When We Fall

 I took Aoife Clifford's When We Fall away to the beach with me a couple of weekends ago, and it's perfect beach reading. It's even set in a seaside town! When We Fall is a well-crafted, solid crime thriller which incorporates issues of dementia, forced adoption, family violence, and environment in addition to the familiar Aussie small-town, small-minds tropes. 

Alex Tillerson and her mum (who is described as 'a tough old bird' at the advanced age of, er, 58!!) discover a severed leg while walking on the beach, and the plot immediately begins to thicken from there. Actually now that I think about it, I'm not sure we ever got an explanation for why the leg was severed... but it certainly makes for a striking visual image, of which there are many sprinkled throughout the novel -- a pair of black angel wings, an isolated eco-house perched in the bush, a meticulously copied version of Bruegel's Fall of Icarus with the faces changed.

Like The Dry, When We Fall would make a fantastic Australian movie -- can't wait for the inevitable adaptation.

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