Wednesday 13 December 2017

Thriller: They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan

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They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan
They All Fall Down by Cat Hogan

Eilis O'Hanlon

Cat Hogan is a young woman with a love of the sea who lives in Co Wexford with her musician partner and young children. Her first novel is about a young woman, also with a three-letter name, who moves into a cottage on the Wexford coast with a young son after the death of her aunt.

With any luck, that's where the comparisons end, because Jen's life is about to get too eventful for comfort, as she meets her new lodger, a widowed fisherman called Andy, for whom she feels an instant attraction. Not so welcome is his friend, the grandly named Scott Carluccio Randall, who always seems to be around, monopolising Andy's time and attention.

Something about Scott just doesn't feel right to Jen, and the dislike is painfully mutual, but her eclectic group of friends can see nothing wrong with the handsome, rich and outwardly charming young man. Jen keeps on digging all the same, and inevitably uncovers too many secrets, bringing herself and son Danny into danger.

It's hard to categorise this debut. The plot has the overall arch of a psychological thriller, and that's how it's being marketed. Much of it, however, reads more like a traditional novel of love and relationships, with intermittent chills.

Some of the tension is lost too, because the story is told from several different viewpoints - so the reader always knows more than the characters themselves.

Overall, though, They All Fall Down is a striking, confident start by the latest in a line of Irish female thriller writers, and the Wexford setting is beautifully realised.

Sunday Independent

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