The Beauty of the End by Debbie Howells (3 Stars)


Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an advance copy of this book in return for an honest exchange.

This The Beauty of the End  by Debbie Howells is the second book written by Debbie Howells, and it appears she is still trying to find her way.  Her debut book, The Bones of You,  was disjointed and all over the place.  I liked parts of the language in that book, which were very beautiful and poetic.   This book, however, does not contain any of that, but the storyline is more focused.

Quick synopsis:  A murder forces Noah, a part-time and ex-lawyer and part-time crime author, to confront the secrets of his past which are held by his ex-fiancee (April) and childhood friends.  Interspersed with Noah’s past and present story is the voice of Ella.  So pretty quickly, we figure out who Ella most likely is.  But how do all the players from the past figure into the whodunit?  Well, the story makes several twists when what we thought was truth is revealed as false, and we are led down a different path.  Overall, it was a good story, but way, way too long.  Also, Noah is stupid and naive, which for a lawyer and a crime writer I found to be absurd.  You can see the light bulb going off over his head.  The other characters weren’t very likable either, especially April, and you should be feeling sorry for her as she is laying in a coma.  The detective is a laughable stereotype.

Overall, not a bad book, but still it lacks suspense and there is no thrill to reading it.  And since it is so long, make sure you have the time.  Again, I differ from the others who said they made it through in one sitting.  Also, the twist at the end would have been much more impactful if it was revealed at the end, not 10 pages before and then dragged out.  Ms. Howells needs an editor with a sharp red pencil.


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