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Book Review: After She Fell By Mary Jane Riley

Blurb (from goodreads)

There are so many ways to fall…

Catriona needs help. Her seventeen-year-old daughter Elena was found dead at the bottom of a cliff near her boarding school. The death has been ruled a suicide, but Catriona isn’t convinced.

When her old friend, journalist Alex Devlin, arrives in Hallow’s Edge to investigate, she quickly finds that life at private boarding school The Drift isn’t as idyllic as the bucolic setting might suggest.

Amidst a culture of drug-taking, bullying and tension between school and village, no one is quite who they seem to be, and there are several people who might have wanted Elena to fall…

Book Review (no spoilers)

After She Fell by Mary Jane Riley is one of the best psychological thrillers that I have read in a while. It is brilliant in all ways. The story starts after the death of Elena. Although, assumed to be a suicide immediately, details later emerge that cast doubt over the suicide theory.

The story is narrated from two main perspectives. There is the main narration by Alex as she investigates the death. The author also introduces an interesting perspective by having Elena as the second narrator. This helps create two timelines as Alex narrates about the present happenings surrounding the investigation while Elena helps readers put together the pieces providing a background to the story. She narrates her story from the months leading up to her death. I thought the two perspectives were very well narrated and helped move the story at a good, fast pace. Everything in the present was explained by Elena’s narrative.

I liked everything about this story. Alex is an amazing protagonist. She is confident, intelligent and brave. She is not deterred from the investigation despite so many obstacles. Alex also has a background story that is revealed through the narration. I thought that she was likeable and really enjoyed reading about her. I liked Elena too. She was a strong, young woman facing too many struggles but still fighting to stay strong and confident,

After She Fell by Mary Jane Riley is such a wonderful read. There is suspense maintained from the first to the last page. The narrative is so intriguing with a number of good twists that kept me turning pages. There are intricate themes intertwined through the story such as bullying, drugs, friendships, family and love.


30-RockI recommend this book to everyone who enjoys good psychological thrillers and mysteries. It’s the kind of book that will keep you trying to guess the identity of the killer up to the last page. After She Fell by Mary Jane Riley definitely gets 5 stars from me. I can’t wait to read everything else by the author.


11 comments on “Book Review: After She Fell By Mary Jane Riley

  1. Annie
    June 9, 2016

    This reminded me of another book… I think it was: The truth about Amelia or something like that. They looke pretty similar!

    • Diana
      June 9, 2016

      Its Reconstructing Amelia. I didn’t know about the book until you and Donna commented about the similarities. I just checked Amelia’s synopsis and yes, they are so alike. I am curious about the twists and the ending now. I wouldn’t mind reading Amelia. Thanks for bringing it to my radar by mentioning the similarities 🙂

      • Annie
        June 9, 2016

        Oh, that’s right haha It was pretty good, I don’t remember much but I know I read it fast 😀 Thank you for the review 😉

  2. Donna
    June 9, 2016

    Great review! It sounds a little like Reconstructing Amelia, which was a good read, except for the ending. I like the use of the two timelines to discover what happened. If done right, it is a powerful tool that helps build the right tension.

    • Diana
      June 9, 2016

      I had never heard about Reconstructing Amelia until today. Annie also commented on the similarities. I have checked the goodreads synopsis and yes, they are so similar. Exact plotline including the private school. I would like to read Amelia and see how it ends. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  3. wellthumbedbooks
    June 9, 2016

    This sounds fab, love books with present and past narratives 🙂

    • Diana
      June 9, 2016

      It is a good book. I hope that you will enjoy it if you get to read it 🙂

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  6. cleopatralovesbooks
    January 11, 2017

    Well if I didn’t already really want to read this book, I do now. Could I link to your review on 4 February when we do the Put A Book On The Map feature with Mary-Jane Riley?

    • Diana
      January 16, 2017

      Hey, yes please do.

      I still remember how much I loved this book and I hope that you will too 🙂

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