Tuesday 6 August 2019

It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal @sheena_kamal @ZaffreBooks #Guest Review #TriciaBeckett #ItAllFallsDown

Life has always been a challenge for Nora Watts. Despite being good at finding people, personal relationships have never been her strong point.
Nora is a loner and used to just having her dog, Whisper, for company.
But when a man claiming to know her late father approaches her, she is unprepared for the memories that this encounter brings back.
Her father committed suicide when Nora was a child and what happened to him has always haunted her.
Heading to Detroit in search of the truth about his death, Nora expects to discover a reason behind his suicide. Instead, she finds more questions than answers.

It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal was published in paperback by Zaffre Books on 7 March 2019.

I'm delighted to welcome Tricia Beckett to Random Things today.
Tricia has kindly agreed to read and review books for Random Things, and It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal is her first review for me.

Hello!  My name is Tricia, 
I’m 46 years old and live in Rotherham with my husband.  
I have always been an avid reader, visiting the local library as a young child every week.  
I recently re-joined the local library - not for the want of books as I probably now own more than would be considered healthy, but to help support my local services.   
I mostly read fiction, particularly crime, psychological thrillers, spy novels and modern literary fiction.  
I love keeping up to date with new releases.  
When I’m not reading, I’m working as a counsellor, walking, horse riding or checking out some new book reviews!

Tricia's review of It All Falls Down by Sheena Kamal

This is the author’s second book in the Nora Watts series. 
Nora is a private investigator living in Vancouver. 
We meet Nora in the aftermath of the first book and it soon becomes apparent that Nora is dealing with the fall out of events from the previous outing, whilst also caring for a sick friend. Added to these troubles, Nora is approached by a mysterious stranger who knew Nora’s late father. The stranger implies there may be more to her father’s death than she was initially aware of and Nora decides to travel to Detroit to find some answers.

Nora is a troubled character. She appears to have few friends, is estranged from her sister, her father dead and her mother absent. She is emotionally closed down and struggles to trust people and to let them in to her life. 

As the book progresses we learn more about Nora’s early years and recent events, all of which help explain aspects of her character. Despite her difficulties, I liked and warmed to Nora. I wanted to know about the events that had shaped her and discover with her what answers lay Detroit. However, the first few chapters of the book were spent explaining events and people from the first book and it did feel like I was playing catch up. I feel the author could have brought new readers up to speed in a more subtle, nuanced way.

The secondary story in the book focuses on a fellow investigator, Brazuca, whom Nora evidently has history with. Although interesting, it took some time to understand how this strand of the story would gel with Nora’s story. On reflection, this may have become evident at an earlier stage had I read the first book. However, without spoiling the story, there is a nice set up to continue the adventures in the third instalment.

Overall, I enjoyed this tale. The story moved at a good pace, it kept me interested and I cared what happened to Nora. I look forward to the next book in the series.

Sheena Kamal was born in the Caribbean and immigrated to Canada as a child. 
She holds an HBA in political science from the University of Toronto, and was awarded a TD Canada Trust scholarship for community leadership and activism around the issue of homelessness. 
Kamal has also worked as a crime and investigative journalism researcher for the film and television industry-- academic knowledge and experience that inspired this debut novel. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

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