I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.All Fall Down by M. J. Arlidge
Published by Orion Publishing Group on December 10, 2020
Genres: Crime, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Mystery & Detective, Police Procedural, Women Sleuths
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
Buy on Amazon
You have one hour to live. Those are the only words on the phone call. Then they hang up. Surely, a prank? A mistake? A wrong number? Anything but the chilling truth... That someone is watching, waiting, working to take your life in one hour. But why? The job of finding out falls to DI Helen Grace: a woman with a track record in hunting killers. However, this is one case where the killer seems to always be one step ahead of the police and the victims. With no motive, no leads, no clues - nothing but pure fear - an hour can last a lifetime...
When I was invited to read All Fall Down a few months ago, I had no idea what I was in for. I haven’t read Arlidge’s work before or heard of this series BUT…within a few breaths and a few pages I knew this was going to be a series that I would come to binge read. A story with a strong female sleuth with a tattered background but always focussed on the end result. Six hours later and I was guts deep into a compulsive story and I was 100% in.
All Fall Down is an ambitious story that fulfils on everything it promises.
How on earth do you write a review with so many threads spinning simultaneously without giving anything away?
This story was pinpoint accurate, and the historical elements kept me guessing and I loved the backdrop of the downs. It was compelling, and the story gave us plenty room to grow into characters, to explore the circumstances and to breathe the rotten core that was spilling out, all for the reader to investigate. I’m not ashamed to admit my mind flitted between numerous suspects to which I was wrong each time. The author managed to emit feelings of empathy for such morally corrupt characters deserves to be applauded. This crime series has everything, and the author wraps it neatly, fires it out of the barrel of a gun and the reader has to watch out for the ricocheting bullet.
All Fall Down highlights everything that is human about every person you meet. They are all hiding secrets, hiding pain and anguish and everyone is dysfunctional to a certain degree. We have characters disguising in plain sight, disguising at being good people but deep down they just can’t chase the darkness creeping in at the edges. Like I mentioned before, I haven’t read the previous books in the series, but it is easy to read the story without knowing a ton of background. Undoubtedly however, there has been a lot of groundwork already carried out.
All Fall Down brings back DI Helen Grace to investigate a whole new dark and disturbing case. A body has been found on a building site, a well-known man, mainly due to his traumatic past has turned up dead with ligature marks around his neck. His notoriety becomes the talking point as he was part of the group of schoolchildren who were held against their will and nearly killed by Daniel King. King was livid that they escaped but he managed to take back one of the kids and torch his farmhouse with the child still contained within. How is it possible that a person could survive such horrors only to be taken out in such a brutal act of violence.
DI Grace has her work cut out for her in this case. She needs to find a quick resolution to the crime before the publicity from it spirals out of control. She is fighting against a tsunami as another victim, Maxine Pryce has recently released a memoir outlining the details around their ordeal. Has this just put a mark upon all their heads and just why are some of the victims so reluctant for the truth to come out?
DI Grace also has trouble in her private life and although she mostly gets it spot on in her professional life, she sometimes gets it wrong in other avenues of her life. I felt really bad for her in this situation because even the best cops can’t see rat even in the heavy embrace of passion, it gets in the way, but once a cop, always a cop, she will route it out.
Arlidge creates characters that are so morally incomprehensible that rage is a common emotion whilst reading his books. He should be called the spider because his development of webs and strands and hooking the reader in with one whisper. The first chapter is an absolute doozy. A quick read that builds to a crescendo with the blink of an eye.
All Fall Down cements Arlidge as a highly skilled crime fiction writer. If you like the kind of book where you are constantly picking your jaw off the floor, then you need to pick up this one.
ABOUT M.J. ARLIDGE
M.J. Arlidge has worked in television for the last 15 years, specialising in high end drama production. Arlidge has produced a number of prime-time crime serials for ITV In the last five years, and is currently working on a major adaptation of The Last of the Mohicans for the BBC.