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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

3.6 out of 5
5 Stars
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  • A must read!

    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.

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  • Outstanding!

    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 King’s 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.

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  • A bit too slow for me....

    Chris Whitaker’s 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.

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  • Captivating

    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!

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  • Brilliant

    Beautifully written and absorbing mystery novel with genuine and believable characters who engage the reader and engender caring and compassion.

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