Skip to main content

We Begin at the End Bets On...

We Begin at the End

March 2021

WE BEGIN AT THE END by Chris Whitaker is one of my favorite new books. Set in both California and Montana, the plot revolves around 13-year-old Duchess Radley and a fortysomething sheriff named Walk, both of whom have tons of baggage between them. Duchess is rebellious, tough and fiercely protective of her brother, Robin; she calls herself an outlaw. Duchess’ mother, Star, has substance abuse issues and harbors a lot of guilt over the death of her sister, Sissy.

Walk carries the burden of being responsible for his best friend, Vincent King, going to prison for 30 years from the time he was only 15 for Sissy’s murder. As Vincent is finally being freed, Walk ponders what will happen next. Through the years, he has been Duchess’ protector --- essentially her family. But Walk has just been diagnosed with an illness that is going to limit his life, and he cannot be there for her the way he once was.

The book is genre-defying --- it’s both a coming-of-age story and a mystery --- but above all it’s simply a great read. Chris lives in the UK and has never visited California or Montana, yet the writing feels so authentic.

I had the pleasure of doing a short interview with Chris for a trade event last September and immediately knew I wanted to do a longer one when the book released. He has a long and winding, but oh-so-interesting story about how he came to be published, which he shares with us in a recent “Bookreporter Talks To” interview. I see Duchess as Scout with a Stetson instead of overalls. The book has a brilliant ending that we do not give away, but it is a satisfying stunner.

I can see book groups enjoying a discussion about it.

We Begin at the End
by Chris Whitaker

  • Publication Date: April 12, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Holt Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 1250759684
  • ISBN-13: 9781250759689