Thank you to Aries Fiction for inviting me to join this blog tour and to Aries, Rachel Blok and Netgalley for a copy of this book in return for an unbiased review.
The sins of the past echo in the present in the new literary thriller from Rachael Blok.
The wind is cold this high up. The man shouts out, but nobody hears. The cathedral roof has caught his fall, but it will not hold him for long. The night is dark. And it is such a long way down…
On Good Friday, the verger of St Albans cathedral was supposed to be preparing the Easter service. Instead he discovers a man lying dead, fallen from the famous fifty-foot-high spire. Did he jump, or was he pushed?
For DCI Maarten Jansen, it’s a simple case of suspected suicide. Until a stranger, Willow, who witnessed the jump, prompts a deeper investigation into a long-buried past, involving a mental hospital, a pregnant woman, and fifty years of silence. As Willow’s own family history entwines with the case, Jaansen starts to wonder how everything is connected.
The Fall is a haunting literary thriller about loss, trauma, silence, and how our past shapes who we are.
The Fall is the 4th book in the DCI Jansen series however I only realised this when pulling information together for my post as the book reads perfectly well as a stand-alone. It is my first novel by Rachel Blok and I am looking forward to reading more of this series now.
When an elderly man falls to his death from the roof of the cathedral it initially seems like a simple suicide but as information begins to emerge, there is more at play that it first seemed. This is a tricky book to review without giving anything away but it’s a really enjoyable, slow burner of a crime book with literary features and a focus on mental health – particularly historic stigma and effect
The main narrator of the story is Willow, who is visiting the cathedral to show an exhibition and also for her sister’s wedding (which happens to be to one of the detectives on the case). Willow is a witness to the fall and the more the investigation learn, the more Willow’s life and history becomes entwined. Willow also has to put up with the tension between herself and her sister as the build up to the wedding puts more strain on their relationship.
There are also chapters from the perspective of Alice, a young child which also give insights into the crime. I like the way these were written, very childlike and innocent. A very interesting perspective to see things through.
The cathedral and it’s grounds provides a very atmospheric setting for this plot, kind of like a malevolent figure always casting a shadow onto everyone and everything. I found this a very clever use of a building.
In the beginning, The Fall may seem a little confusing with lots of characters and jumps in time but it really does cleverly pull together. The Fall is not the fastest paced detective novel but it is meant to unravel slowly and it really does become addictive.