Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

Falling

Rate this book
A plane falls out of the sky. A woman is murdered. Four people all have something to hide.

Jim is a retired police officer, and worried father. His beloved daughter has disappeared and he knows something is wrong.

Tom has woken up to the news that his wife was on the plane and must break the news to their only son.

Cecilia had packed up and left her family. Now she has survived a tragedy, and sees no way out.

Freya is struggling to cope with the loss of her father. But as she delves into his past, she may not like what she finds.

'Before the plane crash, after the plane crash, such a short amount of time for the world to turn on its head. '

336 pages, Hardcover

First published March 27, 2014

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Emma Kavanagh

11 books296 followers
Emma Kavanagh was born and raised in South Wales. After graduating with a PhD in Psychology from Cardiff University, she spent many years working as a police and military psychologist, training firearms officers, command staff and military personnel throughout the UK and Europe. Now she is lucky enough to be able to write for a living. She lives in South Wales with her husband, young sons, and a dog named Dobby.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
659 (19%)
4 stars
1,231 (35%)
3 stars
1,100 (31%)
2 stars
356 (10%)
1 star
97 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 392 reviews
Profile Image for Shelby *trains flying monkeys*.
1,561 reviews5,817 followers
June 27, 2015
Why did I finish this book? Well, I kept hoping it would get some excitement going and would redeem itself.
It didn't.


A plane crash happens and in the aftermath four stories are supposed to tie together. The thing is the whole thing was so sloppy. The plane crash happened and the reader is just given basic information about it. I never felt a dang thing for any of the characters.
Cecilia is a flight attendant on the plane who survives. We learn that she was leaving her husband Tom and small son. She is all depressed and usually I would care what happened to her. If she were not as flat as a pancake personality wise I might have. But nothing.
Her husband Tom is an investigator looking into the death of a young women. He is about the only character in the whole dang book that had a spark of my interest but I wouldn't write home about him.
Freya's father was the pilot of the plane that crashed. She knew he kept so many secrets that her mom continually looked over. Blah, blah and double blah. Hell, I can't even work up a good rant for this boring book. I'm bored even rehashing it for a review.
I'm done.
Profile Image for Christine .
569 reviews1,071 followers
April 1, 2015
I want to thank Net Galley, Sourcebooks, and Emma Kavanagh for an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an unbiased review.

I am awarding this book 6 stars. I don’t care if I can’t give it 6 stars. I am giving it 6 stars. After We Fall, a moody psychological mystery, is the superb debut novel by British author Emma Kavanagh. It is by far my favorite read of 2015.

Four narrators tell the story, which takes place over about a week, in rotating fashion. Tom is a DC for the South Wales police department. Jim has just lost his young adult daughter to murder. Freya is the daughter of the airplane pilot who was at the controls when a commercial airline crashed, killing over 100 people. Cecelia, Tom’s wife, is one of 13 survivors of the plane crash. For uncertain reasons Cecelia relates much better with strangers than with her husband and young son.

Over the course of the book these people and their stories are slowly weaved together. The mood of the story is pensive and reflective. It progresses like an onion peeling its layers, very agonizingly so (in a good way), towards the many answers of the many questions raised as the story is told. The ending is not Hollywood, but definitely satisfying.

What I liked most about this book was that it centered on the characters’ reactions to what was happening and how the events affected them personally. Yes, there were multiple mysteries, and there were terrific twists and surprises, but the introspective framing of the story absolutely captivated me. I could not be away from this book for very long before I just had to pick it up again not only to see what was happening to these people, but especially how they were reacting to what was going on.

There were times when I had to read over a part to get my bearings as Ms. Kavanagh occasionally makes an intentionally abrupt change of time or scenery right in the middle of a paragraph. Once I became familiar with this technique, I could adjust quickly.

Overall, I found this novel to be an outstanding, highly character-driven chiller. Ms. Kavanagh is clearly qualified to write such a book because of her background working as a police psychologist. I strongly recommend After We Fall (titled Falling in the UK) to all mystery, suspense and thriller readers, especially those who prefer character development to pure action. Remember the name. Emma Kavanagh. She is definitely one to watch.
Profile Image for Diane S ☔.
4,687 reviews14k followers
June 17, 2015
Loved this psychological, moody thriller. Four narrators tell us their stories in the aftermath of a plane crash where only twelve people survive. These four stories are expertly woven together to complete the picture of people who have trouble making the right decisions in the face of their pasts and their present. It was suspenseful because though we know how three of the stories are connected, the fourth slowly reveals its connection. Well written and a must read for those who love suspenseful novels.
Profile Image for Sue.
1,315 reviews5 followers
January 8, 2015
"After We Fall" by Emma Kavanagh is an amazing debut psychological thriller, that you will not be able to put down until you finish it. It is written by a former police psychologist, and her knowledge and experience in the field, is very apparent, in this well written novel. Be prepared to pay attention to the plot, clues and characters, so as not to miss some of the reveals.

