Book Review: They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall

They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall is a twisty and suspenseful locked-room mystery that was published in 2019. The novel follows the story of Miriam Macy, a young woman who is invited to a luxurious private island off the coast of Mexico, where she is promised a life-changing experience. However, things quickly take a dark turn when the guests begin to die one by one, and Miriam realizes that she is trapped on the island with a killer.

The novel is divided into two parts, with the first part introducing the characters and setting up the scene, while the second part delves deeper into the mystery and the dark secrets of the island. The pacing of the novel is well-done, with the tension and suspense building gradually throughout the story. The final part of the novel is a thrilling race against time as Miriam tries to uncover the truth and survive.

The characters in the novel are well-drawn and complex, with Miriam being a particularly interesting and well-rounded protagonist. Her personal struggles and past traumas add depth and complexity to her character, and her determination to survive and uncover the truth is admirable.

The mystery itself is cleverly done and keeps the reader guessing until the very end. Hall does an excellent job of weaving in clues and red herrings, keeping the reader engaged and constantly questioning what is really going on. The final twist is unexpected and satisfying, tying up all the loose ends and bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion.

One of the strengths of They All Fall Down is its setting. The luxurious private island is a character in its own right, with its opulent surroundings and secretive atmosphere adding to the tension and sense of isolation. The isolation of the island and the ocean around it adds to the sense of claustrophobia and danger, as the guests become trapped with a killer.

The themes of the novel are also well-done, with Hall exploring issues of race, class, and mental health. The characters come from diverse backgrounds and have different experiences, and the novel does an excellent job of exploring their motivations and struggles.

One of the criticisms of the novel is that the pacing can be slow at times, with some parts of the story feeling repetitive or dragging. However, the final twist and resolution of the mystery more than make up for any slow parts, and the novel is overall well-crafted and engaging.

They All Fall Down is a thrilling and suspenseful locked-room mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The well-developed characters, atmospheric setting, and cleverly crafted mystery make this a novel that is sure to satisfy fans of the genre. If you’re looking for a gripping and twisty locked-room mystery, They All Fall Down is definitely a book to consider.


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