Book Review: After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh—and a Giveaway!

After We FallAfter We Fall
Emma Kavanagh
Sourcebooks Landmark, June 2015
ISBN 978-1-4926-0919-3
Trade Paperback

From the publisher—

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

Shortly after takeoff, flight 2940 plummets to the snow-covered ground, breaking into two parts, the only survivors a handful of passengers and a flight attendant. 

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

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

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

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.

Four people, who have never met but are indelibly linked by these disasters, will be forced to reveal the closely guarded secrets that unlock the answers to their questions. But once the truth is exposed, it may cause even more destruction.

From the opening lines, we’re thrust into the overwhelming fear that must come when a plane is about to crash and, almost in the same breath, we begin to learn a bit about four very different people, different and yet not so much so.

Why was Cecilia driven to quit her job as a flight attendant but, more importantly, why has she abandoned her husband and her toddler son? How can Tom, a CID detective accustomed to seeing and hearing terrible things,, summon the courage and the right words to tell little Ben that his mom was on that plane and, worse yet, she meant to leave them behind?

After thirty years on the force, Jim never thought he’d have to cope with the disappearance of his daughter, Libby. herself a cop on the beat. The signs are all there, though, to a man trained to see them. And Freya, well, this poor girl is about to hear the TV news story that will turn her life upside down.

Four people. Four lives that will be irrevocably changed by murder and the freefall of an airplane.

Multiple points of view don’t always work, in my opinion, but they do in this case. In fact, I don’t think any other style would have been nearly as effective, primarily because only two of the four are clearly connected. Ms. Kavanagh has done a really nice job of bringing these diverse and interesting characters into the reader’s life and I felt a good deal of empathy with each and every one. Also, while it would have been easy for the horror of a plane crash to overwhelm the murder of one person, Ms. Kavanagh never lets that happen.

Part psychological thriller, part character study, After We Fall is well worth a reader’s time.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, June 2015.


Emma KavanaghEmma 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. She started her business as a psychology consultant, specializing in human performance in extreme situations. She lives in South Wales with her husband and two young sons.

Leave a comment below to enter the
for a trade paperback copy of

After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh.
The winning name will be
on Tuesday evening, June 30th.

Open to residents of the US.


9 thoughts on “Book Review: After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh—and a Giveaway!

  1. I have heard wonderful things about this book—amazing reviews. I am commenting not to enter the Giveaway ( great giveaway); a close friend gave this novel to me as a gift; but I have been ‘buried under books’ lately. Go Emma Kavanaugh!


  2. I’d stay this book has it’s share of conflict and it sound really good. Like Emma, I’m not commented to win as I’m also “buried under books” now, but I have taken note of this one. Thank you.


  3. I have a Cecilia and a Freya in my family. What a coincidence. My husband was a pilot. So all of these things make me want to read AFTER WE FALL very much.
    It sounds like a mystery and psychological thriller that I would enjoy to read.


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