Beautiful Victim by Claire C. Riley
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The perfect villain… or the perfect victim?
Growing up, Carrie was Ethan’s one true love, his fixation and his constant obsession. Friends to the bloody end, they were each other’s rocks whilst navigating through their dark and monstrous childhoods together. But then Carrie died and Ethan was almost destroyed by the secrets that were revealed in her wake.
It’s now fifteen years later and Carrie is back from the dead… and Ethan is forced to confront a truth he’s tried to deny himself for all these years.
With his obsession renewed, the situation rapidly spirals out of control as their story escalates towards a dark and startling conclusion. Because now Ethan has a singular focus;
Keep the girl, no matter what the consequences!
The truth should set you free, but what happens when the truth is the one thing that can destroy you?
Can Ethan’s obsession for the girl he’s always loved ever really be more than that? Or is the idea of her the only thing left to fight for… because perhaps, the illusion of Carrie was the only thing he ever really had.
I love thrillers. Love reading intense stories that keep me in the edge of my seat. Or stories that put us in the mind of the killer or crazy person we are following. I am fascinated with how their minds work and how they see the world. When I first picked up Beautiful Victim I thought it was a romance for some reason. Not sure why because it is not, and the other book I have read from the author isn't either, and I am so glad it wasn't. I loved this story so so much! I loved that we get to see the whole story from Ethan's point of view because he is a fascinating character. I was hooked from the first pages and so excited to keep reading and see what would happen.
Ethan and Carrie knew each other when they were younger. And Ethan loved her. They were going to be together forever. But then something happened and he is alone now. Alone, but still thinking of Carrie. Still in love with her. I love love loved reading Ethan's thoughts. I loved how messed up he is. How he sees the world and thinks he is a good guy, but really it wouldn't take much for him to snap. He is one of those people you could easily see going on a killing spree. He is really into being polite and if someone is not then man, he is not happy with them. He tries to keep it only in his thoughts, but his thoughts are dark. He passes someone on the street and smiles at them and they don't return the smile? Oh, he is not happy. And he has little rants about how horrible they are. What awful people they are for not returning his smile. It was awesome.
Now Ethan is obsessed with Carrie. Still. Even though he has not seen her in many years. He is working at a slaughterhouse cleaning, he has an apartment that is not that nice but will do, and that is it really. Until he sees Carrie again. Randomly. And then things really get crazy. He comes off as kind of insane with how intense he is about things, how dark he can get. He sees the world in such an interesting way. And if anything happens to you? Well, it is your own fault. He doesn't do anything wrong. Once we added Carrie to the mix the story got even better. I loved it.
Now throughout the story we get some flashbacks to when Ethan first met Carrie and start to see what happened so that he is alone now. And...it is really interesting when we finally get the whole story at the end. I don't want to ruin the story for anyone so I won't say too much, but I loved how the author wove the past and present together so that we really get to know these two people. There were a few surprises along the way, a few things I wasn't expecting, and it was awesome. I loved this story.
*Note: I received a free copy of this book for voluntary review consideration
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2