to figure out the connections. This book sucked me in and the twists that show up, I promise you will not have seen coming. I highly recommend checking this book out and I have already went and bought a previous novel of hers, because I enjoyed this one so much.
People often accuse intelligent, but naïve Noah Calaway of living in a dream world. He’s been in love with April since the first time he saw her in high school and he refuses to believe anything bad about her. The former attorney, turned writer hasn’t seen April in years, but rushes to help her when he learns she is in trouble. Many secrets unfold while Noah tries to learn if April is a victim or a murderer. “The Beauty of the End” is an unusual and haunting story. I enjoyed it, but it takes a couple of chapters to get into because the narrative switches back and forth from the past and the present to tell the story of April and Noah. In addition, their tale is interspersed with the story of a troubled teenager named Ella. The book is sometimes confusing, but it still keeps you on the edge of your seat to find out the real truth of both past and present events. The book didn’t have the ending I had hoped for, but I’m still glad I read the book. Readers who enjoyed the author’s prior book “The Bones of You” will also like her latest psychological thriller. I received this book from NetGalley, through the courtesy of Kensington Books. The book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
This book made me angry, broke my heart, and left me in tears. What an emotional rollercoaster! The first chapter had me confused as I wasn't sure whose POV it was, there seem to be a mix of two. Then the author revealed it was Noah speaking, and soon Ella is introduced. The story evolves around the mystery surrounding April Moon's life. She's the woman Noah fell in love with when he was only 16 yrs old. She was a goddess to him and there never was another woman like her for Noah. Talk about undying, unconditional love. Noah meets April when he moves to a new town with his family. He also becomes friends with Will. At 16 Noah feels pretty good about his life and everything he's got going for him, until things start to change, though he refuses to see things for what they are. The story is full of flashbacks between the present and past. As details are uncovered regarding April and the events that sent her to ICU in a hospital, Noah recalls the various times he'd crossed paths with April. How destiny seemed to keep bringing them back together, and how closed he'd been to having it all. As he searches through his memories he starts seeing people he'd considered friend for who they really are, including April. The effect these people have and had on his life is upsetting. Seriously, who needs enemies when your friends are the worst of the worst, or when the love of your life doesn't trust you enough to tell you truths? April had a terrible childhood (more like she didn't have one). Will is a conniving [fill in the blank]. Bea ... I don't know what to think of her other than she's sort of an enabler. Then there's Theo...my heart broke for him. I wanted to cry, then smash my device against the wall because he's a casualty in this mess, and Ella is a victim, who sounds so much like her mom. Overall, this book messed with my head. I think I'll need therapy to recoup from this great read. Readers who enjoy psychological thrillers will LOVE this story.
What would you do for your first love? Noah is a wounded man but when the time comes, he steps up to help an old flame that I found a little undeserving of his life-long devotion—this woman who was to be his wife. For lovers of character-driven novels with a hint of suspense, this book is for you. Debbie Howell drops the breadcrumbs to keep you following along … and what an intriguing read as the past and present collide and truths spill from all directions. If I had one minor criticism it was that the ending seemed to go on forever; but this is preferable to a short, sharp ending and feeling unsatisfied. A minor thing. Without giving anything away, I am so pleased that for some, justice prevailed … for others it was too late. The powerful descriptive verses around loss hint that the author is no stranger to pain herself, but that’s presumptuous. Perhaps she is just a masterful storyteller … I imagine as a florist (her other occupation), she makes a wonderful, expressive bouquet.
When I read 'The bones of you', I was in awe of such an amazing book and promised to look out for Debbie Howell books in the future. so when I was granted access to 'the beauty of the end' I was, of course, thrilled. Debbie definitely hasn't lost her darkly poignant touch with this one.
The Beauty of the End is a great story of suspense by one of my favorite storytellers, Debbie Howells. The story starts off with a murder and unfolds in a way that kept me guessing, and hit me over and over again with moments that gave me pause and thought. Debbie Howells delivers so much more than a mystery by adding love, obsession, psychological drama, and so much more. I can't say that the characters are likable, but for me that is a part of the appeal. It allowed me to read the story without bias, which usually allows for a deeper connection with the story itself. I could not have been more pleased with the conclusion. Not only was I caught completely unaware, but it was one of those ending that stick to the bones and gives the reader a memorable and thoughtful experience. Thank you, Debbie Howells!
Wow, totally wonderful, unexpected book. Noah sees his youth as something wonderful while those around him see the reality of their lives. Not until a crises does Noah actually see what had been happening around him. Highly recommend, a must read for everyone.
Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington for an ARC of this book in return for a fair and honest review. I have heard of the author but have not read any previous works – something I am aiming to rectify after reading this one. I really enjoyed this book. Noah falls in love with a ‘goddess’ called April at an early age. Many years later he receives a phone call from a friend (Will) telling him April is in a coma after a suicide attempt and is wanted for murder . Noah knows she is innocent and is feels compelled to represent her and clear her name. Another character, Ella is introduced and the story switches between the characters back and forth over the years which I did find a bit confusing and had to keep checking the timeline to keep up. But all in all there are lots of twists and turns and you see the relationships develop and understand more about the background of the main characters and how the events have unfolded. Some of the revelations I guessed at but other came as a big surprise – well worth a read!