‘Love and obsession really are two sides of the same coin, and depending on the perspective it is coming from, it can become a beautiful thing, or a thing of destruction.’
(via Trace Literary Agency)
They All Fall Down is the debut novel from Irish Writer Cat Hogan. It was just published at the beginning of July by Poolbeg Press, so I was very fortunate to receive a copy.
At the moment I have been very lucky to receive such wonderful debut novels from many Irish writers and this is no exception. My full thoughts are expressed in my review so please continue reading.
‘Jen Harper likes to play it safe. She is settling into life on the outskirts of a sleepy fishing village with her little boy, Danny. Life by the sea – just how she wanted it.
When she meets Andy, she feels the time has come to put her baggage and the scars of the past behind her. Then she is introduced to Scott, Andy’s best friend, and is stung by his obvious disdain for her. Why is Scott so protective of his best friend? What is the dark secret that threatens all of them?’
In her attempt to find answers, Jen must confront her demons and push her relationships to their limits. By digging up the past, she puts Danny and herself in danger. Will she succeed in uncovering the truth before they all fall down?
Jen Harper, recently single, is preparing for a new life for herself in a house she has inherited from her Aunty Pat. The house is located in a small fishing village, a village Jen has grown up in and is very familiar with.
She sets out a life for herself and her young son Danny, but also has to accept another presence in her new life, the lodger Andy.
Before her Aunt passed away, she made a private deal with Andy. He was to remain in the house until the end of the year.
Both Andy and Jen carry scars from separate traumatic events that happened earlier in their past lives and as the book reveals, these secrets are eventually shared.
They All Fall Down is a novel involving quite a cast of characters. Jen is a very popular girl in the village with some very strong friendships. Sal, her childhood friend, and Tess, the local publican, have been her rock in hard times. These friendships are tested to the limit in the novel, as Cat Hogan writes about how a rather unusual individual, Scott Carluccio Randall is introduced into the mix.
Scott Carluccio Randall, a playboy from Dublin, is an old college friend of Andy’s. They have been through quite a bit together over the previous years and Scott is particularly protective of Andy. Scott lives the fast life – women, cars, drugs – but Scott is not all he seems. There is something rather off about Scott. His behaviour borders on the psychotic at times and yet he has the ability to deceive and play the part when called upon. Is Jen the only one to see through him? To see what really delves in the dark part of his soul?
In the novel, Cat Hogan gives some wonderful descriptions of the sea and you can almost visualize yourself at these, sometimes dramatic, locations. We also get to see behind the gates of life in the Big House, at a garden party hosted by Scott at his estate.
Interspersed with all this lies an underlying evilness. Jen must fight against this evil with all her inner strength. Frustratingly, at times, her friends seem completely blinded by the actions of one person and Jen seems to be the only sane one among them.
Will Jen be able to protect herself and those she loves? Will the truth prevail?
You will have to pick up a copy of They All Fall Down to discover this for yourself.
They All Fall Down is a high-quality debut from Cat Hogan, but yet told in an almost storytelling manner, as though the author is recounting the story to the reader in person!
There is a sinister plotline encompassing the whole story, but what also shone through to me were the obvious parallels with Cat’s own life – the food, the music, the banter around the table with friends. It’s always nice when an author delves into their own lives and shares a little with us.
I look forward to reading Cat Hogan’s second novel (which I have no doubt is in the pipeline)
Let me know what you think!!
Purchase Link ~ They All Fall Down
I think it’s time you learnt a little about Cat:
Cat Hogan was born into a home of bookworms and within spitting distance of the sea. Her father, Pat, a lightship man, instilled in her a love of the sea and the stars. Her mother, Mag, taught her how to read before she could walk.
Writing, storytelling and a wild imagination is part of her DNA.
The beautiful County Wexford is home to Cat, her musician partner Dave, two beautiful sons Joey and Arthur, and her tomcat Jim Hawkins. There they live a life of storytelling, song and adventure.
When she is not bringing imaginary friends to life, she runs a professional writing service for businesses. She can also be found in an Order of Malta Ambulance Corps uniform, volunteering in the local community.
The other love of Cat’s life is food. A self-professed foodie, there is nothing she loves more than a feeding a houseful of friends around her kitchen table.
They All Fall Down is Cat’s debut novel.