Catch Me When I Fall by Nicci French

Holly Krauss is beautiful and vivacious.  She has a happy marriage and runs a successful company with her friend Meg.  It seems that Holly has it all.  But there is another side to her – a side that sees her putting herself into danger, and being reckless and thoughtless.  Her actions cause problems which just keep mounting and Holly suddenly finds herself in danger.  But she finds that she cannot trust her own judgement any longer, and even those she is closest to seem to be losing patience with her.  If Holly can’t rely on herself, then who can she rely on to catch her when she falls?  And just because she is paranoid, does that mean that nobody is really after her?

I have always liked Nicci French’s novels, and this one, like the others, is an entertaining read, which had me wanting to “just read a few more pages” and then just a few more…

Holly is an interesting if not altogether likeable character.  While I sympathised with her and could see how people might be drawn to such a person, I also found myself becoming increasingly exasperated with her actions – particularly when she seemed to be ignorant of the obvious consequences which were bound to result.  However, I think that that was probably deliberate on the writers’ part.

Through Holly’s narrative, we see her world through her eyes, and how things start to fall apart for her.  Her loyal friend Meg tries to help and it seems that only she and Charlie – Holly’s husband – can pick up the pieces.  It is not clear at first whether Holly’s increasing paranoia is due to her own state of mind, and like Holly, the reader is not sure who to trust.

This is an undemanding read, despite the subject matter.  The action moves along at a rapid pace and did keep me wanting to know what was going to happen.  However, I was disappointed by the ending, which seemed to deliver almost as many questions as answers.  I actually wondered if there were another couple of pages at the back which I had missed.

All in all though, this is an entertaining psychological thriller, and I would recommend it to fans of the genre.

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