If I Fall by Merilyn Davis

Today I’m sharing my thoughts on If I Fall by Merilyn Davis as part of the blog tour. Many thanks to Lydia Spooner and Arrow publishing for my tour invite and review copy of the book.

A gritty, heart-stopping crime thriller that will have you utterly obsessed.

We were told to meet at a rooftop bar.

Four friends, bound by one terrible secret.

No one knew why we were there.

Then we saw a woman, watched as she fell from the edge and plunged to her death.

The police think it’s suicide, but I know better.

Someone is sending a message.

Now they’re coming for us.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this book after having read and enjoyed the first book in this series When I Lost You. I loved the pairing of DS Nell Jackson and crime analyst Carla Brown so was thrilled that they were coming back again especially as this sounded a very intriguing case! Just incase you’re worried about reading the second book in a series before the first, then don’t be-this can be read perfectly well as a standalone with no real spoilers from the preceding book.

It’s a rather disturbing case for Carla especially as she was actually there on the rooftop bar and saw for herself the moment a young woman falls to her death. What caused such a dramatic reaction to friends being invited to meet that night? And who sent the invites to those gathered there and why? There is plenty hidden in their pasts and it’s up to Nell and Carla to look beyond the obvious and dig deeper into the connection between them all.

I loved the personal experiences of Nell and Carla in their previous outing and this continues here. Carla especially has a complicated home life with a continuation of a problem that was exposed previously.And Nell may have bitten off more than she can chew when it comes to her love life! This is a complex case for them with some heartbreaking and sometimes distressing themes threaded throughout.

Merilyn Davis has created two wonderfully different characters who have a great chemistry and placed them in the city of Oxford-a gorgeous setting but like any other city it has it’s dark side! This novel casts an eye over the shadowy side of university life and the friendships made there. It’s more of a slow burner than a fast paced crime thriller but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

An intelligent, thought provoking and skilfully stylish storyline.

10 things to know about me

1) When I was little, I had a Tortoise called Bannister – after Roger Bannister, the man who ran the first sub-4-minute mile. One winter he went to hibernate and in the summer my dad told me Bannister had woken and decided he wanted to see the sea. I remember looking over the fields into the distance, marvelling at a tortoise travelling that far, and it was only about twenty years later I realised my dad made it up and poor Bannister had died. Anyway, twenty years after that, I programmed Roger Bannister for the Chipping Norton Literary Festival and in the back room of a Methodist Hall, as he waited to go on, I told him the story of my tortoise. 

2) I hate macaroni cheese. 

3) Every now and again I sneak in another tattoo and hope my husband doesn’t notice. My 17yr old daughter and I bet each other how long it will take him to notice. I won the last one – eight days.

4) The character of DS Nell Jackson is named after the above 17yr old, but they couldn’t be more different.

5) I used to have a nodding toy dog on my desk when I worked in the Met. One day he disappeared. For the following month I got numerous postcards from him, detailing his excursions around London. Turns out the officers I worked with had more time on their hands than they probably would now… 

6) I have depression and anxiety. I’ve been on medication for about ten years. I feel lucky when I coast in neutral, good when I’m quite keen not to die but on the days when I want to live, it’s like seeing the beauty in a rainbow for the very first time!

7) My motto is ‘Be Kind, Be Brave.’ I actually stole this from the 2015 film ‘Cinderella’ with Lily James. I heard it and thought, yes, that’s me. I have a necklace by Tatty Devine saying, ‘Be Bold,’ so, in my defence, I had sort of thought of it first. There is also a bit in the film which says, ‘she saw the world not as it was but as it could be,’ and that’s totally me. Never accept what’s in front of you. I’m basically Cinderella and not just because I define my life through shoes.

8) I love Country music. Nanci Griffith is my favourite artist and so when asked who my editor at Arrow publishing is, I always reply ‘Emily Griffith’ instead of ‘Emily Griffin.’ She doesn’t know that though, so…

9) I’m an elected Councillor in West Oxfordshire. When things get heated, other Councillors lean over to me and whisper, ‘will you kill them off in your next book?’ It never gets old and I have a bank of victims ready to go. 

10) It took me seven years for Rebecca Ritchie of A M Heath to take me on and another year before I got a book deal. My advice, if you would like it, is keep on keeping on; be kind to yourself, be brave, and read romance novels because their structure is a masterclass in plotting regardless of the genre you write/read in.

Find out more about me on Facebook, here, http://www.facebook.com/merilyndaviesbooks

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.