Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
“Time slows, crystallizes. I see everything, I smell everything, I hear everything. I feel everything. “
An absolutely gripping, showstopping novel from this author! I feel completely overwhelmed right now after finishing this book and if I’m honest, I feel a bit lost for what to do with myself now I’ve finished. I’ve been fully invested from start to finish and I’m so happy to be closing this amazing blog tour with a bang. If you love a dark read full of suspense and a splash of danger, then you need to give Little Falls a try. So happy to share my review!
Sergeant Camille Waresch did everything she could to forget Iraq. She went home to Eastern Washington and got a quiet job. She connected with her daughter, Sophie, whom she had left as a baby. She got sober. But the ghosts of her past were never far behind.
While conducting a routine property tax inspection on an isolated ranch, Camille discovers a teenager’s tortured corpse hanging in a dilapidated outbuilding. In a flash, her combat-related PTSD resurges–and in her dreams, the hanging boy merges with a young soldier whose eerily similar death still haunts her. The case hits home when Sophie reveals that the victim was her ex-boyfriend–and as Camille investigates, she uncovers a tangled trail that leads to his jealous younger brother and her own daughter, wild, defiant, and ensnared.
The closer Camille gets to the truth, the closer she is driven to the edge. Her home is broken into. Her truck is blown up. Evidence and witnesses she remembers clearly are erased. And when Sophie disappears, Camille’s hunt for justice becomes a hunt for her child. At a remote compound where the terrifying truth is finally revealed, Camille has one last chance to save her daughter–and redeem her own shattered soul.
I didn’t need to get far into this book before it blew me away! Intriguing, mysterious and horrifying scenes opened the book and set the scene perfectly, and I was so impressed by the author’s choice of vocabulary and tone of voice. It made everything much more thrilling and I knew straight away that this book would keep me hooked and guessing all the way through. The main character, Camille, has seen some terrible things in her time, and blood, death and destruction constantly passes through her mind as she relives her past. However, with one particular gruesome incident having an unexpected effect on Camille, she decides to find out all she can about a familiar victim. I can’t praise the opening to the book enough! It was perfect and made me desperate to find out more about this case and just what other mysteries we’d uncover.
As the story continues, we learn more about Camille and are introduced to a handful of other significant characters along the way. The author’s character creation was spot on and each character we meet is so easy to visualise, both in appearance and through their complex personalities. Bit by bit, we learn new pieces of the puzzle, the potential identity of that poor victim and just how this victim is linked to Camille’s family. Each page provides us with with food for thought and I found my mind to be constantly working to put everything we learn together. At this point, I had no idea what events led up to the death of the victim, but I was certainly enjoying the ride. The author continued to amaze me and the more I read, the more I wanted to read! Things already began to heat up and I couldn’t wait to see what Camille and the other characters discover next.
The character I quickly became focused on was Camille’s teenage daughter, Sophie. She’s going through a lot of changes in her life as it is, but being personally involved with the victim really takes its toll. I felt there was more to this character than first meets the eye and I believed this character knew more than she was letting on. She doesn’t seem too close to Camille and it seemed the pair would need to build up trust with each other before we get any answers. A few more questions kept popping up in my mind, and I always felt like I needed answers, but this is what makes a story of this genre so great. The pace of the book was perfect and as a reader, I always felt so in on the action, almost like I was Camille’s partner in a crime investigation! Excitement continues to build and I was sure there’d be some heart-stopping scenes to come in the book, and boy was I right.
“It happened when he looked up, when he turned towards me, when I saw her blood matted in his long hair, his hand on her face.”
A break-in causes suspicion and panic, and it seems as though Camille has an awful lot to deal with in her life, and a lack of friends and family to help her through. I liked how the book took a gripping turn so early on and we get to see some intense detective work which I loved. The relationship between Camille and Sophie continues to be rocky, resulting in a little bit of spying on Camille’s part, and again, I was deeply questioning Sophie’s character. What exactly was she hiding? My mind was spinning all sorts of theories, but I forced myself to be patient and see how the story unraveled. I was very shocked to learn that this is the author’s debut – the beginning of this book just screams the work of a world renowned author! It was such an incredible reading experience already at this point, and I was confident the middle of the book would not disappoint in the slightest.
The author not only concentrates on the story of Little Falls, but also takes the reader back in time to Camille’s years as a Sergeant. This allows us to experience exactly what she did back then, and it created such a solid backstory we can all learn from. I found this to be incredibly clever, and we can clearly make the connections of what she’s been a part of in the past, to how she acts in the present. I appreciated the importance of her past and I liked how the author links these experiences to the main story. Everything I read was just so well done, and I had grown such a strong attachment to Camille’s character since the first couple of chapters. Her determination to get to the bottom of what happened to Patrick just gets more intense, and we eventually get some killer cliff hangers after certain chapters, forcing me to continue reading! I needed answers and we were finally collecting those all important pieces that would eventually lead us to the truth.
