*I received a free copy of Just Fall from Ballantine Books via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
Warning: This book includes mature content such as: sexual content, and/or drug and/or alcohol use, and/or violence.
Published by Ballantine Books on 22 March 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller
On the night of her wedding to Rob, Ellie’s perfect world suddenly collapses. Her suave, charming, sophisticated husband is not the man she believed him to be. Could he really be a killer?
Ellie is rapidly swept into a lethal vortex of betrayal, lies, and uncertainty: Who is the man she married, really?
And how far will she go to protect him?
From Manhattan to the Caribbean, Rob and Ellie struggle to escape the grip of Rob’s former life - a life his employers are determined to ensnare him in for good.
When faced with a terrible choice—to become a murderess herself to save the man she loves, or to let him die—Ellie’s decision propels her into a whiplash-paced adventure, filled with cinematic twists and a startling sense of unease.
Just Fall is a dark, mysterious psychological thriller where the characters go to extreme lengths to hide what horrors they are capable of.
Just Fall is a well done psychological thriller where the layers of the story, and the layers of the characters are slowly unpeeled, until only the dark, ugly horror is left for the world to see. Told in several different points of views, and from both the past and the present, the story unfolds in a way that makes it hard to put the book down. At the beginning, it read as something between a love story and a horror story, where one of the main characters, Ellie, is observed by an external narrator who is speculating about what she is doing, and who she is with at a very dark moment.
I loved that there were several sub-plots that happened parallel to the main plot, and there were more than one story-line as well. I was immediately drawn in by Ellie, and her new relationship with Rob. They seemed to be such a normal couple in the beginning, but as their layers were slowly taken away, there was so much more to them than what met the eyes. Just Fall is the kind of mystery and suspense where the dark deeds of the characters are told with a certain detachment, and this detachment makes their actions seem both distant and somehow more gruesome at the same time.
More time was spent with Ellie and her inner thoughts than with the other characters, and that worked really well for me! While Ellie wasn’t necessarily the kind of main character I usually fall for, there was something about her that made me want to know her story, understand the reasons behind what she was doing, and her want for love and understanding. As the story unfolded, it became more and more complex, but never to the point of not making sense, and I enjoyed everything that transpired on the beautiful island of St. Lucia.
If you are looking for a slightly muted horror story, where the characters move everything, and where you will be left wondering what is truly going on until the very end, you should pick up Just Fall and see just where it takes you.
The next five years were absorbed by Mary Ann’s illness, like a sponge soaking up a rancid spill. Ellie’s parents were always at the hospital or seeking out some experimental cure. Ellie’s failures, her triumphs, her strivings and dilemmas, went unnoticed because Mary Ann took everything.
Stealth had stuck as a nickname. Ellie liked being called Stealth. It completely suited who she wanted to be in college, a departure from the inherited notoriety that had surrounded her when she was ‘the girl whose sister died.’ She was seen in her own right and had a cool nickname, one that also spoke to being unseen, which felt like a private little irony.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: