Book Review

If I Fall by Merilyn Davies

We were told to meet at a rooftop bar.

Four friends, bound by one terrible secret.

No one knew why we were there.

Then we saw a woman, watched as she fell from the edge and plunged to her death.

The police think it’s suicide, but I know better.

Someone is sending a message.

Now they’re coming for us.


If I Fall is the second novel to feature DS Nell Jackson and civilian crime analyst Carla Brown following on from 2019’s When I Lost You.  I haven’t read the first novel, but If I Fall works quite well as a standalone.  There were a few points where I felt that I was missing some context, and there are references to the events of the previous novel, but these are minor points and don’t affect the main narrative. 

If I Fall comes with a relatively short blurb – it doesn’t say much, but what it does say is intriguing and I think that it’s an excellent premise for a novel.  I don’t want to go into the plot in any detail for that reason, but to say that I did not see the plot developing as it does is putting it mildly.  Davies throws some real curveballs into the narrative, taking the novel in a direction that I never expected but one that is both interesting and original.  It’s a great read, although what some of these characters have and do go through will make your blood boil.  To evoke that kind of reaction in the reader is difficult, and I love it when a book grabs you in such a way. 

I really like the two main characters, and in particular the somewhat unusual perspective of crime analyst, Carla.  Carla’s point of view adds something different to the novel, taking it beyond the usual police procedural / thriller, and I found it interesting to see the analytical side of the investigation alongside the more common police methodologies.  Davies’s own background is in this area, and it adds an air of authenticity to the proceedings.  I also like the balance between the characters’ personal and professional lives.  They come across as normal, realistic individuals who are trying and sometimes failing to navigate the day to day as well as doing their jobs just like the rest of us. 

If I Fall is published by Arrow and is available to purchase now in paperback, eBook, and audio formats.  Many thanks to the publisher and Lydia Spooner for the review copy.  I posted an extract from the first chapter as part of the blog tour, and you can read it here if you want a taster before diving in.

5 comments

  1. It’s so hard to talk about thriller novels! Sometimes I get in to page 30 and something seems like a spoiler, but….can you spoil a book only 30 pages in? There’s always a gray area.

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