It’s been a week since my 8th psychological thriller, ‘The Fall’ was released. It’s fabulous to see it in the Amazon and Audible top 100. Big thanks to everyone who has bought it (and if you haven’t, download it for 99p right now here on Amazon). I’ve also loved seeing it out there on the shelves. Both a Fern Britton book club pick for Tesco, and a Karin Slaughter pick for Asda it’s got off to a fabulous start and I’m very grateful to my publisher.
I want to share a little of what inspired this story of the unravelling of a seemingly tight-knit family and the shocking, dark secrets they are keeping from one another, and who I’ve dedicated it too.
The book opens with Kate Granger feeling like the luckiest woman alive at her surprise birthday party that she is sharing with her twin sister, Beth. Just hours later her teenage daughter, Caily, is found unconscious under a bridge, miles away from where she should have been at school.
The police, who don’t believe it was an accident, question Caily’s family and it soon becomes apparent that not everyone in the family was where they claimed to be at the time of her fall, nor who they claimed to be with. While the investigation takes place Caily should be safe in hospital but not everyone wants her to wake up. Someone is desperate to protect the truth and it isn’t just Caily’s life that is in danger.
From the moment I thought of the concept I knew that although I wanted to explore the bond between sisters Beth and Kate, their daughters, Caily and Tegan would be central to the plot. The relationship between cousins is one I’ve wanted to write about for a long time.
Growing up, my cousins were an integral part of my childhood. They, along with my sister, feature in many of my happiest childhood memories. Then, life seemed less complicated for us growing up, than it is today for young people now. In a time before the internet, smartphones and social media, our world may have seemed a lot smaller but was, perhaps, in a way, larger as we had more freedom to play outside. Everywhere was deemed safer than it is today, perhaps because it was, perhaps because we didn’t have the constant stream of bad news that we do now giving rise to that low-level fear many of us carry without being entirely sure why.
I wanted to give Caily and Tegan the same sense of freedom that I had and this was made possible by the farm they live on. Although during the book it has, in parts, a claustrophobic, chilling feel, they were free to roam and play in the vast open space. Not knowing of course, then, that, for years, there had been somebody watching them all along…
The relationship between cousins is, I think, unique. Both family and friends the bond is a strong one. They are confidants, keepers of secrets. Someone who understands because their family history is entwined with yours. It’s been really interesting to unpick the Granger family dynamics, not only between Tegan and Caily but also their parents and Grandparents.
To explore how far Caily and Tegan would go to protect one another.
I don’t see my cousins nearly as much as I’d like to anymore but if any one of them needed me I’d be there in a heartbeat. But that would be another story…