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Author: Tom Bale

Published: 1 September 2016
Reviewed: 2 September 2016

5 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by Bookouture in return for an honest review

 

Description:

You tried to save a life. Now you’re fighting to save your own.

It’s the perfect Sunday. Summer sunshine, a barbecue with the kids.
But a knock on the garden gate and two words, ‘HELP ME’, changes everything.

When loving parents Rob and Wendy Turner let a dying man into their home, and do their best to help him, they think pure chance led him to their house. But soon their lives are threatened in ways they could never have imagined … and then the first anonymous letter arrives, forcing them to question all they know.

Someone is watching.
Someone is waiting.
They will stop at nothing.

Rob and Wendy will do anything to keep their family safe, but their children Georgia, Josh and Evan are teenagers now, with their own hidden lives.

Everyone has secrets, but how can you save your family, if you don’t really know them?

 

My Thoughts & Review:

All Fall Down is the much awaited latest thriller from Tom Bale.  Following on from the successes of See How They Run I was curious to see if Bale could repeat the heart stopping, fast paced rollercoaster of high intensity action and I can happily say that he absolutely has, in fact I would go so far as to say he has surpassed himself.

The story opens on the idyllic setting of a family barbecue on a sunny Sunday, what could possibly go wrong here apart from a few burnt burgers?  Well when the creator of this maelstrom is Tom Bale, you know it’s going to be worse than a few burnt offerings, and so the appearance of a broken and bleeding man begging for help really brings the happy, cozy setting crashing to the ground immediately.
As a complete stranger to the Turner family, it would seem that the man stopped at their house by chance, but quickly Bale instils doubt into the minds of his readers by implying that this may not be coincidental at all.
Someone in the Turner family has a secret, and it’s one that makes the family a target for an intense life-death situation.

The Turner family are the typical flawed family, awkward and complicated relationships between the family members help to make these characters realistic and engaging.  Delving into his complex characters, Bale cleverly writes so that the reader wavers between empathy and dislike (hatred at times) for them.

Violence does play an important role in this book, and if you feel that it can be uncomfortable to read I would recommend either skimming over the parts that make you want to stop reading or trusting the author to not get too graphic, he knows his audience and so knows when enough is enough, and changes direction with the narrative to give a reprieve.

The plotting is first class, skilfully written and takes the reader on an adrenaline fuelled rollercoaster ride, but unlike the fairground ride, you don’t get off after 5 minutes.  At times this felt like a claustrophobic read, the scenarios the characters find themselves in feel very real for the reader.

Utterly gripping, malevolent and one of the most thrilling novels I’ve read.

 

About the Author

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Author image & information courtesy of Amazon

Tom Bale has had a variety of jobs including retail assistant, claims negotiator and project manager, but none was as exhausting as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children. Tom has been writing since the age of seven, and completed his first novel at fifteen. After twenty years and hundreds of rejection slips, his first novel SINS OF THE FATHER was published under his real name, David Harrison. With his next book, SKIN AND BONES, he acquired an agent, a pseudonym and a book deal that enabled him to write full time. He lives in Brighton with his family.

For more information about his books visit his website  www.tombale.net, or follow him on Twitter: @t0mbale

 

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