The Ideal Wife

Annie Ward



Maddie and Ian’s romance began when he was serving in the British Army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend Jo in Europe. Now sixteen years later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America.

But when an accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian’s PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son Charlie; and the couple’s tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, the years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of shocking crime.

But what in this beautiful home has gone so terribly bad?


Ward writes with the same compelling energy as you get in a blockbuster Netflix series. The original storyline and the expertly drawn minor characters will leave you suspecting everyone – and trusting no one.

Daily Mail
Daily Mail

Readers need to be off-the-charts clever to figure out who’s going to kill whom in this disturbing first novel by the American writer Annie Ward.

The Toronto Star
The Toronto Star

Utterly gripping and thrillingly original – I loved the unique settings. Cannot recommend this book highly enough

Karen Hamilton, author of The Perfect Girlfriend
Karen Hamilton , author of The Perfect Girlfriend

Beautiful Bad is beautifully written, beautifully twisty – and beautifully twisted. A dark thriller with real psychological depth.

JP Delaney, author of The Girl Before
JP Delaney , author of The Girl Before

I loved this book! The various settings were really evocative, and the narrators kept me guessing all the way along. I love how she used broad strokes to show relationships so that you weren't quite sure who to sympathise with. The book is a total page turner; it’s dark and disturbing, and the ending will have readers gasping. I’ve not a doubt it’s going to be a hit worldwide.

Mel Sherratt, author of Taunting the Dead
Mel Sherratt , author of Taunting the Dead

You won’t be able to tear yourself away from the page. With fascinating characters that chill and horrify, the ending will leave you staggered.

Liv Constantine, author of the national bestseller The Last Mrs. Parrish
Liv Constantine , author of the national bestseller The Last Mrs. Parrish

As imaginatively constructed as it is compelling. Filled with unexpected twists, BEAUTIFUL BAD is a riveting read.

Sarah Pekkanen, New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Between Us
Sarah Pekkanen , New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Between Us


Mystery / Suspense

UK Publication

Hachette / Quercus, January 2019

US Publication

HarperCollins / Park Row, January 2019

Rights Sales

US: HarperCollins / Park Row
UK & Commonwealth: Hachette / Quercus
Canadian: HarperCollins Canada
Croatian: Leo Commerce
Czech: Domino
Estonian: Eesti Raamat
Greek: Dioptra
Hebrew: Kinneret-Zmora
Hungarian: Muvelt Nep
Italian: Longanesi
Latvian: Zvaigzne
Polish: Czarna Owca
Portuguese (EU): Planeta
Russian:Family Leisure Club
Serbian: Vulkan
Slovakian: Ikar
Spanish:Roca Editorial