Title: Just Fall by Nina Sadowsky
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Suspense
Length: 304 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
Perfect for fans of Patricia Highsmith and Gillian Flynn, this sexy and seductive debut novel asks: How can you find out that the person you love is a killer . . . and continue to love him anyway?
Ellie Larrabee’s life is perfect. She’s thriving at work, living in a fabulous apartment, and engaged to the man of her dreams. To all appearances, Ellie and Rob Beauman are a golden couple—blessed with good looks, success, and romantic chemistry that’s off the charts. Surely their future together promises nothing but happiness.
But on what should be the most wonderful day of her life, moments after saying “I do,” a shocking secret threatens to shatter Ellie’s happily-ever-after. She learns that the man she just married and loves with all her heart hides a dark past beneath his charismatic exterior. And the more harrowing truth she uncovers, the deeper Ellie is swept into a vortex of betrayal and uncertainty from which she may never escape.
On the island paradise of St. Lucia, Ellie isn’t basking in honeymoon splendor—she’s grappling with the chilling realities of her violently derailed life: Rob has blood on his hands and some very dangerous people on his trail, and only Ellie stands between him and the lethal destiny he’s facing. Rob never dreamed that Ellie would be dragged into the deadly world he’s trapped in—or used as a pawn against him. And Ellie could never have imagined how far she’d be forced to go to save the man she loves.
Nina Sadowsky’s debut novel Just Fall, is intriguing mystery about a woman who discovers on her wedding day that everything about her new husband, including his name, is nothing but a series of well-crafted lies.
With a few failed romances behind her, Ellie Larrabee has low expectations about her blind date with Rob Beauman. Much to her surprise (and his), the two immediately hit it off and before long, they are living together and planning their upcoming wedding. Shrugging off her concerns about Rob’s reluctance to discuss his past since she, too, is keeping a few dark secrets of her own, Ellie is eagerly looking forward to their wedding day. However, what should be the happiest day of her life quickly turns dark when, immediately after exchanging their vows, Rob makes a stunning confession. When he is kidnapped from their wedding reception, Ellie endures a horrifying ordeal in order to save his life.
Ellie and Rob seem to be the perfect couple. Fixed up by mutual friends, they are pretty much inseparable from their first date. Their relationship moves at an accelerated pace as they become engaged soon after moving in together. Ellie quells her doubts about Rob’s reticence to reveal much about his past but her fears about him are soon realized by his shocking admission on their wedding day. Terrified for Rob’s safety, Ellie is soon swept up into a dizzying array of events that she hopes will set them both free from his sinister past.
Written from multiple points of view and weaving back and forth in time, details about Rob and Ellie’s relationship and their individual backstories reveal shocking and unexpected information about this seemingly innocuous couple. Rob’s past is particularly heartbreaking as events from his childhood set him on collision course for disaster. Surprisingly, Ellie is the less sympathetic of the pair since the revelations about her past paint her in a less than flattering light. Neither are particularly likable but it is impossible not to feel empathy for them as they try to move past their mistakes and missteps.
Just Fall is an engrossing mystery that is surprisingly addictive despite a somewhat slow beginning. Ellie and Rob are both deeply flawed and seemingly without conscience but tiny glimmers of humanity and compassion make it easy to hope they survive their ordeal. With an absolutely shocking plot twist, Nina Sadowsky brings the novel to a dramatic and stunning conclusion that appears to leave the door open to a possibility for a sequel at some point in the future.