Monday 20 April 2020

BLOG TOUR: We Begin at the End - Chris Whitaker

With the staggering intensity of James Lee Burke and the absorbing narrative of Jane Harper's The DryWe Begin at the End is a powerful novel about absolute love and 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.

'You can't save someone that doesn't want to be saved . . .'

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 did I think?

A new Chris Whitaker book is always something to get excited about and I didn't even read the synopsis of We Begin at the End before grabbing a copy.  I really enjoyed his previous novels, Tall Oaks and All The Wicked Girls, but I absolutely LOVED We Begin at the End.  This book is really something extraordinary!  It left me speechless and I honestly don't know how any review I write will do it justice but I'll give it a go.

The story is very character driven and there's a small cast of broken characters for us to get to know in the small town setting of Cape Haven.  Walk, the local police chief, is the glue that binds the strands of the story together as we read about his interaction with all of the main characters.  Walk's childhood friend, Vincent King, has just been released from prison after serving time for killing Star Radley's sister and the town must cope with his return home.  Star is perhaps the most broken character, struggling to make ends meet as a single parent to 13 year old Duchess and 6 year old Robin.  I also have to mention a character called Milton who likes to think he's up with the police lingo (10-4 and all that) but he keeps getting them wrong and it made me laugh every single time!  

It is Duchess who goes on to completely steal the show.  What an absolutely brilliant character!  She's tough, sassy, gutsy, prickly and cheeky but underneath that hard as nails outer shell is a caring, selfless young girl who gave up her childhood to look after her mother and brother.  I loved her sense of humour and quick, witty answers when she got challenged.  Duchess is such a well developed character that I felt as if I knew her and I was so completely invested in her story that I laughed and cried as events unfolded.

Chris Whitaker is such a talented author that We Begin at the End feels like an instant classic.  The writing is as flawless as the characters are flawed and I felt completely stunned when I finished reading it.  I love how Chris Whitaker writes a serious story but still manages to inject a bit of humour into his writing; Witty by name and witty by nature, obviously!

We Begin at the End is so flawless that I think Chris Whitaker may have written the perfect novel.  When a 5 star rating doesn't seem adequate, you know you've read an awesome book.  A stunning novel not to be missed and so very highly recommended.

I chose to read an ARC and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

My rating:

Buy it from Amazon

About the author:

Chris Whitaker was born in London and spent ten years working as a financial trader in the city.

His debut novel, Tall Oaks, won the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger.

Chris's second novel, All The Wicked Girls, was published in August 2017. He lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young sons.

Follow Chris on Social Media:
Twitter: @WhittyAuthor

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