The Edge of the Fall by Kate Williams

Sad to say, The Edge of the Fall fails to live up to its predecessor The Storms of War. Here we follow the part-German deWitt family into 1920s England, as they deal with the aftermath of war… and a murder mystery.

Unfortunately, said murder mystery is robbed of any intrigue, as the whole thing is revealed in the prologue. Williams manages to raise some hows and whys, but there’s never any who about it, and the novel loses any pace it may have picked up by meandering into an unexciting courtroom drama towards the end.

The portions of the novel which focus on our original heroine Celia are hardly much better, floating as they do between tragic romance and increasing heartbreak. Celia makes so few choices for herself – rather has them made for her by her increasingly unappealing family – that even when truly terrible things happened to her, I found myself wanting to give her a little shake.

I’m not at all sure I want to follow the deWitts into the third and final installment of their trilogy – my only hope is that Williams manages to recapture some of the ‘women in wartime’ spirit that carried the first book through.

[Read from 22-24 May 2016]

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