A plane crash, a murder, and four people who all come together...with secrets.

This novel explores four people, whose lives fall apart, in the aftermath of the plane crash.

Jim is a retired police officer.His daughter is missing, and he senses something is wrong.

Tom, a father, husband and police officer, is investigating the murder case while also struggling with parenthood and a marriage that never should have happened.

Cecilia, Tom’s wife and flight attendant on the crashed plane, has to deal with the grief of surviving the plane crash. But it was on this day that she had walked out on her husband and young son, to start a new life...but now everything has changed. Her life had changed on a dime, and now she has no way out.She has many secrets from her past.

Freya, the daughter of someone who died in the plane crash, trying to find out who her father was and what secrets he had to hide.

The novel deals with the emotional state of the characters throughout the book. They are all troubled, they all have secrets,and they are all trying to figure out how to deal with their lives. The author devotes each chapter to each character and immediate family, thereby developing four POV's and sub-plots. They each tell their story, starting at the same point in time. As the story progresses we also get flashbacks to their lives before the plane crash and we get to see everything that made them the person they are now. This made them all human. It is a story about good people who make bad decisions, and how they deal with the consequences.

I highly recommend reading this novel.

I wish to thank Netgalley, the publisher and the author for the advanced copy, in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jan.
423 reviews248 followers
February 17, 2016
WOW, JUST WOW!!!!!

I wish I could rate this more than 5 stars! This is one of my top 5 books I've read all year and I am surprised that it hasn't gotten the hype that 'A Girl on The Train' has. I can see this actually being made into a movie.

After We Fall is a dark, intense psychological thriller that explores four lives that fall apart in the aftermath of a plane crash. Unraveling what holds these four together is a tense, taut tale about good people who make bad decisions that ultimately threaten to destroy them.

I think what impacted me right off the bat was the author's ability to make me FEEL all the emotions that the 4 characters where emulating....sadness, anger, anxiety, fear, isolation to name a few. Each of these character's felt REAL to me, I cared about how this all played out for them and was impressed with how believable the individual storylines were.

Last, it has to be noted how well the author kept me guessing and on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Just when I thought I had it all figured it, the story moved in a completely different direction. The final chapters where it all is put together is genious!! My jaw actually dropped when I read the final twist-did NOT see it coming!

My only complaint would be that I did find some of the past to present tense narrations confusing at times and had to reread some to clarify which tense I was in. This still was not enough to drop this lower than a 5 star rating.

Highly recommend to all that love not only a good thriller, but a book that allows you so inside the minds of the characters that it takes you a few minutes to get back into the real world once you've put the book down.

My thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and author for this ARC for an honest review!


Profile Image for ☮Karen.
1,450 reviews9 followers
March 14, 2017
A really fine mystery/psychological study following a plane crash and a local murder of a young woman. The audio is read by one of my favorites, Jayne Entwistle, and is a good character study of some of the survivors -- of the crash and of the murdered woman's family. I had a wee bit of a problem at first keeping all the people straight in my head, but quickly caught on. Cecelia's family in particular was intriguing because on the day of the crash she had actually moved out on her husband and little boy, and then things are really in upheaval afterwards. She was an interesting character who could not let go of the past long enough to get a grip on her present situation.

Made even better because it's a debut. I would seek out this author again.
Profile Image for Jean.
705 reviews20 followers
August 3, 2015
How horrible! Those poor people! Isn’t that what we think when we hear of a disaster? In recent years, and in recent months, especially, news of airliner crashes has filled the media.
After We Fall, sold in the UK as Falling, focuses on the aftermath of a tragic plane accident. Specifically, we see the impact of the catastrophic event upon the lives of others through the narration of four individuals: Cecelia, a flight attendant who survived the crash and helped rescue several passengers; her husband Tom, DC for the police in South Wales; Freya, daughter of the pilot, and Jim, a retired policeman whose daughter, herself a member of the police force, has just been murdered.

