Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward [Book Review]

Book Review

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Title: Beautiful Bad

Author: Annie Ward

Publisher: Park Row

Publish Date: March 5, 2019

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Series: na

My Rating: 4/5

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward


A devoted wife, a loving husband and a chilling murder that no one saw coming.

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 love story 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; 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.

Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward


Maddie and Ian appear to have a wonderful life. After a camping accident leaves Maddie disfigured, she begins going to therapy. Maddie and Ian’s past is slowly revealed, along with their current situation – the day of the killing.

Told using flashbacks, this suspenseful novel covers two decades and a variety of locations. Maddie and Ian met when they were both living in the Balkans. Maddie was working as a travel writer and Ian was a soldier working as a bodyguard. They had a brief flirtation, but as their work took them elsewhere, their relationship was complicated. In the present day story, they are married and have a son, but their relationship still has difficulties.

A complex and intriguing psychological thriller. Beautiful Bad opens with a frantic 911 call, which leads to the responding officer finding a bloody scene. The story then alternates between the events of Maddie and Ian’s past and the present day investigation.

Beautiful Bad is a captivating read for fans of slow-burning domestic thrillers. Compelling characters. Complicated relationships. Unreliable narrator. Murder investigation.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books by Annie Ward:
  1. Beautiful Bad
  2. The Lying Club

12 thoughts on “Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward [Book Review]

  1. Great review, Darinda! This is a group read going on now and we are struggling with it. Maybe it will get better for us! Glad to see it worked for you!

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