They All Fall Down

Forge. Apr. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9780765398147. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780765398161. SUSPENSE
Miriam Macy's life is in shambles. Her marriage has dissolved, her teenage daughter hates her, and there is that pesky "altercation" about which the police keep calling. An unexpected invitation to participate in a reality TV show on a secluded island seems like the perfect chance for escape. After meeting her fellow travelers in Mexico—"A sick man. A country chick. A shaggy nurse. A cokehead cook. An uppity banker. And a mass shooter"—Miriam feels confident she'll win the grand prize. But each "participant" was fed a different lie to get them to attend, with the only common denominator that each had employed high-priced attorney Phillip Omeke to extricate them from some questionable circumstances. Soon murder and mayhem descend on the island, and Miriam is competing not for the grand prize but for her life.
VERDICT Hall's ("Lou Norton" series) stand-alone homage to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None contains very little suspense or drama as each unlikable character is exposed as despicable and then killed off. And while unreliable narrators are definitely on trend, Miriam's voice is so muddled and flighty that it will leave readers exasperated rather than titillated. [See Prepub Alert, 10/22/18.]

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