Each person has his or her own story apart from the crash – her own brokenness, his own baggage. This is a difficult review to write without dropping any spoilers in the rubble, so I will not reveal any plot specifics. The thought that kept running through my head as I got deeper into the lives of these families was “six degrees of separation.” It was remarkable, not only that Emma Kavanagh was able to weave such an intricate interconnection among these characters, but especially that this is her debut psychological thriller!

Ms. Kavanagh’s training and background have prepared her well for this effort. She has a Ph.D. in Psychology and has worked as a police and military psychologist – excellent fodder for creating characters who are struggling with the aftermath of a life-altering wreck. The mystery of the plane crash was not so difficult to solve, but the death of Jim’s daughter Libby was a head-scratcher. I had an idea, but it turned out I was only partially correct.

What gives this book its wings, however, are the emotions and the relationships of the characters. Not everyone in the book is likeable; I found it hard to “bond” with Cecelia, a woman who had some memories she could not shed and who finds it easier to relate to strangers than to her husband and young son. Tom, her husband, seems relieved when he has to work rather than talk to his wife. He seems to be the perfect father but not a very good husband. Freya knows that her father had affairs, and she seems to want to put the secrecy behind her and force her mother to admit that her marriage had issues. Freya has difficulty grieving him. Jim, the ex-cop, is devastated by his daughter’s death and can’t seem to let her go – he has a response that nearly has fatal consequences.

Each and every person originated from the creative brain of Emma Kavanagh seemed real to me, and as their lives became more entwined, I also became joined in their story. Give After We Fall a chance. I am very glad that I did.

Five stars



June 25, 2015
When a book has been written from multiple viewpoints - it is either a resounding success or an absolute disaster. After We Fall is a resounding success.

This book comes together like a beautifully knitted Aran Sweater.....you start with a pile of wool and too many needles. Threads slowly form, that are then wrapped around each other, intertwined into a series of twisting and turning cables that result in an artisan crafted treasure.

The writing is superb. The characters are masterfully created. There is not one that I did not, at some point, want to throw my arms around to console, comfort or encourage. The writing is tense and suspenseful.

When a young woman is found to be missing and a plane crashes into a mountainside on the same day - the two incidents can't possibly be connected, can they?

This is a story of relationships, as much as murder. And a story not to be missed.

Thank you to NetGalley, SOURCEBOOKS and author Emma Kavanagh for the opportunity to read After We Fall in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Maxine (Booklover Catlady).
1,286 reviews1,247 followers
May 21, 2016
I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, my thanks for the opportunity.

This is a great book that has so many complex characters who all intertwine and have their lives be touched by each other. It's an attention grabbing read, I enjoyed it in an afternoon of reading and trying to put all the pieces together as I went along.

Two major events happen at the start of this book, a passenger plane falls out of the sky with the loss of lives and a woman is murdered. Enter the cast of characters that are connected to the various events, but all is not as it seems.

A brilliant debut psychological thriller by a former police psychologist.

A plane falls out of the sky. A woman is murdered. Four people all have something to hide.

Jim is a retired police officer, and worried father. His beloved daughter has disappeared and he knows something is wrong.

Tom has woken up to the news that his wife was on the plane and must break the news to their only son.

Cecilia had packed up and left her family. Now she has survived a tragedy, and sees no way out.

Freya is struggling to cope with the loss of her father. But as she delves into his past, she may not like what she finds.

‘Before the plane crash, after the plane crash, such a short amount of time for the world to turn on its head.'


This book is really clever the way it moves along and reveals tiny bits of connected information as it swings across different points of view of many characters, you need to stay alert or you will miss something good.

The characters are written really well, the plot is interesting and it moves at a really good pace. I wasn't expecting some of the reveals and surprises that came out of this book as the secrets and lies start to uncover truths. I had a few shocked moments as the reader, I love that, when a book can surprise me.

It was like "Oh! what?" and "No? Not her?" you know those moments? I think I talked to the pages a few times. I also went back in my memory and pieced things together to get to the "ah-ha!" moment.

It covers a lot of things too in it's pages, relationship issues, family dynamics, parenting complexities, regrets, deception, love and trust. There is emotive stories in the book, real people tackling real issues, the feelings are tangible from many of the characters.

Emma has written an engaging, engrossing and clever book that will appeal to just about anybody who loves a good read. I felt a bit like a sideline Detective reading it as I wanted to write down who was doing what, and who knew who and tried to work out the ending. I didn't guess everything, the book did a good job of keeping the wheels turning and not revealing too much, too soon.

