‘This was her path to perdition.
A girl on her way to right a lifetime of wrongs.’
We Begin At The End
[ About the Book ]
‘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?
[ My Review ]
We Begin At The End by Chris Whitaker was released on April 2nd with Zaffre Publishing. It is a book that has captured the minds and hearts of many but why? Described as a novel ‘with the staggering intensity of James Lee Burke and the absorbing narrative of Jane Harper’s The Dry…..a powerful novel about absolute love and the lengths we will go to keep our family safe….a story about good and evil and how life is lived somewhere in between’, We Begin At The End is truly a remarkable and absorbing read.
It is rare that I would say a book is flawless but Chris Whitaker has achieved this. We Begin At The End is a novel that will genuinely remain with me for a long time. Chris Whitaker’s writing is spectacular. His ability to create such incredible characters, to immerse the reader in a different world is nothing short of genius. From the opening lines I was reading with a drawl, a twang that I imagined the ‘players’ spoke with.
Cape Haven is a small town in America. A place where everyone knows everybody else’s business. Chief Walker, like the rest of the town, is awaiting the arrival of Vincent King, a man due to be released back into society after 30 years, a man that was, and still is, Chief Walker’s best friend. Vincent King had been imprisoned at the age of fifteen for the death of young Sissy Radley. While in prison, his sentence was extended for the death of another man. Walker always stood by his friend, believed in him, believed in the memories of their youth and the friendship that existed between himself, King and Star, Sissy Radley’s older sister.
Star Radley was dealt a tough deck. After her sister died, Star struggled to get by. Her life took a downward spiral and now with two children of her own, Duchess and Robin, Star is striving to stay afloat but she is troubled. Duchess sees her mother, witnesses her daily struggles and does her best to help her. Duchess is very protective of her younger brother, making sure he gets to school every day, has food to eat and is never the subject of bullying. Duchess is brave, a young girl who has experienced too much hardship, a girl who was born on the wrong side of the tracks. Walker has always done his best by Star, he looks out for her, keeps up the contact and provides for her when he can. He remembers the way the three friends were and hopes, with King released, that they can have closure and move on with their lives. But Walker has his own personal cross to bear, a secret that he is keeping from his colleagues and friends. This is causing Walker great anguish as he knows he has to face his inner demons soon but first he must be strong, be there for his friend when he collects him from the state penitentiary. But trouble looms, as unexpected events take place that throw all their lives off kilter. The reader is left breathless, bereft, unable to think beyond these pages.
We Begin At The End is not a fast-paced high-energy novel. The reader is given an insight into life in a small town and in the wider countryside of Montana. The sense of place is very strong with the heat, the smells, the people all stunningly portrayed in this outstanding novel.
Chris Whitaker writes character driven novels. He goes deep into his characters, bringing their hopes and fears, their dreams and their nightmares right into our lives. As a reader you invest in them. You feel their pain, you experience sensations that only a writer of this caliber can evoke. Duchess, Robin, Walker, Star and Vincent King are all characters that you will invest in. Their stories will break your heart as you experience unexpected emotions that will leave you wrung out.
We Begin At The End is a book you need to discover for yourself, a book that will reel you in once you start it, one that will most definitely leave you with an almighty book hangover, but one that you will gratefully embrace.
We Begin At The End is a magnificent novel, an exquisite evocative read that captivates, compels and enraptures.
All the stars and more for this one. Highly recommend!
[ Bio ]
Chris Whitaker’s debut novel, Tall Oaks, was published in 2016. It was a Guardian crime book of the month as well as featuring in Crime Time’s top 100 books of 2016 and BuzzFeed’s incredible summer reads. It won the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award, and was shortlisted for the CrimeFest Last Laugh Award. All the Wicked Girls, Chris’s second novel, was described by Look magazine as ‘the next Gone Girl’.
Chris lives in Hertfordshire with his wife and two young sons.
Twitter ~ @WhittyAuthor