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We Begin at the End Reader Reviews

We Begin at the End

maxine broadbent

It is a very long time since I read a book which deals with many complex issues yet is so readable.

We Begin at the End is a brilliant book. It has everything you need as a reader - a thought-provoking story that needs to be told, characters with depth who go beyond the superficial, and very fine writing with an insight that stimulates. But it is also a very readable book that is hard to put down. There are several main characters. Vincent King is a convicted killer due to be released from prison, Star is his ex-girlfriend with two children, thirteen-year-old Duchess and her younger brother Robyn. The story is told mainly through the eyes of both Duchess and Walk. Walk is the small-town police chief who knits the threads together of a very old crime with what is happening now. Duchess, exceptional and extraordinary tries to make things work for her troubled family, yet she is not a saint. No review can do justice to the book. Please read it.

Glenda WORTH

Emotional, descriptive, absorbing and passionate are only the beginning of how good this novel is!

As I began to read this novel I realised how powerful and emotional the storyline was. Based around Duchess Day Radley, a stubborn and defiant outlaw of thirteen and her brother Robin, who Duchess protects fiercely. Add to that Chief Walker a small-town police officer who is looking out for his community, in particular the two children. As the story progresses it is increasingly obvious how much is 'covered up' in this town, with murder, blackmail and other acts of crime amongst others. The writing is emotive, passionate and descriptive, and is going to be a best seller I'm sure. The chapters are not too long and keep you wanting more, I read this book in two days as I couldn't put it down. According to other readers, this is Christopher Walkers best book so far, I will be putting that to the test and searching out his previous two to compare!

Amanda O’Dwyer

Wow, this book is brilliant. The raw emotion and power with which it is written will have you reeling. If you haven’t yet discovered Chris Whitaker, why not?!

Wow, just wow!
I am not familiar with Chris’ other work, but I shall now be making sure they are in my tbr pile.
The passion, emotion, empathy and general brilliance with which he writes are incredible.
This is, in a roundabout way, a story about a love so strong it found a way to continue despite the odds.
It’s a story about the innocence of youth and how one tragic accident can turn so many lives in different directions.
The main character, Walk, is a middle-aged Chief of Police in a small town, where the biggest issue he has is a Mustang with a rumbling exhaust. He is set in his ways, he likes continuity, he doesn’t like change or progress.
Walk's best friend, Vincent, is in jail for murder. He gets released, but is he ready for the world he left behind?
And then there is Duchess and Robin. Two kids, brought into an uncertain life who have to grow up too quickly and end up getting passed from pillar to post. I wanted to just envelope them and love them and make it all ok.
This novel had me laughing and crying. I got so involved in it I really didn’t want to leave and, to be honest, if I didn’t have to sleep and sort my children out, I would have completed it in a day.
It is brilliantly written. No extra padding where it is not needed. Fantastic description, so much so that you can see, smell and FEEL every scene, every situation. The way he describes the characters means that they become your friends, your family.
I am placing this book high on my shelves, in a place of reverence, where I can see it and know it is there, ready to be read again when I am strong enough to repeat that journey.
If you haven’t discovered Chris Whitaker yet, read this to understand the brilliance of this man.

Katie Macaulay

Quite simply stunning. I can't stop thinking of this book, it's touched me. A cliche I know, but really. One of the best books I've ever read.

We Begin at the End is an exceptional novel. Honestly, magnificent. I'm sad it's ended, now living in hope this becomes a movie adaption.
Set in a small town in California, Vincent King is released from prison after serving 30 years. Now back in his hometown, he's not welcomed back by the majority. Star Radley, his ex-girlfriend and sister of the girl he killed is one of those.
Her Daughter, who is one of so many fantastic characters in this story, sets about a chain of events that effectively has tragic consequences for everyone. I really don't want to give any more that away. The author has so beautifully created characters that you will love no matter their flaws. The story is immersive.

A powerful story about love and friendship and the lengths we will go to keep family safe. A story that needs to be the Top 10 of every chart. An author we need to hear more from, and characters so believable and wholesome, I want to end right back at the beginning.
Incredible, devastating, even laugh out loud in places, I sobbed, I went through it all.

Maya Ehrmann

A powerful story that will pull at your heartstrings, well worth a read!

Though I found the storyline a bit slow at first, it was well worth sticking with it. The book is beautifully written, at times almost poetic.

The narrative explores family struggles and the devastating effects of the past and of people's prejudices. The book begins with the release of convicted killer Vincent King, which sets other events and conflicts in motion. We come to realize that the ideal California town where the story is set, is not so ideal after all. The characters are rich and complex, and the reader easily gets drawn into their world.

The author does a tremendous job of capturing the atmosphere of small-town America. This is a story that is layered and thought-provoking and will stick with me for some time. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.

Book Information

ISBN: 9781785769627
Publication date: 2nd April 2020
Author: Chris Whitaker
Publisher: Zaffre Publishing
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 464 pages
Genres: Books of the Month, Reader Reviewed Books, Crime / Mystery, Family Drama, Liz Robinson's Picks of the Month, Star Books, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Crime & mystery, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Thriller / suspense,