A gripping and enjoyable novel, highly recommended.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,385 reviews978 followers
October 1, 2013
Coming March 2014 from RandomHouse UK



First of all thank you kindly to Random House, Emma Kavanagh and Netgalley for the review copy.



A plane falls out of the sky. A woman is murdered. Four people all have something to hide.



Right I could probably write a whole book myself about how much I loved this one but I will try to keep to the salient points..and avoid spoiling what is a wonderful, multi-layered character driven story that needs to come with a sleep deprivation warning….in the best possible way.

It has been tagged as a psychological thriller and it is that yes, but I hope that this will not put people off who don’t tend to read that type of novel – because when I say this is multi layered I mean exactly that. Yes there is a murder – and yes you will want to know who and why and all the usual things you want to know when reading a crime or thriller tale, but as you head into the novel you will discover that at its heart are people. Humans. Fallible, emotional, occasionally annoying people..who make right decisions, wrong decisions, get caught up in life events beyond their control and deal with it in oh so many different ways. Just like the rest of us..

Told from various points of view, chapter by chapter, we follow the aftermath of a plane crash alongside the aftermath of a murder. Falling is a perfect title and a theme throughout the story – in the literal sense of falling from the sky and the more metaphorical sense of falling through life. Poetic prose and a compelling flow to the narrative makes this hard to put down and leave for a while…I managed but only just.

Usually I might give a run down of some of the characters at this point of a review but in this case discovery is key to the reading experience – therefore I give you one. The one that touched my reading heart. Cecilia, wife, mother, torn between wanting and needing things she cannot clarify resonated with me for very personal reasons. And surrounding her are many others with just as much heart and soul…you will find someone there for you without a doubt.

The various strands of the story are brought together in an adept and fascinating way to give us the ultimate conclusion – and this is one of those books where you will wonder for a long time afterwards what may have happened to these characters next. I imagine them out there…somewhere…

The last time I felt this way about a debut novel was when I read Elizabeth Haynes “Into the Darkest Corner” – that feeling that tells you another author has come to the fore that is going to ultimately offer you many long and happy hours living another life in another story…

Happy Reading Folks!
Profile Image for Mish.
222 reviews96 followers
September 14, 2015
A remarkable debut novel from Emma Kavanagh. I know from talking to people while reading the book, how much they love travelling, but can’t not bring themselves to read or see movies that involves plane crashes. But unlike my husband, who before our US trip, would be happily watch Air Crash Investigation and it wouldn’t faze him.

So if you are planning on travel soon, I would probably avoid it for moment. The terrifying event of a plane crash happens immediately in ‘Falling’. You can’t skim or close your eyes, because you are also getting an indication of what is troubling one of the main characters and her state of mind. The crash was quick but the sensation is forceful as the plane plunges down to earth - the feeling will never EVER leave you throughout the book. I’ve only seen plane crashes in movies or documentaries but never experienced it being described in a book; it was affective, the introduction is traumatic and realistically described.

Soon after this incident we follow four individual characters, before and after the event. Jim, a retired police officer, checks in on his daughter, only to find her not at home and the feeling that something is a bit offbeat. Cecilia, an airhostess on the plane, plans to never return home, but why and whom is she running away from? Tom, a father, husband and police officer, troubled by his marriage to a woman he barely knows. Freya who is disturbed by the rumours circulating about her father, an important person on that plane.

The way this book is structured, I initially thought I was reading four individual short stories as each chapter alternated between four characters and their story seem unrelated to each other. But as it progresses, I can see a faint link, growing stronger and stronger as I read on. It’s part mystery and suspense, as they try to unravel a murder, secrets and the mental state of one of the deceased, but it is also about relationship, marriage and parenting. The sense of grief and confusion are strong that it was hard not to feel sympathy. The characters were not perfect but they good people; they just made bad decisions in life that ultimately destroyed themselves and the people close to them. The weather was bleak and dismal, with the cold winds and ice sinking into your skin, which adds atmosphere to the upsetting situation, they are in.

While the mystery was slightly predicable about ½ way through, it didn’t concern me so much. I still found it to be entirely absorbing, frightening and would highly recommend it.

Thanks to Random House UK, Cornerstone and Netgalley for my review copy
Profile Image for Shelleyrae at Book'd Out.
2,419 reviews497 followers
June 17, 2015

From the sky above South Wales a plane falls, on a snowy river bank below, a woman's body lies.

