‘Catch Me When I Fall’ by Nicci French

CatchMeWhenIFall

Fiction – hardcover; Penguin; 304 pages; 2005.

Holly Krauss is a bundle of energy. She’s young, vibrant, creative, attractive — and always on the go. Married to the lovely Charlie, a stay-at-home artist, she runs a company of her own with her best friend and business partner, Meg. But despite all her success, her whirlwind lifestyle begins to catch up with her. And when she goes on an all-night bender, the cracks begin to appear in her relationships and before she knows it her entire life is spiralling out of control.

As per usual, Catch Me When I Fall is fairly typical Nicci French fare: a woman on the run from dangerous forces, unable to trust anyone around her, not even her husband. And while this formula has worked very successfully in all of French’s previous novels (this is her seventh book), I found this one was a little too predictable. And some of the “thrills” slightly disappointing.

I also did not like the sudden change in narrator half-way through the book. This took some of the steam out of the engine, and it was difficult to adjust to the new “voice” and to find my bearings as a reader once again.

That aside, I still enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, and the build-up to Holly’s breakdown was well written, intriguing and difficult to put down. And the story, as with every other French novel, had a satisfying, generally well-rounded conclusion.

You could do worse than read this interesting thriller, but if you haven’t read anything by French before I would advise you try some of her earlier stuff: her back catalogue is filled with more gripping page-turning books than this one.

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