cover image They All Fall Down

They All Fall Down

Rachel Howzell Hall. Forge, $26.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9814-7

This cleverly updated version of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None from Hall (A Quiet Storm) stars Miriam Macy, who’s going through a difficult patch: her husband has left her for her teenage daughter’s dance teacher, she has been let go from her job writing aspirational copy for a clothing catalogue, and she’s wanted for questioning by the police for reasons that only become gradually clear to the reader. The one person who has shown her any understanding is her lawyer, Phillip Omeke, and now he’s not taking her calls. When she receives an invitation out of the blue to participate in the pilot of a new reality TV show, she sees it as a lifeline. She agrees to the show’s conditions and flies from L.A. to Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico, where a yacht is waiting to whisk her to exclusive Mictlan Island. The other invitees are a former policeman, a coke-sniffing chef, a snooty financial adviser, a nervous nurse, a bitchy lawyer, and a sexy merry widow, whose respective secrets emerge in tantalizing installments. When people start to die, Miriam turns sleuth. Hall slips from funny to darkly frightening with elegant ease. Agent: Jill Marsal, Marsal Lyon Literary. (Apr.)