Tuesday 9 May 2023

When We Fall by Aoife Clifford BLOG TOUR #WhenWeFall @aoifejclifford @RandomTTours @ultimopress #BookReview


In the wild, coastal town of Merritt, Alex Tillerson and her mother make a shocking find on the beach. The police claim it’s an accidental death but there are whispers of murder and that it is not the first.

‘It isn’t strangers you need to worry about here. Blood lines run deep and in unexpected places. Every victim, every accused, we’ll know. The past runs alongside us all the time. Some days it spills into the open.’

Bella Greggs was found dead at the bottom of a ravine but drowned in salt water. Maxine McFarlane was pulled from the ocean but with no water in her lungs. Black feathers were found with both bodies but what do they mean?

As Alex fights for answers to honour the dead, and to discover why her mother fled town as a teenager, good people keep looking the other way, memories become unreliable and secrets threaten to reveal the past.

Alex discovers the truth never dies but it can kill...

When We Fall by Aoife Clifford was published on 4 May 2023 by Ultimo Press. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours Blog Tour. 

When We Fall is a tense mystery story set in a small Australian town, led by main character Alex.

Alex's life has come to something of a standstill. Her husband is divorcing her and she's finding it difficult to get cases to work on. She's a barrister, as is her husband. She and her mother Denny have always had a rocky relationship, Denny was a single mother, abandoned by her own parents when she became pregnant and fled her home town.  However, Denny is now back in Merrit, living in the family home, watched over by a portrait of her father. Denny's health is failing, she has dementia and Alex has returned to try to organise some assisted living accommodation for her. 

As they walk along the beach one day, they are shocked to discover a severed limb in the sand. It becomes clear that that the victim is Maxine, a local resident. This is not the first suspicious death in the town though; a young girl called Bella was recently found dead on the river bank. 

Alex becomes heavily involved in trying to solve what she is certain are murders. The local police officer has other thoughts though, he is determined that both women died accidentally. When local gallery owner Robyn speaks with Alex, her suspicions are confirmed. There are many long-held secrets in the town, and some people who will go to great lengths to ensure that they stay secret. 

A complex, twisting story with a great sense of place. The town and surrounding forests, and of course, the lighthouse that stands proudly over the town become characters in themselves.

Alex is a character who is very layered, she's a determined and stubborn woman who often sees danger when it is too late, and finds herself in situations that become life threatening and terrifying. 

A satisfactory ending makes this such an enjoyable read. Aoife Clifford writes with style and flair. Recommended by me. 

Aoife Clifford is the author of All These Perfect Strangers, which was long-listed for both

the Australian Industry General Fiction Book of the Year and the Voss Literary Prize, and Second Sight, a Publishers Weekly (starred review) and PW Pick for Book of the Week. 

Aoife’s short stories have been published in Australia, United Kingdom and the United States, winning premier prizes such as the Scarlet Stiletto and the S.D. Harvey Ned Kelly Award.

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