Unfolding from the perspectives of four characters, After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh (first published as Falling) is a multi-layered story of low key psychological suspense.

Flight attendant Cecelia, who that morning had resolved to leave her husband and son, is one of only a handful of survivors of the crash, wondering why she lived when so many didn't.

Freya is the 24 year old daughter of the plane's pilot, determined to protect her family from the horrifying suggestion that her father deliberately caused the crash.

Frustrated with his wife, police detective Tom throws himself into the investigation of the murder of PCSO Libby Hanover.

Jim, a retired police superintendent, is the dead woman's devastated father.

As the protagonists each grapple with their private tragedies, the plot follows the investigation into the doomed plane alongside the investigation of Libby Hanover's murder, slowly uncovering shocking connections between the two incidents.

Informed by her extensive career experience in psychology, Kavanagh creates four complex, though not always likeable, characters struggling with difficult pasts and complicated relationships, whom drive the narrative of this novel. All become entangled in the mystery that surrounds both the downed plane and the murdered woman, in both direct and indirect ways, as the author skillfully weaves the multiple threads together.

After We Fall is an impressive debut novel, an atmospheric and tense tale.
Profile Image for ReadAlongWithSue .
2,636 reviews170 followers
September 8, 2014
Absolutely gripping read.

This book starts off so dramatically it keeps going right until the end.

A woman who walks out on her husband and young son. A daughter who works in the Police force goes missing and at first her Father has difficulty explaining to the officers that attend its more serious than they think........until the Father mentions the blood traces, then the officer takes note!

There is so much happening in this book, crashes, tragedy, wow, so much, its gripping, you just don't want to do anything else but read this book, hence, I had places I needed to go today to run errands and at any given time I had to wait, I had my Kindle out. I don't care what people thought of me, but I just wanted to finish this book and see where it was headed. WOW.

Thank you to Random House UK, Cornerstone via Net galley for allowing me to read this complimentary book in exchange for an honest review.

If you like a good psychological thriller, something that holds your attention, I recommend this.

It was great too, as I could relate to many of the places living in this side of the UK
Profile Image for Brenda.
725 reviews150 followers
August 6, 2015
One family is relatively normal, the second is dysfunctional and filled with secrets, and the third is barely a family at all. The lives of these family members intersect in many different ways. The chapters are labeled and told from one person's point of view, and it is easy to follow. Within each chapter the person thinks in both present and past. The psychological angst for each character is portrayed very well, whether the character is a husband/wife, brother/sister, or parent/child. There's no adrenaline rush here, just a slow simmer until it comes to a full boil at the end. I really enjoyed this book.
Profile Image for Elaine.
604 reviews229 followers
May 26, 2015
I recently read and enjoyed Hidden by Emma Kavanagh so was quite pleased to be able to pick up After We Fall, which is a reissue of her debut novel, originally titled Falling. I have to say I much prefer Hidden, After We Fall just left me feeling a little disappointed and I doubt very much whether if I had read this book first, I would have bothered with Hidden afterwards. The thing is, I cannot put my finger on exactly what it is about this book that bugs me.

The story takes place in the aftermath of a plane crash in Wales with only 13 survivors and is told from a number of different viewpoints. The first person we meet is Cecelia, one of the survivors and I do think some of my feelings about the read could possibly be down to her. She plays quite a major part in the story and whilst it isn’t always necessary for a character to be likeable, I can’t think of anything positive to say about her. She just comes across as uncaring, selfish and whiney for most of the read. Her husband Tom is a policeman who is investigating the murder of a young policewoman, Libby Hanover. I liked him much more than Cecelia, and really felt for him for quite a lot of the read as he juggled the demands of his job, Cecelia and their young son. He just came across as a far more believable and sympathetic character.

We also see events through the eyes of Freya, the daughter of the pilot of the crashed plane and watch her and the rest of her family trying to come to terms with the news, each in their own ways. I have to say though, that her grandmother deserved a smack in the mouth – I really didn’t like her at all!

