Monday, November 5, 2018

BLOG TOUR - Before She Falls

I am pleased to be a part of the Blog Tour for Before She Falls by Dylan Young.


Kimberley was a beautiful young girl with the world at her feet.
Before she fell.
Before she was gone.

When Kimberley Williams jumps off Southdown Cliff, her family and the close-knit community are shocked. What would make her take her own life when she had so much of it left to live?

Detective Anna Gwynne is assigned to the case after it becomes clear that someone made Kimberley jump. Someone had been sending Kimberley messages, saying they would tell everyone her secret…

Then Anna realises there are others, all being sent the same messages, all with their lives at risk. To find the truth she will have to confront her own past, the lies she’s told about her childhood and the demons hidden there…

Can she save these innocent lives?

What is the secret they’re all dying for?

An absolutely gripping thriller that will hook you from beginning to end. If you love Val McDermid, Angela Marsons and Robert Dugoni, you won’t be able to put down Before She Falls.

TitleBefore She Falls
Author:  Dylan Young
Series:  Detective Anna Gwynne #3
Genre:  Mystery/Thriller
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  338 Pages
Date of Publication:  November 1, 2018
My Rating:  4.5 Stars

When Louise Griffiths sees a woman while walking her dog, she immediately senses that something is wrong. For one thing, there is a lost, hopeless expression on the girl’s face. To Louise's incredible shock, the young woman runs towards the sea and suddenly jumps in the water.

It is now five months later and DI Anna Gwynne is assigned the case of the apparent suicide of a sixteen-year-old girl. The very girl that the woman had seen previously. The young girl was named Kimberley Williams. Anna is horrified that the police have learned that due to her social media and Internet activity she may have been involved in a suicide game. This horrid game is responsible for the deaths of 130 young people.

This case comes close to home for Anna. When she reaches her boss he lets her know that a previous case that she worked on will give her great insight as to what happened to Kimberley. Anna is none to pleased to have to deal with serial killer Hector Shaw again. 

As the investigation takes off, Anna and her team are led to two dead bodies. Evidence proves that all three murders are connected. Are more young people destined to become victims? Not if Anna has anything to say about it. Her new case is certainly going to keep her very busy. As it is she has a dog and a lover in her life. And, as if things aren’t tough enough, her past comes before her, front and center. Her family dynamic is off-kilter. 

Anna is a seasoned detective and leaves no stone unturned. Her professional relationship with the brutal serial killer reveals the cause for his terrible killing spree. Will Anna be able to use what she is forced to learn from him to stop the deaths? Meanwhile, Anna must contend with the peril social media can cause. This definitely made me stop and think for a moment. 

From the very start this was a very intriguing story. I found it to be rather unique, connecting a disgusting game to the deaths of young people, as well as Anna’s knowledge of the serial killer and his motives. As an extension, the serial killer is connected to the case at hand. Before She Falls is a chilling, one-sitting read. It is full of twists and turns, and certainly has a shocking conclusion.

This is the third book in the series. Although I didn’t have the opportunity to read the previous stories, this did well as a standalone. The previous books in the series are The Silent Girls and Blood Runs Cold.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.




Depending on the tides, Louise Griffiths either walked the beach or up along the cliff path at least twice a week, rain or shine. She always parked in the Dunraven Bay car park and dressed accordingly. Today, the tide was in and so the beach was out of bounds. It was late September, the day cold and blustery, and Louise wore an anorak, hat and gloves. Toby, her energetic cocker, preferred the beach because the cliff top meant he’d have to stay on a lead. Louise had read lots of horror stories about dogs chasing birds and jumping off viaducts and mountainsides in pursuit. Southerndown Cliff was two hundred and ten feet high when you reached the top. It wasn’t worth the risk. Toby would just have to wait until they reached the other side and the river mouth to run amok.

Unlike Toby, Louise preferred the cliff path. Though it flanked the Bristol Channel, this far around it was an almost west-facing coastline and open to the Atlantic. It made for a bracing stroll, and more often than not, Louise would stand at the very top and wonder at the view. To the south, she’d look out across the channel towards England. Below, at the bottom of the cliff, was the beach, though the rocky limestone shelf and the lack of sand barely qualified. Still, it made for a spectacular landscape that went a long way towards explaining why this spot was such a popular location.

The sharp easterly whipped up the surf and Louise took a handkerchief to her running nose before turning back towards the path to continue her walk, through the second car park at the top of the rise and out on to open common.

There was someone else approaching on the path and Toby looked up, his tail already in overdrive, ready to greet a fellow walker. A smile formed automatically on Louise’s lips and her brain formulated a greeting: a mutual appreciation of nature and the weather that had become her standard gambit over the years. But it froze halfway as the girl came closer. No, strode closer, because there was a determination about this walker that, as she neared, seemed out of place. She would have seen Louise. There was no way of avoiding that, but there was no happy reciprocal smile on her face. As she neared, the girl put her hand up to her forehead and kept her face lowered so as not to make eye contact.

Louise was no psychiatrist, but she’d taught at a local comprehensive for almost fifteen years, so she knew when things, with girls especially, were wrong.

‘Are you OK?’

Louise asked. The query triggered a reaction. The girl looked up briefly. Louise flinched and felt something, a mixture of shock and alarm, ripple through her. It wasn’t only the girl’s lost, hopeless expression but the large mark on her face that made Louise start. A dark stain like the curved rays of a black sun, obtrusive and obvious, designed to startle. The exchange of looks lasted the briefest of seconds before the girl passed by on a spur that left the main path and headed towards another viewpoint.

‘Hello,’ said Louise to the girl’s back, her voice taut and urgent.

But the girl took no notice. She walked on to where the land began to fall away, where earth started to crumble.

‘Hello?’ Louise said again, but she got no further.

The girl hesitated, half turned and let out one shuddering sob before swinging back to face the sea and, without warning, running towards the edge of the cliff where she dropped, like a stone, into the void.

Something imploded inside Louise and she fell to her knees. Toby barked, unnerved by the strange emotions he sensed, but his voice was drowned out by another’s.

Louise’s anguished wail was lost amidst the sound of the gulls and carried off by the wind into an uncaring sky.


Dylan Young grew up in a mining village in South Wales before boarding a train for university in London. A career in the NHS followed, but the urge to write never went away. Three dark psychological thrillers for Random House emerged in the late nineties, two of which were made into BBC films. Over the last decade, under different pseudonyms, he’s written children’s books and an adult contemporary fantasy series. But his liking for crime (writing) never died. Book 1 in the Detective Anne Gwynne crime thriller series, The Silent Girls, and Book 2, Blood Runs Cold, are available now.

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  1. I think this is the second time I've seen this book around in the blogosphere and it looks really good.

  2. Great review! This sounds really good!

  3. thrillers - this sounds good and it has been a while since i read one (lately just watching tv and movies for this genre)

  4. I love the sound of this book, it looks amazing and my kind of read. Great review.

  5. Great review, this book and author are new to me but the book sure does looks and sounds like an amazing mystery and thriller book plus it is right up my alley as well. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post and for putting this book on my radar.