Watch Her Fall by Erin Kelly

Official blurb from Amazon

Swan Lake is divided into the black acts and the white acts. The Prince is on stage for most of the ballet, but it’s the swans audiences flock to see. In early productions, Odette and Odile were performed by two different dancers. These days, it is usual for the same dancer to play both roles. Because of the faultless ballet technique required to master the steps, and the emotional range needed to perform both the virginal Odette and the dark, seductive Odile, this challenging dual role is one of the most coveted in all ballet. Dancers would kill for the part.

Ava Kirilova has reached the very top of her profession. After years and years of hard graft, pain and sacrifice as part of the London Russian Ballet Company, allowing nothing else to distract her, she is finally the poster girl for Swan Lake. Even Mr K – her father, and the intense, terrifying director of the company – can find no fault. Ava has pushed herself ahead of countless other talented, hardworking girls, and they are all watching her now.

But there is someone who really wants to see Ava fall . . .


I received a digital ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Erin Kelly is another author whose work I wait impatiently for.  Her style of writing always grips me, and I have to keep reading to know what happens next.

Watch Her Fall takes the reader deep into the world of classical ballet, a mostly alien territory, for me.  I’ve always admired the strength and talent of ballet dancers, alas I was moved to the Morris Dancing class as considered to tall and clumsy for the finer discipline that is associated with this genre!

The story is told from several viewpoints and pulls no punches when describing the rigours and sacrifices needed to reach the required perfection of first ballerina.  Ava’s character is easily sympathetic, she is trapped under the Svengali hold of her father.  He calls all the shots including her access to money.  Whilst Ava is sympathetic, she has no problem treating company dancers in a rather dismissive way and that behaviour is at odds with the readers’ instinct to care.

It’s Ava’s desire to be the best that sees company dancer, Juliet, take a career ending fall.  Ava’s guilt, over the incident, is assuaged by allowing the youngster to recuperate in her minimalist yet palatial home as she embarks on the world tour of Swan Lake.

I found this book to be intriguing and that intrigue soon turned to gripping suspense.  The careful introduction of the additional characters lends depth and texture to the story. There are the usual twists that are expected of a good thriller but as the truth of what’s happening dawns on the reader, all of the prior scenes flood back like watching a movie.  Erin Kelly is a gifted storyteller and manipulates the reader perfectly.

I hope that you will enjoy this book as much as I did, you won’t be disappointed.

Learn more about Erin Kelly here.   Follow Erin Kelly on Twitter.

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