Whilst the two strands of the story are linked, we only get the full picture right at the end although I did guess some of, but not all of what was going on. The first part of the book seemed a little slow and dragged a bit but I thoroughly enjoyed the second half (except for when Cecelia showed her face). It is a really good storyline, which keeps you guessing as to what happened with the plane and what happened to young Libby. To sum up, it is not a bad read, just nowhere near as good as Hidden. Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.
Profile Image for Margaret Madden.
755 reviews165 followers
July 4, 2015
When a plane crashes down in the snowy Welsh landscape, grief and shock is peppered with unanswered questions. Why did the pilot choose to fly in such dangerous weather conditions? What exactly happened to cause such a tragic event? The pilot, Oliver Blake, has years of flying experience under his belt and his daughter, Freya, along with the rest of the family, struggle to come to terms with their loss. Surviving crew member, Cecelia, has her own inner demons to battle. She was about to leave her husband and child before the plane crashed and now feels trapped in the prison that is her own home. Meanwhile, the daughter of a former police superintendent has disappeared and her father suspects the worst. In the aftermath of an aviation disaster, will a missing person fall through the cracks? Are a few drops of blood enough to make the police take her disappearance seriously? As the town mourns the great loss of life from the flight disaster, DC Tom Allison investigates the case of the missing Police Community Support Officer, under the watchful eye of her devastated father. When a body is discovered, the atmosphere turns to one of overwhelming grief and a need for answers...

This clever novel has many interlacing narratives, each with its own voice. The crew of the doomed flight, their families, the victims and the survivors. The missing PCSO and her heartbroken father, stripped of his former police authority and feeling helpless. The investigating detective and his struggle to balance his work and family lives. Throughout the novel, there is the cold, crisp presence of snow and the landscape is one of quietness and grief. The reader is party to separate character based chapters and there is a wonderful sense of getting the whole picture. Descriptions are detailed, sharp and intriguing, different personalities are combined without clashing and each character deserves equal attention. This is a psychological thriller with echos of real life events (coincidentally), that asks the age old question, 'How well do we really know anyone'? Emma Kavanagh is an astute writer, reeling the reader in at a steady pace, making each chapter a teaser for the next. Definitely an author to watch out for. A great read, written beautifully, but maybe don't read on a plane (as I did)!
Profile Image for Jenny.
1,603 reviews55 followers
April 6, 2017
Falling is a psychological thriller and the first book written by Emma Kavanagh. Falling follows three families Handover, Allison and Black and how an aeroplane crash and murder of a young girl Libby intertwine the families that climax in a conclusion that was not expected by the reader.

I enjoyed the writing style of Emma Kavanagh and her portrayal of her characters. Also, the way Emma Kavanagh entwines the four main plots of the story that keeps the readers of Falling involved.

The readers of Falling will learn about the problems women have in bonding to their children after raped or trauma. Falling also highlights the challenges that law enforcement has to keep a happy family life. Also, the readers of Falling will see how two set of siblings interact with each other.

I recommend this book.
Profile Image for Malia.
Author 6 books542 followers
August 29, 2017
"After We Fall" was my first book by Emma Kavanagh, though I've been thinking her mysteries sounded very intriguing for a while. I got this book very cheaply as an audiobook, and perhaps this was a mistake. The narrator in this case, has such a huge role in how the book comes across, and unfortunately, it wasn't terribly good for me.
The premise is actually very interesting, and I am always curious about authors weaving together strands of a story through multiple POVs. I felt that the narrator of this book just didn't bring across the emotion the difficult story should have evoked in its characters. The first half was a little slow and I have to admit, I was confused more than once about who was who and the time jumps. This became clearer near the second half, by which time the pace had also picked up. Based on the second half, I would give the book four stars, but as a whole, including the lackluster narration, I can't quite go that far.
Kavanagh has a nice writing style and the way she fleshed out her characters was effective, so I am curious to read another book by her (this time no audio for me, I think;-) and see how I like it. I ordered "Hidden" ages ago, and look forward to see how this next book by Emma Kavanagh measures up.

Find more reviews and bookish fun at http://www.princessandpen.com
Profile Image for Janet .
338 reviews97 followers
October 4, 2014
Thank you to Netgalley, publisher and author for the advanced copy.

Falling is a psychological thriller that I enjoyed very much. Set against a backdrop of a plane crash and a murder, the story slowly intermingles at a pace that keeps you very much interested. The strength here though is that the book is very much character driven. Told from different viewpoints with every chapter you become totally engrossed as life stories and events unfold. All the characters felt real, plausible, heartbreaking and soul searching to the extent I just wanted to reach out and give some of them a hug or two. There are some surprising reveals along the way especially towards the end and the whole thing wraps up fittingly, I feel.

If you're looking for a character driven psychological thriller that will really touch you at times, then I recommend this one. It's a great read that I won't forget in a hurry. Can't wait to see what Emma comes up with in her next novel.

