Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly

I’m delighted to be part of the blog tour today for Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly. Many thanks to Kate Keehan for the blog tour invite and review copy of the book.

Swan Lake is divided into the black acts and the white acts. The Prince is on stage for most of the ballet, but it’s the swans audiences flock to see. In early productions, Odette and Odile were performed by two different dancers. These days, it is usual for the same dancer to play both roles. Because of the faultless ballet technique required to master the steps, and the emotional range needed to perform both the virginal Odette and the dark, seductive Odile, this challenging dual role is one of the most coveted in all ballet. Dancers would kill for the part.

Ava Kirilova has reached the very top of her profession. After years and years of hard graft, pain and sacrifice as part of the London Russian Ballet Company, allowing nothing else to distract her, she is finally the poster girl for Swan Lake. Even Mr K – her father, and the intense, terrifying director of the company – can find no fault. Ava has pushed herself ahead of countless other talented, hardworking girls, and they are all watching her now. 

But there is someone who really wants to see Ava fall . . .

I’ve always been interested in ballet having taken lessons when I was younger and visiting the theatre many times with my mum from a very early age to watch visiting ballet companies perform. Swan Lake was always a particular favourite of ours and nowadays even a couple of bars of Tchaikovsky’s Dance of the Little Swans can give me goosebumps as those memories return. I thought that Watch Her Fall wouldn’t work as well as Erin Kelly’s previous thrillers due to the use of ballet as its backdrop but weirdly enough it worked EVEN BETTER!

Watch Her Fall is a wonderfully crafted novel that delivered such deviously brilliant twists and turns it kept me utterly absorbed from start to finish. I knew from the blurb that the book was set in the world of ballet but was surprised by how incredibly intense those first few chapters were, detailing the cut throat world of the prima ballerina and all the tension and back stabbing that goes along with it.

Without going into too much detail, Erin Kelly has delivered an extraordinarily gripping storyline-intriguing, fascinating and cleverly captivating with a series of twists that left me feeling like I’d pirouetted through the pages alongside with the characters involved. It takes a lot to surprise me but once again Erin Kelly confirms her place as the High Priestess of The Twist with her perfectly placed revelations.

Watch Her Fall is intricately plotted with a complexity of creativity that glided through the multiple viewpoints with a graceful elegance. I absolutely devoured it, revelling in the intensity of the richly dark and deliciously devious narrative, and loved every single word. Highly recommended!

I was born in London in 1976 and grew up in Essex. At Warwick University I read English, and began working as a journalist in 1998.

Growing up I reading classic suspense: Barbara Vine, Daphne du Maurier and Patricia Highsmith were my idols. I only really became a journalist because I thought it might be a good launch pad for writing fiction. It took me a decade to make the shift, but in 2008 I flipped my usual work routine: treating the novel as my day job and scratching a couple of hours’ journalism in the evening until six months later, I had a book.

I called it The Poison Tree.

My debut was good to me. ITV adapted it for television, it became a Richard & Judy bestseller and was longlisted for the CWA John Creasy Award. On 1 April 2010 I got an email from Stephen King saying ‘I wish I’d written it’ and was so convinced it was an April Fools’ joke that I didn’t say thank you for two days.

Since then, I’ve published seven more psychological thrillers and in 2014 I was chosen to write the novelisation of the BAFTA-winning Broadchurch.

We Know/You Know and He Said/She Said were also Richard and Judy picks, making me one of a select few authors to do a hat-trick. He Said/She Said spent twelve weeks in the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller lists and was nominated for a clutch of awards. My books have sold over a million copies and been translated into 25 languages.

My new thriller, Watch Her Fall, is a deadly cat-and-mouse game between two elite ballet dancers, set in a London theatre during a production of Swan Lake. It was written in lockdown. Described as Black Swan meets Killing Eve, it contains the most ambitious twist I’ve ever written.

As well as writing fiction I continue to work as a journalist and also teach creative writing. I live in north London with my husband and two daughters, and an ever-growing collection of toy lambs. Trust me, it’s best not to ask.

I’m currently working on my ninth novel, a thriller about bones, buried treasure and family secrets.

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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.