Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Review: They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall

They All Fall DownTitle: They All Fall Down
Author:  Rachel Howzell Hall 
Publisher: Forge
Publishing Date:  April 9th, 2019
Pages: 320
Genre: Mystery Thriller 
Series:  Stand Alone
Source:  Audio

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime.

Delighted by a surprise invitation, Miriam Macy sails off to a luxurious private island off the coast of Mexico, with six strangers—an ex-cop, a chef, a financial advisor, a nurse, a lawyer, a young widow.

Surrounded by miles of open water in the gloriously green Sea of Cortez, Miriam is shocked to discover that she and the rest of her companions have been brought to the remote island under false pretenses—and all seven strangers harbor a secret.

Danger lurks in the lush forest and in the halls and bedrooms of the lonely mansion. Sporadic cell-phone coverage and miles of ocean keeps the group trapped in paradise. And strange accidents keep them suspicious of each other, as one by one . . .

They all fall down

I was excited when I discovered this book on audible. I love Agatha Christie's – And Then There Were None. It is one of my favorite classic books and the first Christie I read. I read any retelling or inspired by books I find. I enjoyed this read. I found that there were enough similarities to say it was a retelling and enough differences to have the feel of a new story. I liked the story and I did enjoy the mystery. The writing was well. It was a good time.

Well there are 7 strangers that are brought onto an island. All under different prefaces of why they are going to the island. The real reason….. to die for their past sins. Lots of murder and gore. The characters die one by one and the main character does what she can to survive while trying to figure out who is behind all the deaths.

I found this to be a really good retelling of the original story. It had all the right elements of the original… the island , the deaths, the mystery of who the killer was… and I enjoyed the fact it was it’s own story. I feel that it was mix of Then There Were None and the movie Seven. Which I also enjoyed. So it was a good read for me. I was a little disappointed in the pacing and the reveal… but other than that I enjoyed this book very much.

What I liked… I really loved hating the characters. They were all flawed in a major way and that is why there were on this island to begin with. They all had something in their past that they needed to be punished for… if death is what you consider punishment. They all needed to atone for a sin. Finding out what they were guilty for was fun. They all had their reasons which was how they slept at night I guess. I could see how their messed up minds could find justification in what they did.. however the killer didn’t care. Anyways I loved reading all about their past and how their stories played into their deaths. I really didn’t like any of characters but that was okay for me. This isn’t the kind of book where you like the characters. They were very well written and very layered. For the story , they were well done and served their part well.

The main character, Miriam, was interesting and at times, I found myself wanting to maybe hope for the best for her and that she survives.. but other times I found her lacking in regret and empathy and I just could’t root for her. It was a love/hate relationship. I did like that her story was told on past and present moments. I enjoyed seeing her life and what made her who she was. Her story was a little more elaborate than the other characters.

Don’t let my lack of liking the characters in this book deter you from reading it. I promise… liking the characters isn’t something that was written into this story.

The pacing was a little slow at times and very exciting at others. I did have a bit of an issue with this… but it wasn’t too bad in the end. There were some very suspenseful and thrilling moments which made up of the slow a bit. The reveal was also lacking a little in the wow department. I think it couldn’t have been done a bit better with a little more oomph…. But I can say I didn’t know who and how and it was nice seeing how it all played out. I love the “how it was done” in mysteries. I think they are the best part.

I feel it was well done and of course not as good as It’s inspiration but well done and I really enjoyed it.

Rachel Howzell Hall

RACHEL HOWZELL HALL is the author of seven novels, including the critically-acclaimed Detective Elouise Norton series. The third novel in the series, Trail of Echoes, was published this past May and received a coveted Kirkus Star and was one of Kirkus Reviews 'Books That Kept Us Up All Night.' Land of Shadows and Skies of Ash (Forge) were included on the Los Angeles Times’ “Books to Read This Summer” for 2014 and 2015, and the New York Times called Lou Norton “a formidable fighter—someone you want on your side.” She is also collaborating with James Patterson and BookShots on the upcoming "The Good Sister." A featured writer on NPR’s acclaimed ‘Crime in the City’ series, Rachel has also served as a mentor in AWP’s Writer to Writer Program and is currently on the board of directors of the Mystery Writers of America. She was recently named one of Apple iBooks' "10 Authors to Read in 2017."


  1. Great review of the book! I feel like if I was stuck on an island for any situation, I'd be the first one to go LOL. I know zero defensive skills and zero survival skills.

    Elle @ Keep on Reading

  2. Holy cow, this sounds mad crazy and now I'm curious. Great review, I'm adding this to my wishlist.


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