NIGHT FALL by Joan Aiken

NIGHT FALL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

First, falling from a cliff. . . then a face moving back and forth in the dark, suddenly appearing in another spot. . . the frozen certainty that something unbearable is about to happen: this dream has haunted nineteen-year-old Meg for ten years, ever since she went to live with her unfeeling English father after her mother's death. Now engaged and determined to exorcise the dream before her marriage, Meg drives to the remote Cornwall village of Penleggen where, at five, she actually did fall from a cliff. There she discovers -- between ingenious attempts on her life and less artful meetings with a new young man -- that immediately after her fall she had witnessed a still-unsolved murder, prototype of the dream image: the victim, in a rocking chair, had been shot by his twin brother. The first part of the novel, covering Meg's lonely, ill-treated (or just untreated) childhood, and her hasty engagement to a domineering prig, never gets out of the doldrums; once in Penleggen the author's gift for direful scene and gripping incident takes control. Though the emerging romance here holds no surprises and the murderer's motives are never made real, the physical danger mounts as Meg's psychological mystery is solved and a literate thriller gathers momentum. Not one of the author's best, but worth enduring the doldrums if you can wait for the winds to rise.
Pub Date: May 13th, 1971
ISBN: 0333483359
Page count: 128pp
Publisher: Holt Rinehart & Winston
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1971




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