It's not often I give out 5 stars, but here I'm not hesitating.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Profile Image for Jayne.
465 reviews150 followers
February 18, 2022
Great premise, poor execution.

A plane crash and a murder? Did the pilot purposely crash the plane? Was there a connection between this plane crash and a murder in a small town?

This 2015 book escaped my radar and after reading many 5-star reviews for the book, I was instantly intrigued.

The book's pacing was very, very slow-burn and, therefore, this book was a "no go" for me.

I finished the book but it was painful. I prefer fast-paced plots with no author tangents.

I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did a superb job.
Profile Image for Christa.
2,214 reviews419 followers
August 28, 2015
After We Fall is about four people who were connected by a plane crash and the way their lives fall apart afterwards. I found it very compelling and difficult to put down. The storylines were interesting and I felt invested in the outcomes. Most of the characters were not terribly likable, but I felt sympathetic toward most of them, particularly Cecilia and Tom. I liked the book and will be interested in more by this author. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing an ARC in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Bruce Hatton.
452 reviews59 followers
May 20, 2017
A plane crashes in a snowstorm in south Wales. The dead body of a young female police officer is discovered nearby. Emma Kavanagh's debut novel is a slow moving psychological thriller which eventually reveals what links the two tragedies. It is told from the viewpoints of four characters in alternating chapters. However, for me, the only one of these characters who really came alive was Tom, a police officer investigating the murder and the estranged husband of one of the crash's few survivors. I did find the chapters revolving around the other characters a bit heavy-going and the eventual denouement was hardly the shock or surprise I was expecting.
Profile Image for Jean.
705 reviews20 followers
August 3, 2015
How horrible! Those poor people! Isn’t that what we think when we hear of a disaster? In recent years, and in recent months, especially, news of airliner crashes has filled the media.
After We Fall, sold in the UK as Falling, focuses on the aftermath of a tragic plane accident. Specifically, we see the impact of the catastrophic event upon the lives of others through the narration of four individuals: Cecelia, a flight attendant who survived the crash and helped rescue several passengers; her husband Tom, DC for the police in South Wales; Freya, daughter of the pilot, and Jim, a retired policeman whose daughter, herself a member of the police force, has just been murdered.

Each person has his or her own story apart from the crash – her own brokenness, his own baggage. This is a difficult review to write without dropping any spoilers in the rubble, so I will not reveal any plot specifics. The thought that kept running through my head as I got deeper into the lives of these families was “six degrees of separation.” It was remarkable, not only that Emma Kavanagh was able to weave such an intricate interconnection among these characters, but especially that this is her debut psychological thriller!

Ms. Kavanagh’s training and background have prepared her well for this effort. She has a Ph.D. in Psychology and has worked as a police and military psychologist – excellent fodder for creating characters who are struggling with the aftermath of a life-altering wreck. The mystery of the plane crash was not so difficult to solve, but the death of Jim’s daughter Libby was a head-scratcher. I had an idea, but it turned out I was only partially correct.

What gives this book its wings, however, are the emotions and the relationships of the characters. Not everyone in the book is likeable; I found it hard to “bond” with Cecelia, a woman who had some memories she could not shed and who finds it easier to relate to strangers than to her husband and young son. Tom, her husband, seems relieved when he has to work rather than talk to his wife. He seems to be the perfect father but not a very good husband. Freya knows that her father had affairs, and she seems to want to put the secrecy behind her and force her mother to admit that her marriage had issues. Freya has difficulty grieving him. Jim, the ex-cop, is devastated by his daughter’s death and can’t seem to let her go – he has a response that nearly has fatal consequences.

Each and every person originated from the creative brain of Emma Kavanagh seemed real to me, and as their lives became more entwined, I also became joined in their story. Give After We Fall a chance. I am very glad that I did.

Five stars

This was originally reviewed as After We Fall, the US edition of this novel.
Profile Image for Maria V. Snyder.
Author 64 books16.8k followers
March 20, 2016
When I finished a novel by Tana French, this book was one of those that pops up as a recommendation so I thought I'd read it - plus I liked the cover and teaser. It's in the same genre as French's books, which I love. I enjoyed the mystery in this story, but will admit I guessed a number of things well before they were revealed. But I've also read so many mysteries/thrillers, that I've learned to spot the clues.

