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The Fall

The Fall - Claire McGowan The Fall is the debut novel from Claire McGowan and tells the story of a murder investigation and journey to trial from the point of view of three characters: the wife-to-be of the accused, the girlfriend of an unsavoury man who happened to be in the same location as the victim and accused on the night of the murder and, finally, the investigating officer.

At first I found the switch from one perspective to another a little jarring because the switches seemed to happen with great regularity. However, as the stories intertwined, I got used to the style and actually enjoyed the switching perspectives. The three characters are very different - they're from different backgrounds, different worlds and have very different views. However, events bring them into very close contact with one another and lead them to form connections they never would have imagined.

I thought this was an excellent debut, raising some interesting questions about who you can rely upon when the unexpected happens. McGowan brought together some fundamentally flawed characters and revealed their weaknesses and vulnerabilities but in such a way that made you feel more tender and understanding towards them.

I would definitely be interested to read more of McGowan's writing in future and hope to see some grittier, more probing works that build on the success of this first novel.