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  1 We Begin at the End
Author: Whitaker, Christopher
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Class: Fiction
Age: Adult
Language: English
Demand: Hot
LC: PR6123.H

Print Run: 500000
ISBN-13: 9781250759665
LCCN: 2020010399
Imprint: Henry Holt & Company
Pub Date: 03/02/2021
Availability: Available
List: $27.99
Physical Description: 370 pages ; 25 cm H 9.5", W 6.46", D 1.27", 1.24 lbs.
LC Series:
Brodart Sources: Brodart's Insight Catalog: Adult
Brodart's TOP Adult Titles
Bibliographies: Booklist High-Demand Hot List
New York Times Bestsellers List
New York Times Bestsellers: Adult Fiction
Publishers Weekly Bestsellers
Awards: Kirkus Starred Reviews
Publishers Weekly Starred Reviews
Starred Reviews: Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
TIPS Subjects: Mystery/Detective Fiction
BISAC Subjects: FICTION / Literary
FICTION / Mystery & Detective / Police Procedural
FICTION / Small Town & Rural
LC Subjects: Ex-convicts, California, Fiction
Families, Fiction
Retribution, Fiction
Suspense fiction
SEARS Subjects: Mystery fiction
Police, Fiction
Rural fiction
Reading Programs:
Brodart's TOP Adult Titles | 12/01/2020
Publisher Annotation: Chris Whitaker's We Begin at the End looks at families—the ones we are born into and the ones we create. 384pp., 500K
Starred Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews | 01/15/2021
A police chief who never grew up and a girl who never had a childhood try to solve the murder of someone they love. A tiny, picturesque town on the California coast is an emotional prison for the characters of this impressive, often lyrical thriller. Its two main characters are a cop with an improbable naivete and a child too old for her years. Walk (short for Walker, his last name) is chief of the two-person police department in Cape Haven and a native son. He's kind and conscientious and haunted by a crime that occurred when he was a teenager, the death of a girl named Sissy Radley, whose body Walk discovered. Duchess Radley is that child's niece, the daughter of Star Radley, the town's doomed beauty. Most men lust after Star, including several of her neighbors and perhaps a sinister real estate developer named Dickie Darke. But Star is a substance abuser in a downward spiral, and her fatherless kids, Duchess and her younger brother, Robin, get, at best, Star's benign neglect. Walk, who's known Star since they were kids, is the family's protector. As the book begins, all of them are coming to terms with the return to town of Vincent King. He's Walk's former best friend, Star's former boyfriend, and he's served a 30-year prison term for the death of Sissy (and that of a man he killed in prison). Someone will end up dead, and the murder mystery structures the book. But its core is Duchess, a rage-filled girl who is her brother's tender, devoted caretaker, a beauty like her mother, and a fist-swinging fighter who introduces herself as "the outlaw Duchess Day Radley." Whitaker crafts an absorbing plot around crimes in the present and secrets long buried, springing surprises to the very end. A fierce 13-year-old girl propels this dark, moving thriller. 384pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2021.
Publishers Weekly | 01/11/2021
Set largely in 2005, this superb thriller from Whitaker (Tall Oaks) examines the repercussions of a fatal accident decades earlier on the residents of Cape Haven, a tourist town on the California coast. At 15, Vincent King was sent to a men's prison for hitting and killing seven-year-old Sissy Radley while joyriding. Now, 30 years later, Vincent is being released. His childhood friend, Walker -Cape Haven's police chief-hopes that Vincent, and the town, can finally begin healing. But soon after Vincent's return, Star Radley-a single mother and Sissy's older sister-is found murdered in her home. With Vincent as the prime suspect, Chief Walker and Duchess, Star's 13-year-old daughter and self-proclaimed outlaw, each launch their respective quests for the truth. Powered by extraordinarily deep character development and an impressively intricate plot, this novel is simultaneously a murder mystery, a love story, and a heartbreaking tragedy. The existential agony is palpable throughout, but so, too, is the hope at the end. Whitaker has upped his game with this emotionally charged page-turner. (Mar.). 384p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2021.
Journal Reviews
Library Journal | 03/12/2021
When Vincent King accidentally killed young Sissy Radley, he was convicted of murder and, as a 15-year-old, sent to a prison for adult men. Vincent's life wasn't the only one ruined; his best friend, Walk, and his girlfriend, Star, Sissy's older sister, were also affected. Thirty years later, Walk is the ineffectual chief of police of Cape Haven, the small coastal California town he never left. He looks after Star, who is struggling with addiction, and Star's two children (whose biological father is out of the picture): 13-year-old Duchess, who is tough as nails and is the main caretaker of her sibling, five-year-old Robin. When Vincent is released from prison and returns to Cape Haven, it's a changed landscape. Unscrupulous developer Dickie Darke is gobbling up the coastal homes and messing with Star and her family; Walk hides a secret about his health. Then Star is killed, and Vincent is accused of her murder. He refuses to defend himself, so Walk sets out to prove his friend's innocence. Meanwhile, the Radley children are sent far away to live with relatives, but Duchess knows that Darke will come after her. VERDICT Stubbornly loyal Walk and worldly-wise Duchess are complex, well-developed characters, each searching for truth and justice. Reminiscent of Charles Portis's True Grit, Whitaker's (Tall Oaks) literary thriller will satisfy fans of modern Westerns and readers who like strong heroines.--Liz French, Library Journal. Liz French, Library Journal. 384p. Library Journal Web Exclusive. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2021.
Library Journal Prepub Alert | 09/09/2020
A 13-year-old toughie living the outsider's life in a coastal California town, Duchess Day Radley watches out for her little brother and dysfunctional single mother, Star, while chief of police Walk watches over Duchess. But he's got other troubles: decades ago, his testimony sent best friend Vincent to jail, and now Vincent has finally been released. In the past, British author Whitaker's books have been billed as thrillers, but the publisher is stressing how his writing has broadened here to be literary in scope. Great expectations; a 500,000-copy first printing. Barbara Hoffert. 384p. LJ Prepub Alert Online Review. LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2020.