Book Review: They All Fall Down

The All Fall Down
When you are a patient like Hannah in a high-suicide-risk psychiatric clinic that has seen two sudden, unexplained deaths in a short time span, and you suspect something afoul, the chances that you would be taken seriously are next to nothing. Thus whatever assertions she has to the contrary go unheeded, even as she is frightened and unsure of being right just as she is of being wrong. Fearing for her life (if she is right) at the same time dreading the possibility that her stay at the clinic may get prolonged (if she is proved otherwise), Hannah has no choice but to face the trying circumstances to get out of it.

Switching between narratives of Hannah and her distraught mother Cornine, author Tammy Cohen cleverly interweaves the past and present, delving into Hannah's psychological trauma of having not been able to birth a child and the ensuing fallout ("I felt all the emotions so strongly they cancelled each other out, just as white isn't an absence of colour but all the colours blending together, giving the illusion if no colour at all," goes the line) all the while crafting a trail of clues that steadily builds tension, culminating in an intense, exciting climax. Because what's a thriller for if it gives us time to breathe? Highly recommended!