Book Review – They All Fall Down by Tammy Cohen

This is the second book I’ve read by Tammy Cohen. I’m going to be straightforward here – there’s no doubt the first one “When She was Bad”(review of that here) was waaaay better.

I was shamefully seduced by the persuasive text on the back cover, as well as the promise of a satisfying twist on the front . Hannah, currently a patient at a womens’ psychiatric boarding clinic was admitted there because of something she had done in the past. Of course, the writer leaves out what exactly she has done till about  halfway through the story. We’ll get back to that. So, the main plot lines follow alongside the death of two fellow patients Sofia and Charlie. Hannah suspects that there were murdered, and did not commit suicide as officially reported. No one seems to believe her as she is not exactly in the healthiest mental state herself; who’s going to believe a nutcase?

I felt this book was rather put-downable. I racked my brains trying to figure out what exactly made it so, and came up with several. One – there were too many characters with their own small tiny sub-plots that don’t contribute to the ending. After awhile, I just didn’t care too much for what happens to them and their small little problems. Two – the only exciting part was the last twenty pages out of 370. That’s about 5% of the book (yes i calculated that). Three (perhaps tied to point two a little) – there weren’t many nuggets of information being thrown at me, peppering my imagination. As a result, my impatient brain started taking on the burden akin to a lost and quickly getting weary traveler.

The ending was indeed somewhat unexpected, and did include said twist. I felt that Tammy Cohen’s novels have an identifiable quality to them. A plethora of characters thrown at you in the beginning – most of them will be irrelevant in the end. Out of these, a few of them will be important, and at  the end, one of the insignificant or least expected ones will serve as the plot twist. Oh wait, or is this applicable to basically ALL psychological thrillers? I’m not sure yet. I guess this just fell short of hooking me in.

Rating: 3/5

P.S.: the ‘thing’ that Hannah had done that earned her place in the clinic – I thought that would contribute to the ending, or tie up with her own state of mind, or something. Well….

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