Monday 21 January 2013

How To Fall by Jane Casey

Reviewed by Georgina Tranter
Published by Corgi in 31st January 2013
Freya ran.
It wasn’t a night for running, and the woods weren’t the best place for it.  The full moon cast enough light to make it easy to see in the open, but under the trees it was one shade above pitch dark, and Freya was running blind.  Rogue branches caught at her clothes, whipped her skin, barred her path.  The ground under her feet was uneven, pitted with hollows and ridged with roots, and more than once she stumbled.
But Freya still ran.
She had long since lost the path, but she knew where she was going.  The sound of the sea was louder that the leaves that rustled around her, louder than the voices in her head. Slut.  Bitch.  Freak.  Voices she couldn’t outrun.
About the Author
Jane Casey is one of a band of established adult authors who have now turned their pens, and laptops, to writing for young adults.  With four crime novels under her belt, featuring Detective Constable Maeve Kerrigan, Casey has left her behind to write a beach story with a twist.
Jess Tennant lives with her mother in London.  Estranged from her father and her mother’s family, they only have each other – until the day her mum announces that they are off to visit her twin sister for an extended summer holiday in the sleepy seaside town of Port Sentinel.
When they arrive, Jess sets out to explore the local area only to be met with stares of confusion and shock from the residents.  She immediately feels uncomfortable and cannot understand why she should generate such reactions.  Only after meeting up with her cousins does Jess learn that she bears an uncanny resemblance to her cousin Freya who died a year ago after a cliff fall.
The more time Jess spends in Port Sentinel meeting up with those who were closest to Freya, the more she thinks that the verdict of suicide is the wrong one and she sets out to find the truth about Freya’s death.
Making new friends and enemies along the way Jess is embarking on a dangerous path to investigate what happened that summer.  Can she safely find out what happened to her cousin, or will Jess end up the same way?
I love Jane Casey’s work so was eager to see how she would write for a different audience and I think she pulls it off with this book.  My only question was would a
teenage girl try to play detective in a strange town over the death of someone she had never even met, but having finished the book I think you can see how it would all work out that way.  Jess is an inquisitive individual and it is her nature to question those around her, therefore attempting to solve a suspicious death wouldn’t seem that strange, particularly of someone she was related to.  The characters and setting were believable, particularly the ‘cool’ girls who I instinctively took a dislike too, and I loved Fine Feathers - the owl charity shop that Jess gets coerced into working in, with all its designer cast-offs selling for pennies.
This is billed as the first Jess Tennant thriller so I am keen to read the follow-up to How to Fall, which I am sure will be as gripping.  I’d certainly recommend this book as it does keep you hanging on to the end to find out whether Jess will discover the truth about Freya.


  1. Interesting post, I'm always fascinated to read of those authors who decide to write for a different target audience than the one they are best known for.

    1. There are definitely more authors trying to do that lately.


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