Headline, February 2012
Earlier this month Claire McGowan was offering proofs of her debut novel on Twitter. I jumped at the chance as I love reading her blog even though I rarely read psychological crime novels. And you know what, I enjoyed The Fall.
The Fall is about a murder that takes place in a nightclub and the after effects of that incident. A former banker, Dan is arrested as his credit card is found at the scene. But Charlotte, his girlfriend, along with Keisha who was at the bar that night with her boyfriend, have to face reality and unravel the truth. The tag line to this book is 'What would you do if the man you love was accused of murder?' This is a book about Charlotte's fight to find the truth.
The three different perspectives told from Charlotte, Keisha and Hegarty, the arresting police officer, show the reader the way an act of violence can change ordinary lives. McGowan creates the split narrative in a very convincing way. Each character has their own voice and conflicting opinions on what is the truth. Ultimately the truth will tear the characters away from each other.
Through the course of The Fall, both Charlotte and Keisha need to let go of their past. Charlotte needs to escape from her cotton-wool, middle class lifestyle to face the realities of surviving on her own and taking control of her life. Keisha needs to face up to her life and responsibilities with her family and escape her violent boyfriend and get her daughter, Ruby, back from the authorities.
The Fall is very topical in the way it looks at how the recession effects live, sometimes for the worse, the way the media reports the 'truth' (especially around Dan, the banker), the gang culture in inner London and opinions about the police.
McGowan's writing style is very engaging. The reader may think they know what way the plot is heading but McGowan turns it around and hits the reader with something unexpected. The Fall held my attention with its twists and turns.
The Fall comes out in February 2012 and will be available online and offline.