The word ‘thriller’ can mean a million different things and I’ve always thought the genre is much more diverse than some readers appreciate.
Erin Kelly’s sumptuous Watch Her Fall tackles Russian Ballet. I say Russian, but the focus of this terrific gothic thriller is the London Russian Ballet Company, and its star Ava Kirilova.
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The company is set to perform Swan Lake in a sultry London summer with Ava in both key roles, when injury and death hit the show. In the wake of tragedy, Ava and a younger company member Juliet are left to pick up the pieces and deal with the repercussions, both professional and personal.
Kelly tells her story from a variety of points of view, constantly shifting the reader’s sympathies and expectations in the process. The precision of her plotting and emotional reveals is exemplary, as she takes the reader on a journey to places they don’t expect to go.
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The author also weaves the ideas and themes of Swan Lake into her own story, and her depiction of the rigours and rarefied air of professional ballet is both convincing and key to the tension and sense of dread that permeate the pages of this impressive and beguiling psychological thriller.
Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly is out now (Hodder & Stoughton, £14.99)