Genre: Crime Thriller?
Falling by debutant Emma Kavanagh is one of those books which has a very interesting plot at the back cover of the book but fails to stand up to it. The narration is unimpressive and the characters are dull. There aren’t any tense moments or shocking revelations which could have given some respite to the otherwise wearisome thriller.
“Four people with something to hide.” “A town in mourning. A murder in waiting.” These phrases sent me a chill when I first picked up the book. The story begins with an airplane crash and subsequently follows the lives of four members- Freya, Tom, Jim and Cecilia and how that one drastic event changes their lives.
Freya’s father is the pilot of the crashed plane. She feels restless mainly because she isn’t devastated by her father’s death. Cecilia is the airhostess who survives the crash, something she wishes she hadn’t. Tom is Cecilia’s husband and a policeman who is given charge of solving a gruesome murder. He knows his marriage with Cecilia wasn’t working out and is struggling to find the right solution which wouldn’t affect their little son. Jim is the father of the murdered girl. He is determined to find out who hurt his beloved daughter. Apart from the plane crash, all these four people are connected but how? All these four people have something to hide but what? Who is responsible for the crash? Was it definitely an accident or was it deliberate? Who murdered Jim’s daughter? All these questions are answered in the rest of the book.
Every chapter follows the life of one central character. Freya’s, Tom’s and Jim’s chapters are quite interesting but Cecilia is a very tedious character. Her chapters really bored me and I had no qualms in skipping her portions. Her character plays a victim boarded with self pity and self loathing. I felt sympathetic at the beginning but it kind of became irritating after a point. The story is taken forward primarily with the character’s thoughts- what they feel, how they feel, what they want to do, etc and it becomes too repetitive. That’s when I missed some action. And that’s when I wondered if this book was actually even crime thriller?! Just because it had murder written on the cover, did I presume it was a crime thriller? The story does have some investigation which goes on in the background, but the primary focus is on building the connection between these four characters. The author succeeds in hitting the connection, but the plot turns very pale instead. The connection is too obvious. It’s always better to reveal the secret to both the reader and the character at the same time. The only respite is the suspense behind who murdered Jim’s daughter. But that just comes at the end for about two chapters. Description and thought process of the characters hindered the pace of the narration throughout. Just when some action begins to happen, it fizzles out with Cecilia’s character coming in.
What could have been a very interesting story ends up with just an interesting plot with nothing new to offer.