Wednesday, 3 September 2014
Review: First to Fall (Avalon #1) by Carys Jones
Source: Amazon UK
Format: Kindle Ebook
Publish date: 28th August 2014 by Carina
Date Read: 2nd September 2014
First to Fall is the first book in Carys Jones' new 'Avalon' series. It was previously published under the title 'Not All Stars Sparkle'.
Aidan Connelly is a lawyer from Chicago who, in looking for a better and simpler life with his wife Isla and 2-year-old daughter Meegan, takes up the position of second man in a 2-man law office in the small sleepy town of Avalon. Aidan's first case in the role is that of lawyer to beautiful 24 year old Brandy in prison awaiting trial for the cold-blooded murder of her husband, the golden boy of Avalon who all believe could do no harm. Given the case as a clear open-and-shut, Aidan takes a different view and suddenly the safe, sleepy town of Avalon doesn't feel so welcoming. With the whole town up in arms with newly-arrived Aidan's questioning of the case, can he find out the truth or will Brandy be sentenced to death for a crime Aidan doesn't seem to believe she is fully guilty of.
This was my first legal thriller to read for a long time and surprisingly I really enjoyed it. I managed to read the entirety of the book in only a few hours which I certainly wasn't expecting. Far from the romantic suspense I would normally head straight for, this legal thriller was a refreshing change of pace and genre.
I found the characters created by Carys to be well thought out and brought to life. The writing style was very easy to get on with; very open and really drew the reader in. The main character Aidan was a fantastic lead for the story. As a husband and father who wants more time with his family - a wife who never sees him and a daughter who is growing up without him - Aidan makes the hard decision to move across the country to a smaller, quieter town. To be perfectly honest, I ended up not liking the wife Isla, who spent most of the book acting like a spoilt brat of a toddler. I could understand that Isla felt a lot of fear; losing her husband to his work, of being alone in a new place away from everything and everyone she knows, spending all her time with only a toddler for company and also in possibly losing her husband to another woman. Despite all thing though - being perfectly honest - I think Isla did far more to drive Aidan away with her mood swings and pettiness. Aidan's daughter Meegan on the other hand was a little cutie and I would have loved to see far more of her - hard in a legal thriller but fingers crossed for next time.
The townspeople of Avalon were, I think, very closed minded. By this I mean that they didn't ask questions and tended to believe everything they were told. This allowed a mean husband and later a corrupt sheriff and a grieving father to turn an entire town against a young girl who had survived a terrible childhood and was, really, all alone in the world. For all of this, the girl grew into a wonderful, though damaged, woman. The pure hatred for this woman really came through and I just wanted to give her a massive hug and tell her everything was going to be all right.
This was a book my emotions really got involved in – something I don’t say too often. The last 20% especially had me on the edge of my seat and I couldn't put the book down. There were times when I got a little frustrated with the pace of the book but overall I felt that it helped in the plot and included information from characters which added to the mystery and the unravelling which came later. Really, my only niggle with the book came via the minor typo’s and silly accidents which showed that the book needed a little more proof reading.
Overall, a great story and I look forward to reading more in this series.
Reviewed by Jenny of JennyBee’s Book Blog