Review published on September 3, 2017.
In Tammy Cohen’s latest book we have a story from the viewpoint of several women protagonists. The book revolves around Hannah’s incarceration in a psychiatric clinic after what initially is an unknown incident. Hannah’s chapters are in the first person and so her role as an unreliable narrator is set. Her mother, Corinne, and one of the therapists at the clinic, Laura, are the other two main characters, both of which we read about in the third person. I did start to get an idea of what led Hannah to be a client (as they are referred to) at the clinic before it was revealed and I thought it was a very clever idea.
Hannah’s friends in the clinic are dying. Two of them have committed suicide and you may think that’s not unusual given where they are but Hannah thinks differently and that these women were in a more positive state of mind. She starts to think that maybe the clinic is not that safe a place to be.
I thought They All Fall Down was an excellent psychological thriller. As a reader I had no idea whether there was going to be something sinister about the deaths or whether Hannah was paranoid. The setting of a mental institution is a fascinating one and I found all the ‘clients’ so interesting and complex. As Corinne starts to delve deeper to try and work out whether the clinic is safe for Hannah we learn more about the background of the man in charge of the clinic and also about Hannah’s marriage. I really liked Corinne for her intense love for her daughter and her desire for the truth and she was probably my favourite character.
I enjoyed the ups and downs, the twists and turns of this book. And there was a twist or two near the end which took me by surprise. Tammy Cohen is skilled at weaving a tangled web of a story and I had no idea as to how it would end until actually I read it. Such a talented writer and this book was a pleasure to read.
Nicola Smith 5/3
They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen
Black Swan 9781784162467 pbk Jul 2017