How the author has portrayed Camille’s PTSD is so powerful. The description in the book is truly incredible, not only when covering Camille’s thoughts and feelings, but when also describing her gruesome findings. She’s too invested in Patrick’s case to leave it alone now, even when Darren, the Sergeant on the case, tells her to leave things be and let him do his job. I felt these two characters had a special bond, and I was curious to see whether they’d take this bond further than just being friends. With each new discovery in the case, I felt so overwhelmed and I was deeply invested in every page I read. With shocking discoveries, thrilling scenes and captivating language, the author has succeeded in grabbing my attention and impressing me no end. I knew this would be consistent throughout the rest of the book and I couldn’t wait to see which direction the plot would go in next.
The story turns darker than I could have ever anticipated and it was at this point where I realised the story was so much deeper than just the solving of a murder. Camille’s past continues to haunt her present and she digs herself deeper and deeper into trouble. The author has cleverly linked so much together and made us second guess a few characters too. With certain people doing all they can to stop Camille from finding answers, I had so many questions about just how safe she really is and just what her daughter’s fate would be. The pace started to pick up and quickly became one of the most gripping novels I’ve read! I particularly enjoyed reading about Lyle’s character and loved how there were certain questionable traits about a few familiar characters. Again, I couldn’t fault the author’s description and it makes the reader really feel like they’re right there next to Camille each step of the way. Just what I’d hoped for!
“Anger banished fear, made it go and hide in a dark corner where it could be forgotten.”
Camille finds out exactly what Darren’s keeping from her, and the race is on to put every piece of the puzzle back together before the next victim found themselves tortured and hung by their neck. Would it be Sophie? Would it be her? The author had really outdone herself at this part of the book and made the reader think about so many different possibilities. We finally get some answers and Camille finds herself in some real dangerous, nail-biting situations which forced me to read chapter upon chapter in awe! I felt so concerned for Camille at this point in the book, but I also admired her bravery and determination to find out exactly what we need to know. Again, links to her past emerge and this could not be faulted in the slightest. I couldn’t wait to see how things ended!
Could Camille’s fingerprints put the blame on her, even though she’s innocent? The story took a real exciting turn and the reader is forced to think about one certain character who might have the answers Camille needs; Todd. The questions were mounting in my brain again and I loved how dark and mysterious one certain scene at the cemetery became. He knows something, and it seemed both Camille and Todd have answers the other one needs. Could they work something out? Would Camille ever find out what she needed to know? The pace was picking up even more, and the author did such an amazing job of keeping the reader hooked and always wanting more! I constantly felt intrigued and excited with every page and I was desperate to get the answers Camille needed for this all to be over.
We see Camille’s PTSD worsen the further she gets into the mystery and as a reader, I felt so sorry for her and everything she found herself going through. The author portrayed this in such a powerful and emotional way, and perfected every minute detail. I had an awful feeling that Camille was about to suffer so much more. We reached a crucial moment in the book and I could feel the danger increasing with each step Camille took. The sights, smells and sounds described made my own stomach churn! This was it. The crucial scene was imminent and I couldn’t wait to experience it. What would Camille uncover? I loved how terrifying and unpredictable the ending the of the book was turning, and it was completely different to anything else we’ve experienced so far in the story.
I feel Camille’s army experience helped considerably in the hunt for her daughter and I couldn’t begin to imagine how something like this feels. Even though Camille and Sophie weren’t very close, the pain of potentially losing her was just too much to bear. As well as feeling the terror and danger surrounding the book , we begin to feel the raw emotion of certain situations and experience such powerful words from the author that quite simply blew me away. As the tension mounts, I loved how the style of writing changed, from Camille simply narrating the story to her logging where she was at different times of the day and noting down her findings. I feel this linked really well with her past in the army and was a very clever addition from the author. Is there anything this author can’t pull off?! One random thought at this point of the book was that I really needed this book on my bookshelf!
“I’m still not sure what I was. Ready, I guess. Ready for the darkness. For the end. No matter who pulled the trigger.”
The ending of the book was absolutely superb. My eyes were glued to the pages and I couldn’t tear myself away! I’ve never felt so on edge and apprehensive as a scene unravels before, and I could not fault the angle the author has taken here. The final chapter was a complete shock to the system and the author has rounded things off in a way that makes us feel deeply for a number of characters in a number of ways. After reading this book, I am desperate to read more from this author, and I know from reading about her life experiences, I was confident there would be such great things to come over the next few years! A fantastic book which I won’t hesitate in give 5 stars to!
An absolute must read! This book had me sitting for hours on end, desperate to find out answers, and is perfect for anyone looking for such a complex, involving story line you can really get your teeth into. I was completely blown away with how well this book is written and Camille’s character and her PTSD was so well crafted. The author is such a talented writer and I can’t wait to read more work from her in future!
A huge thank you to the author, Elizabeth Lewes and to Emma at Damp Pebbles for my copy of Little Falls to read and review! You can purchase your own copy from Amazon now, available on Kindle and paperback. Make sure you follow the author over on Twitter and Instagram for more updates!