Review of ‘Watch Her Fall’ by Erin Kelly

This is a gripping new novel from one of the best thriller writers, Erin Kelly. It takes place in the world of classical ballet, which I thought was an unusual yet interesting setting. I’ve never been to a ballet show and know little about the art, so found the book informative in addition to being a brilliant page-turner.

The main character is Ava Kirilova, who is about to star in Swan Lake. She’s the principal ballerina in the company owned by her father, the legendary Nicky. At the school in London, he drives the dancers very hard to get the best performances from them, but somehow Ava can never please him. At the age of thirty, she is close to retirement and should inherit the company, but she worries that the other dancers are after her role and that the coaches, her father’s long-time friends, are conspiring with him to take her inheritance away. I can’t say any more about the plot or it will spoil the story for you, but there are lots of twists. I couldn’t predict what was going to happen. I was impressed by the level of detail in the plot and the descriptions of life as a ballet dancer. There are some serious themes in the book, such as grief, ambition, immigration and inequality. I liked how they were part of the story but didn’t slow down the narrative.

I couldn’t help noticing an odd detail (at least in my advance copy, which is subject to changes before publication), in that a British character mentions Band-Aids when she would more realistically have said ‘plasters’.

Thank you to the publisher Hodder & Stoughton for the advance copy via NetGalley. The book will be published on 1st April.

Here are my reviews of some more books by this author: The Sick Rose, He Said / She Said and The Burning Air.

11 thoughts on “Review of ‘Watch Her Fall’ by Erin Kelly”

  1. Woww this sounds good! And I love your observation on the use of the term band-aid. The editor should’ve a keener eye on this. I wonder if you could inform them about it, since it’s not published yet? I’m sure they’d appreciate it! Great review, NS!

    1. Thanks Jee – I am very selective about thrillers but Erin Kelly is an author I will always read. It was a NetGalley review so the publisher will know what I thought 😀

    1. It’s a good thriller, worth checking out. Oh right, I didn’t know i which other countries people might say Band-Aids. In the UK we just say plasters or possibly Elastoplast (the dominant brand).

      1. I’ve heard people from the UK say ‘hoovering’ which I think relates to a vacuum cleaner brand, when Australians would say ‘vacuuming’ so I suppose it is swings and roundabouts 🙂

        1. Yes we say hoovering 😀 although we don’t all have Hoover branded vacuums.

    1. I’m glad you liked the novel too! I think it was a really good idea to use the world of ballet, as it makes for a distinctive thriller. Thanks! 🙂

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