Book Review: Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward #NetGalley #BeautifulBad

Cover image of the book Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Author: Annie Ward

Print Length: 368 pages

Publisher: Park Row

Publication Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 9780778369103

Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Mystery

Buy it here: Amazon | Indie Bound | Barnes & Noble

Source: I received an ARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 


 March 2019 Indie Next selection  March 2019 LibraryReads selection


In the tradition of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train comes the psychological thriller everyone is talking about, a twisted novel about a devoted wife, a loving husband, and a chilling crime that will stun even the cleverest readers.

There are two sides to every story… And every person.
Maddie and Ian’s love story began with a chance encounter at a party overseas, while 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; 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.

*Blurb is from

My Thoughts

How well do you know your significant other?

Do you know what are they capable of?

Beautiful Bad is a well written, twisted tale about the main characters, Maddie and Ian, their relationship and the trials along the way. Maddie has had a traumatic brain injury that leaves her with panic attacks and other struggles. Ian has witnessed the carnage of war first hand and upon returning home struggles with flashbacks, survivors guilt, and adjustment back to his home life.  These struggles put stress on their relationship but not only for them. Ian and Maggie have a little boy named Charlie.

Overall, I did enjoy this book! Early on I had figured out “who’d done it” and the outcome. However, for me, it was more of a story about how it was going to play out and how “she/he” were going to get away with it.  The main characters are well developed, as are the secondary characters. The story itself did jump around a bit.  There were past and present scenes, a countdown to the murder and time lapses after the murder.  Lastly, the ending left some open-ended events that I would have like to have known more about.

Many thanks to Annie Ward, Harlequin Books, Park Row, Netgalley. I was given this book in return for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.


“I sometimes feel like my mind is possessed by another person or creature.”



About the Author

Annie Ward, author of Beautiful Bad

Website | GoodReadsTwitter

Annie received a BA in English Lit with an emphasis in Creative Writing from UCLA and an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. While studying at AFI, she sold her first short screenplay to MTV/ BFCS Productions. Starring Adam Scott, STRANGE HABIT became a Grand Jury Award Winner at the Aspen Film Festival and a Sundance Festival Official Selection.

After film school, Annie moved to Eastern Europe to work for Fodor Travel Guides, covering regions of Spain and Bulgaria. She remained in Bulgaria for five years spanning a civilian uprising and government overthrow. The novel THE MAKING OF JUNE, which Annie wrote with the Bulgarian revolution and Balkan crisis as its backdrop was sold to Penguin Putnam and published to critical acclaim in 2002.

During Annie’s five years in the Balkans she received a Fulbright Scholarship, taught at the University of Sofia, and script doctored eight screenplays for Nu-Image, an Israeli/American film company that produced a number of projects in Bulgaria for the SyFy Channel. She was later the recipient of an Escape to Create artist residency.

She lives in Kansas City, Kansas with her family.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.