Crime Fiction Book Review: After We Fall

After We FallAfter We Fall by Emma Kavanagh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was flawed yet strangely compelling. I feel that the debut author had an ambitious idea but didn’t quite possess the technical skill to pull it off. The story is told from four points of view (always tricky): a stewardess who survives a plane crash; her husband, a cop who is investigating a murder; the murder victim’s father; and the pilot’s daughter. All four characters have interesting backstories that explain their sometimes odd behavior. However, all four characters–young, old, male, female–sound exactly the same. The author was never able to give them each a unique voice, so it’s hard to remember who is narrating once you move past each chapter’s heading. I found the characters interesting and I did want to find out what happened next, but I never truly was drawn into their world. I’m more attuned to plot holes in mysteries than the average reader, and this book has one. Why would one character go to great lengths to cover up a crime, and then leave behind damning evidence where it was sure to be discovered? Answer: Because we’re getting near the end of the book and we have to solve the case. Grrr. Finally, I found the author’s penchant for sentence fragments really irritating. “Walking through the snow. Feeling the damp. Wanting to be home.” When my remedial English students do this, I pull out my red pen.

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