THEY ALL FALL DOWN by Rachel Howzell Hall


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A killer lures seven strangers to a remote Mexican island in this homage to And Then There Were None.

When Miriam Macy receives an unsolicited invitation from “A. Nansi” to compete on a reality TV show set on Mictlan Island in the Sea of Cortez, she eagerly accepts; thanks to some unspecified legal woes and an emotional breakdown, the 45-year-old African-American divorcée is unemployed and deeply in debt. But after a chartered yacht drops her off at the Artemis estate, Miriam learns some shocking news: She and the house’s six other occupants were brought to Mictlan under an assortment of false pretenses by their lawyer, prominent defense attorney Phillip Omeke, who—unbeknownst to them—succumbed to brain cancer last month. Artemis was his house, and this gathering is his wake. While there’s no cell service, Wi-Fi, or way home, more guests will supposedly arrive the following morning for a reading of Phillip’s will, so the members of the group—including people from different races and backgrounds—resolve to enjoy themselves and hope for an inheritance. The promised company never comes, though, and it’s not long before those assembled start meeting untimely ends. Hall (City of Saviors, 2017, etc.) borrows Agatha Christie’s broad strokes but employs fresh twists to keep readers guessing. Sex, drugs, and racial tension heighten the drama and create an additional layer of conflict, but the characters feel more like collections of tics and tropes than flesh-and-blood beings, lessening the tale’s impact and robbing it of verisimilitude.

Hall offers a soapy, modern take on a Christie classic.

Pub Date: April 9th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-7653-9814-7
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Forge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2019


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