Book Review: How Far We Fall by Jane Shemilt

At the moment, for me, books are a little bit like buses: I read nothing for a long period of time and then smash through a pile in an incredibly short space of time. I’m not sure what it is about this time of year, but I find that I always find myself much more motivated to read now than I do in the earlier months of the year. Must be the weather! A few months ago I received a very exciting book in the post and I’ve been eager to get it read and reviewed since then: time hasn’t allowed for me to zoom through it in the way I would have liked, but I had some spare time last week and managed to read it in a single afternoon.

How Far We Fall by Jane Shemilt is attracting from the word go – armed with a gorgeous cover and an intriguing tag line The perfect marriage. The perfect murder? I had an inlking from the word go that this book would be one that I would really enjoy reading. It’s safe to say that I wasn’t disappointed and the story caught me from the offset.

Beth is a surgical nurse, full of grief after the loss of her daughter. She meets Albie, an ambitious neurosurgeon, at a party hosted by her former lover, Ted. Their relationship ends after Ted’s daughter goes missing and Beth births a still-born baby shortly after. Her feelings towards Ted are, quite naturally, toxic as she blames him for their child’s death. Ted also happens to be Albie’s superior, which puts her, naturally, in a bit of an awkward situation. In an unconnected turn of events, Ted offers Albie a promotion and the opportunity to lead on a trial for a possible cure to a rare children’s brain cancer. Slowly but surely the tables start to turn and Albie finds that Ted has taken credit for the hard-work that he has put in over the years. Couple this with Beth’s immense hatred towards Ted and it’s fair to say that no good can come from this situation and the two work together to come up with a final solution.

Jane’s characterisation is incredible. I found myself really connected to the characters – all of them, in differing ways- and her medical experience is evident throughout the story. The story was thrilling and I found myself imagining all sorts of crazy conclusions to explain bits and pieces about what happened. In the end, I didn’t need to imagine- every question that I had was answered fuss free and wrapped up beautifully at the end of the story. I’ve never read anything by Jane Schemilt before so I’ll definitely be going and picking up some of her other books next time I do a cheeky book haul. The story centres itself around manipulation, jealous and a web of lies – the story did start off quite slowly but it was quick to pick up the pace. Once you got used to the writing style it was a very enjoyable and well written piece of fiction. I’ll definitely be recommending this book to people who ask –  and probably to people that don’t, as well!

4/5.