Tuesday 2 September 2014

Review ~ First to Fall by Carys Jones.

Title: First to Fall (Avalon #1).
Author: Carys Jones.
Publisher: Carina UK.
Genre: Mystery.
Publication Date: August 28, 2014.
Source: Netgalley/Review copy.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Purchase: Amazon UK | Amazon US

Aiden Connelly’s first case…

Lawyer Aiden Connelly has traded the frenzy of Chicago for a slower pace in sleepy Avalon – and his first case appears to be as open-and-shut as he could hope for. Hired to defend a local ex-beauty queen accused of murdering her husband, he’s confident that he’ll have the case closed in record time. But below the surface lurks a darker truth…

Will be one he’ll never forget.

Suddenly, a quiet backwater has transformed into a dangerous pressure cooker. In a town where everyone knows everyone, gathering evidence should be easy… but the harder Aiden searches, the more he appreciates how tangled this net of loyalties is. And as he digs deeper, Aiden begins to realise that his very first case in Avalon could be the beginning of his undoing…

First to Fall is the first book in Carys Jones’ Avalon series and it was a brilliant, fascinating way to start it off. At the beginning we’re introduced to lawyer Aiden, his wife Isla and daughter Meegan, who are moving to Avalon in the hope of strengthening their marriage and family. Aiden is soon working on his first case which he believes is more complex than meets the eye – and it was a really interesting case in a book which hooked me right from the start.

Aiden and Isla’s marriage problems could be quite easy to relate to for a lot of people. Isla is fed up with how late Aiden works and how she’s always left to be the one looking after their daughter, with no help from her husband and not much appreciation from him when he’s home either. It’s a realistic portrayal of an issue you see in everyday families – how to manage and split their time fairly and happily between a career and a family. As the book went on, it did seem like nothing would please Isla and though I think I was meant to be more in support of Aiden’s side of the argument, I really couldn’t connect with him either. I found him to be equally as unreasonable as his wife. My opinion on them both did change a few times throughout the book but I’m still not sure I’m that keen on either of them yet.

It was the case that Aiden was working on that really had me loving this book. We’re thrown into Brandy’s case straight away – she’s willingly admitted to murdering her husband, the local hero, and therefore, set to face the death penalty at the age of 24. Wow. This case was really so much more than I had been expecting and I thought Carys’ writing was fantastic. Getting to know Brandy through her meetings with Aiden really messed with my mind because none of it made sense! She seemed so calm and so accepting of her fate and I just needed to know why. I needed to know why things had turned out like they had, why her husband had been killed and like Aiden, I was convinced there must have been more to the case because it just didn’t add up. The building up and the writing of this case was gripping and so strong. I felt so many emotions whilst reading First to Fall – it was shocking, tense, nerve-wracking at times and I was always in anticipation of the next movement, the next twist.

Sometimes these kind of books are let down by their predictability. First to Fall was in no way predictable. It was intriguing and simply great to read. I could not put this book down and I was always trying to work out who to trust and motives and… well it was way beyond me to actually figure this case out but some pretty fantastic writing did that for me. Carys paced this book flawlessly and I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel and the next case Aiden is working on.

Review also posted on Goodreads | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Carys Jones loves nothing more than to write and create stories which ignite the reader's imagination. Based in Shropshire, England, Carys lives with her husband, two guinea pigs and her adored canine companion, Rollo.

When she's not writing, Carys likes to indulge her inner geek by watching science- fiction films or playing video games.

She lists John Green, Jodi Picoult and Virginia Andrews as her favorite authors and draws inspiration for her own work from anything and everything.

To Carys, there is no greater feeling than when you lose yourself in a great story and it is that feeling of ultimate escapism which she tries to bring to her books.

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