We Begin at the End (Large Print / Library Binding)

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Staff Reviews


Walk, Vincent, and Star were always comfortable on the margins of the small California town where they grew up. Their lives eventually took different paths, but the childhood bond remained unbroken even when Walk was faced with proving Vincent could not have committed the murder that left their friend dead and her two children motherless. This is an absorbing, compulsively readable story, part mystery and part social drama, set along a once rural part of the Pacific coast that is becoming a tourist mecca, changing local lives and fortunes. The characters are all vividly drawn and the author skillfully invests in them recognizable human virtues and failings that frequently challenge traditional notions of what comprises our literary heroes and villains. — Alden Graves

It has everything you want in a literary crime thriller. Perplexing questions and big reveals. Great dialogue and page-burning plot development. Strong characters to pull for with all your heart, even as they do bad things. The strongest, most maddening, most desperately in need of a break, is the champion of the story, Duchess Day Radley, a thirteen year old outlaw from a family afflicted by tragedy. A triumphant breakout novel from a gifted writer. — Stan Hynds

After doing time for decades, a taciturn killer returns home to a California town. Times have changed, but apparently he hasn't: more bad things occur. A headstrong teenage girl is in the middle of the maelstrom, while a laid-back cop finds the will to investigate troubling events, and even more troubling aspects of his own life. — Mike Hare

March 2021 Indie Next List


We Begin at the End is dramatic storytelling at its best, full of layers of intrigue and complex personalities set around the murder of the book’s most vulnerable character. The stoical, 13-year-old Duchess Day Radley takes center stage, and her heartbreaking life unleashes a hero within: self-proclaimed outlaw, bold and courageous, though to her peril not always wise beyond her years. Chris Whitaker has created a character for the ages and an extraordinary reading experience. By turns amusing, frightening, and exhilarating.”
— Robin Sung, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

Description


There are two kinds of families: the ones we are born into and the ones we create.

Walk has never left the coastal California town where he grew up. He may have become the chief of police, but he's still trying to heal the old wound of having given the testimony that sent his best friend, Vincent King, to prison decades before. Now, thirty years later, Vincent is being released.

Duchess is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Her mother, Star, grew up with Walk and Vincent. Walk is in overdrive trying to protect them, but Vincent and Star seem bent on sliding deeper into self-destruction. Star always burned bright, but recently that light has dimmed, leaving Duchess to parent not only her mother but her five-year-old brother. At school the other kids make fun of Duchess--her clothes are torn, her hair a mess. But let them throw their sticks, because she'll throw stones. Rules are for other people. She's just trying to survive and keep her family together.

A fortysomething-year-old sheriff and a thirteen-year-old girl may not seem to have a lot in common. But they both have come to expect that people will disappoint you, loved ones will leave you, and if you open your heart it will be broken. So when trouble arrives with Vincent King, Walk and Duchess find they will be unable to do anything but usher it in, arms wide closed.

Chris Whitaker has written an extraordinary novel about people who deserve so much more than life serves them. At times devastating, with flashes of humor and hope throughout, it is ultimately an inspiring tale of how the human spirit prevails and how, in the end, love--in all its different guises--wins.

About the Author


Chris Whitaker lives in the United Kingdom with his wife and three young children. When not writing he works part-time at a local library, where he gets to surround himself with books.


Product Details
ISBN: 9781432885854
ISBN-10: 1432885855
Large Print: Yes
Publisher: Thorndike Press Large Print
Publication Date: April 7th, 2021
Language: English
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