We Begin at the End

Macmillan Audio. 2021. 384p. 10:30 hrs. ISBN 9781250778611. $39.99. F
Whitaker’s (Tall Oaks) latest novel is set in fictional Cape Haven, CA, and Copper Falls, MT, over a stretch of 30 years. Town police chief Walk and 13-year-old Duchess Day Radley, a fierce, emotionally damaged self-proclaimed outlaw, form the center of this intricate, emotional, character-driven tale of regret, revenge, and heartache. Walk gave the testimony that sent his friend Vincent to prison 30 years earlier, and now Vincent is being released and coming home. Duchess’s mother, Star, neglects her daughter and five-year-old son, leaving Duchess to look after her brother. The aftermath of a decades-old tragedy becomes more heartbreaking as the story unfolds. George Newbern provides a solid reading of this bittersweet, gripping tale, but some listeners may find it a bit confusing that the narrator doesn’t pause or otherwise indicate changes of section, time, or character.
VERDICT This unforgettable coming-of-age story of love, loss, loyalty, and friendship, along with its unexpected plot twists, will appeal to readers of crime fiction, thrillers, suspense, and fiction.
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