They All Fall Down

"Charlie cut her wrists last week with a shard of caramelized sugar." The chilling opening sentence of They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen (When She Was Bad) makes it clear that the reader is in for a shocking psychological thriller.

A few months before the story begins, Hannah had an almost perfect life. She loved her job and her husband, Danny. But then she did something that shook Danny, and her mother, Corinne, to their cores. As a result, she is in a high-risk psychiatric facility called the Meadows. Charlie is one of Hannah's best friends there, until Charlie is found with her wrists slit. And she isn't the only woman to apparently kill herself, convincing Hannah that something dreadful is going on.

As Hannah tries to figure out what is happening to the patients, she tells her mother her theories. Corinne is alarmed at Hannah's apparent mental regression, but agrees to research the background of some staff members to try to ease Hannah's mind. When she finds inexplicable holes in the résumé of the clinic's charismatic director and sinister "gifts" start appearing in Hannah's room and on Corinne's doorstep, Corinne begins to wonder if her daughter isn't so crazy after all.

With many twists and turns that will leave the reader wondering just who is sane and who isn't, They All Fall Down is a well-written, gripping thriller. Fast-paced, with nuanced characters, it's a glimpse into the troubled minds of both victims and perpetrators. --Jessica Howard, bookseller at Bookmans, Tucson, Ariz.

Powered by: Xtenit