She knows there’s a killer on the loose.
But no-one believes her.
Will she be next?
Hannah had a normal life – a loving husband, a good job. Until she did something shocking. Now she’s in a psychiatric clinic. It should be a safe place. But patients keep dying.
The doctors say it’s suicide. Hannah knows they’re lying. Can she make anyone believe her before the killer strikes again?
Published 13th July by Transworld (UK)
I loved the sound of this book the second I heard about it. The old stereotypes of dangerous psychiatric patients being turned on their head and a book that shows them as the vulnerable victims – I was convinced. There was something unsettlingly sinister about this book and I wanted to know what it was!
Hannah is a patient in a private psychiatric hospital. Something happened with her baby, Emily, but the reader is left in the dark for a lot of the book. However, when two of her fellow patients apparently commit suicide, Hannah is convinced that there’s something murderous going on, not believing they’ve both took their own lives. Hannah’s mum, Corrine, is at first dismayed that she seems to have taken a backwards step into delusion after making good progress. But what if Hannah is telling the truth? Could there really be danger where Hannah should be safest?
They All Fall Down is told in alternating chapters from Hannah and Corrine mainly, with a couple of chapters told from other characters. I absolutely loved how Hannah and Corrine’s narratives complimented each other, drawing the reader ever further into the mystery of the hospital, as secrets are exposed and suspicions aroused at every turn. I think the relationship between mother and daughter was beautifully crafted and it’s strength radiated from from the page, I could feel Corrine’s uncertainty and fear for her daughter and Hannah’s desperation to be believed, and the connection they had spilled from chapter to chapter as the narrative alternated.
This is more of an unfurling story, rather than a fast paced twist and turning thriller, and encapsulates the intensity and uncertainty of a good psychological thriller. Subtle hints and tricks shed light and detract attention, meaning the reader can never be sure that people are what they seem as they rely on an unreliable cast of characters to paint a picture. I did guess some of what was going on – I recognised very early on the who but had no idea why or how. Yet right at the very end, Tammy Cohen chucks in a massive bombshell of a reveal that I would never have seen coming, which made me think how cleverly intricate this story actually is.
They All Fall Down is a compelling, tense read with a cast of complex characters who aren’t what or who they seem. The pace is perfect, sucking the reader into the suspense and never dipping once. I haven’t read any of Tammy Cohen’s books before – though I won’t be missing out in future! If you enjoy a real psychologically twisted book, then this one’s definitely for you.
(I read an advanced proof courtesy of the publisher)