The characters made the story, though and I liked most of them. One character, I hated, which is why I only gave this three stars although it's well written and has an engaging plot. The characters and their emotional reactions are very realistic - the author is a psychologist and it shows in her descriptions.

Overall, a good read.
Profile Image for Mandy Radley.
476 reviews24 followers
November 21, 2014
Lose yourself for a day reading the debut novel by Emma Kavanagh. The story is centred around a plane crash and the murder of a young woman with four main characters linked to both events.

Jim an ex police superintendent who realises his daughter is missing and in fact has been murdered. Tom a detective on the murder case wakes to find his wife Cecilia was on the crashed plane. Cecilia a flight attendant has troubles of her own and is one of the 13 survivors of the plane crash, and finally Freya her father was flying the plane.

Before reading this book I expected it to be set in America but actually was pleasantly surprised to find it was sent around Swansea and Cardiff in the UK. A very enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Patricia.
410 reviews82 followers
December 15, 2014
“falling” by Emma Kavanagh

5 star book. This is a debut book involving 4 primary characters who are involved in either a plane crash or a homicide that takes place in Cardiff, South Wales. Each chapter is given to a character to tell their story of what is currently taking place in either event of the plane crash or the murder. Over the course of reading all of their accounts, you begin to realize the connections between these primary characters. Author Kavanagh has done an excellent job with this novel and the book never lags, keeping this reader wanting to know what else was going to happen. I am excited to see what else she will write since Emma Kavanagh was a former police psychologist and knows her character’s flaws.
Profile Image for Kay.
220 reviews
June 28, 2015
After We Fall was a quick and enjoyable read. It took me a while to get into it but I can say that I did enjoy it. The writing was good as was the pacing. It is hard to create an ensemble list of strong characters and this was the main flaw for me. Cecilia felt the most developed of all the characters while the others felt very flat. Another thing that I did not like about the book is the use of rape as a plot device for Cecilia. I have seen this troupe a lot recently and was disappointed in the inclusion of it.

Overall, a strong debut and I look forward to reading more form Kavanagh.

Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for approving my request for a free digital copy in exchange for a honest review.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Kim.
1,977 reviews49 followers
June 19, 2015
At the beginning of the book- a plane falls from the sky and a woman is murdered.

All the strings of the story intertwine cleverly- making for an excellent , page turning read. I couldn't put this one down. You see the link between all the different threads at the end - such a fascinatiing book to be absorbed in. Great characterisation and plot lines- a really wonderful read. Highly recommend this one.

Received with thanks from Net Galley for a review.
Profile Image for Perri.
1,253 reviews47 followers
September 28, 2015

For some reason , I had difficulty keeping track of the characters with the switching back and forth in time and perspectives. The ending was a bit flat for me, but I liked it enough overall. A very promising debut novel.
Profile Image for Freda Malone.
378 reviews58 followers
May 18, 2015
This particular story was ingeniously creative. A crime mystery no doubt with plenty of perplexity and a few spine chilling, edge of your seat scenes that will have you anxiously turning the pages.

March 15, 6:08pm - A snowstorm on its way to Cardiff Airport does not deter Oliver Blake, a seasoned airline pilot, from taking off, with over 100 souls aboard. Unknown to them, the plane would not make it to its destination.

March 15, 6:25pm - A few miles away, Libby Hanover, a community police officer is discovered missing by her father, Jim, as he arrives at her home. Her body, found by the river embankment several hours later.

Two mysteries, three families, all connected somehow.

The clever way this story was formulated really caught my attention. What is really remarkable is that the writer succeeded in introducing characters in an innovative fashion that had me from the start. Brilliant idea, bravo! All the characters, all different, all ages, all humanly flawed in some way - were also likeable and real, in my opinion. The ending was astonishing, and received a big “WOW” from me.

I only had one big ‘pet peeve’ about the book. The writing syntax was a little confusing. At times I felt like I was reading notes on the story. The sentences often starting with an adjective or verb (Had, Looked, Seemed) and so short that I had to refer back to the beginning of the chapter or finish the chapter quickly. This was to figure out if a character in the story was reliving a past experience in a vision, or describing the present.

At times I had to figure out who, what, when and where the character was speaking of. I’m not sure if the writer deliberately did this because she adopted this writing style as her own or if she was writing this way to keep us alert and paying attention. Either way, it aggravated me enough to hinder my ability to enjoy the book even more.

A special thank you to NetGalley, Sourcebooks, and Emma Kavanagh for an ARC.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 392 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.