My #bookreview of #WhenWeFall by @aoifejclifford published by @ultimopress on 3.5.2023

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…

Aoife Clifford was born in London of Irish parents, studied Arts/Law at the Australian National University, and now lives in Melbourne. Aoife is the author of best selling literary crime novels, Second Sight, runners up in 2019 for Crime Book of the Year in the Davitt Awards, and All These Perfect Strangers, which was long listed for both the ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year and the Voss Literary Prize. She has been shortlisted for the UK Crime Association’s Debut Dagger among other prizes. Her award-winning short stories have been published in Australia, UK and US. 

Hugest of thanks to James at Ultimo Press for sending me a copy of When We Fall.

I’m always on the lookout for new Australian crime fiction and authors, it amazes me how there are so many talented authors in one Country! And I love Outback Noir and Australian novels.

When We Fall is a griping novel that’s part crime fiction and also literary fiction. Set in a smalltown in Australia with all the prejudices and rumours that exist in these towns, we meet Alex Tillerson a Barrister who has had to come back to her home town from the city to look after Denny, her Mum who is suffering from Dementia. On the first morning they are taking a walk along the shoreline when Denny stumbles onto a find that completely changes the whole reason for Alex’s stay in Merritt.

This is a wonderfully descriptive story that covers the emotional side of dealing with ageing parents, and the effects of murder on a small town. Alexi s driven by her compassion and sense of righteousness to help in the search for a murderer, which leads her into danger.

I loved When We Fall, there’s a diverse set of characters and they are very well observed, I found this an easy read and the plot was excellent, keeping me guessing all the way until the end. If you like small town Australia and all the claustrophobia, atmosphere and prejudices that go with it and strong female lead characters then this will be the book for you.

A very solid 4 star read.

Released on 3.5.2023 in the UK you can buy When We Fall HERE

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