Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

Book Review: We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

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We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Series: Standalone

Genre: Thriller, Literary fiction, Crime fiction

Pages: 344 pages (Kindle)

Published: 26th March 2020 by Zaffre


Melancholic, compelling, and so beautifully written.

This was a book I never thought I’d read, and I certainly didn’t expect I would love this one. We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker is a novel highly recommended by my co-blogger, Emma; she has been pushing this book to everyone in Novel Notions since the start of this year. I don’t read a lot of crime fiction, and my knowledge of what elements in a story would make a book be categorized as crime fiction—other than there’s a crime taking place, I guess?—is also very limited. I honestly thought this would be your standard murder-mystery, one that will thrill me for a while, and then I’ll forget about it quickly. But We Begin at the End is more than that. It is beautiful, it is melancholic, and it is quite likely unforgettable.

“Better and worse. Bad and good. None of us are any one thing. We’re just a collection of best and worst things we’ve done.”

I personally found the characters in We Begin at the End to be superbly characterized. For the majority of the novel, we follow two main character’s POV—Walker and Duchess—but the main characters weren’t the only focus of the story. Vincent King, Robin, Star, Hal, Darke, and many more characters in the story were equally important, and they’re all magnificently crafted. When I was reading the book, I truly felt that the characters behaved as if they’re real human beings with their respective struggles, feelings, motivations, and emotions. I started reading this book knowing absolutely nothing; all I know was that it’s going to be an emotional read, and I think future readers will benefit from setting their expectations accordingly when they’re going to read this book.

“Death has a way of making saints out of mortals. But with children… there is no bad. She was small and beautiful and perfect.

This was the first time I read Whitaker’s book, and his prose in We Begin at the End has this incredible capability to conjure an atmospheric and melancholic tone that lasted from the first page to the last. The writing style did take me a bit of time to get used to, but once I’m settled, I realized that I couldn’t put down the book. I feel like this is all I can say about the book without going into spoiler territory; if you want a better review on what made this book such a great read, I suggest checking out Emma’s review here.

“Tragedy has a way of making saints out of sinners.”

Although I haven’t read many books in the genre yet, I do believe all the praises and acclaim We Begin at the End has received are utterly well-deserved. This is a great book, and if you want to read a novel that’s equally heart-wrenching, compelling, and tense, look no further. You should read this.


You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

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