It All Falls Down (Nora Watts, #2)
The brilliant, fearless, deeply flawed Nora Watts—introduced in the "utterly compelling" (Jeffery Deaver) atmospheric thriller The Lost Ones—finds deadly trouble as she searches for the truth about her late father in this immersive thriller that moves from the hazy Canadian Pacific Northwest to the gritty, hollowed streets of Detroit.Growing up, Nora Watts only knew one parent—her father. When he killed himself, she denied her grief and carried on with her life. Then a chance encounter with a veteran who knew him raises disturbing questions Nora can’t ignore—and dark emotions she can’t control. To make her peace with the past, she has to confront it.Finding the truth about her father’s life and his violent death takes her from Vancouver to Detroit where Sam Watts grew up, far away from his people and the place of his birth. Thanks to a disastrous government policy starting in the 1950s, thousands of Canadian native children like Sam were adopted by American families. In the Motor City, Nora discovers that the circumstances surrounding Sam’s suicide are more unsettling than she’d imagined.Yet no matter how far away Nora gets from Vancouver, she can’t shake trouble. Back in the Pacific Northwest, former police detective turned private investigator Jon Brazuca is looking into the overdose death of a billionaire’s mistress. His search uncovers a ruthless opiate ring and a startling connection to Nora, the infuriatingly distant woman he’d once tried to befriend. He has no way to warn or protect her, because she’s become a ghost, vanishing completely off the grid.Focused on the mysterious events of her father’s past and the clues they provide to her own fractured identity and that of her estranged daughter, Nora may not be able to see the danger heading her way until it’s too late. But it’s not her father’s old ties that could get her killed—it’s her own.

It All Falls Down (Nora Watts, #2) Details

TitleIt All Falls Down (Nora Watts, #2)
Author
ReleaseJul 3rd, 2018
PublisherHarperLuxe
ISBN-139780062845757
Rating
GenreFiction, Mystery, Thriller, Mystery Thriller

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It All Falls Down (Nora Watts, #2) Review

  • Will Byrnes
    January 1, 1970
    Wanting to know where you come from doesn’t make you weak…but it can make you vulnerable. It can make you crave answers about people you should belong to and places that call to your heart, answers that you’re never going to get, from questions that you don’t have the courage to ask. …disaster swoops down and grabs hold when a creature is at its weakest. Hi, My name is Nora, and I am a…um…well…uh… Investigator extraordinaire Nora Watts is struggling to come to terms with the fact that she has Wanting to know where you come from doesn’t make you weak…but it can make you vulnerable. It can make you crave answers about people you should belong to and places that call to your heart, answers that you’re never going to get, from questions that you don’t have the courage to ask. …disaster swoops down and grabs hold when a creature is at its weakest. Hi, My name is Nora, and I am a…um…well…uh… Investigator extraordinaire Nora Watts is struggling to come to terms with the fact that she has actually killed someone, ok, maybe more than one someone. And even if it was in self-defense, in the line of duty, it still leaves a psychic mark. Sadly, there is no such entity as Killers Anonymous where she can take her woes, so Nora transforms the details of her experience to fit more comfortably into another meeting. I mean, she has had some serious substance issues, so it is not all that much of a stretch whether it is a booze, drugs, or some other Anonymous meeting, right?Nora has two families. Her biology-based crew consisting of a daughter in another city, a sister with whom she is not exactly on the best of terms, a missing mother and a late father. Her constructed family consists of a diverse crew of misfits, including a cross-dressing computer expert, a recovering alcoholic of an investigatory sort-of-friend, an erstwhile employer who is enduring a life-ending illness and a stray pooch with an eye for furry studs. Her kidnapped daughter safely retrieved in Book 1 of this series, Nora is ready to take on another family challenge. After a mysterious military veteran associate of her father (Marines – Lebanon – when the US presence was under significant terrorist attack) tells her that he wanted to finally fulfill a promise he had made to her father to check in on her, (Jeez, took his bloody time, din’t he?) her curiosity is piqued and she begins looking into what had happened to long-lost dad. Why did he kill himself way back when? Cue quest. Pops had been taken from his Native family in a national disgrace of a program known as the Sixties Scoop, and was given to a white family in Detroit to be raised. Some Canadian Dream, eh? So, Nora heads off to Motown to do some poking around.I edited the sequel to #TheLostOnes/#eyeslikemine largely at an Irish whiskey bar, after hours. Every day, when the bar was closed to the public, I worked in the presence of temptation, immersing myself in a character who just so happens to be a recovering alcoholic. ‘You saved me’ by Gary Clark Jr. played on a loop on my headphones. This is what I’ve learned from the experience: Office space is expensive. Whiskey bottles are pretty. Gary Clark Jr soothes my soul. – From Kamal’s Instagram PagesBernard Lam, a billionaire client from The Lost Ones, is mourning the passing of the love of his life (someone other than his new wife) due to an overdose. Bereft at this, he wants Jon Brazuca, an ex-cop, ex-security agent, and current PI, who is still recovering from what Nora did to him in the last book, to find out how his darling, Clementine, got lost and gone forever. Lam is eager to learn who might have had a hand in the event, so he can apply his considerable fortune to a vengeful end. Brazuca’s investigation into the source of Clementine’s drugs, and Nora’s mission to find the truth of her father’s sad demise provide the two parallel story lines in It All Falls Down. Any chance that the two investigations might just, you know, somehow, intersect? Duh-uh. The action skips along at a lively place, with both Braz and Nora kept busy coping with very bad people intent on derailing them from their investigatory aims, with a nice side helping of physical harm. Nora, in particular, must run a seemingly endless gauntlet of people eager to put a permanent end to her inquiries.Ok, this shot is from a fire in Washington State, but you get the idea – image from Williamette WeekVolume 2 Nora remains a compelling character, a flawed, well, very flawed actor with more downside than a flock of geese. There is one particular tick that Kamal assigns Nora that pushes her from the flawed into the creepy. But maybe that’s just me. It did not interfere with enjoying the book, or caring about Nora and Braz finding out what they need to find out. There was one change to Nora, though, that I found a tad disappointing. Her super power, the ability to unerringly spot lies, has been significantly dampened, after a particularly unpleasant watery trauma at the end of the prior book. How reliable is her personal device with a sputtering charge? And is it ok to take away one of a character’s major advantages? That talent was definitely a nice-to-have, and I missed her having it here.Kamal offers up a bit more of the local color that so beautifully informed her prior book. Of course, the colors here tend to be in the darker end of the spectrum, both in BC and in Detroit. In addition to noting the Sixties Scoop program, she offers a less than tourist-brochure-ready look at the Motor City. The BC setting includes a nice piece of atmospheric menace with the constant peripheral presence of forest fires north of Vancouver. Fire serves here as rain did in the first book. Kamal also fills her early scenes with details of how an invasion of drugs is affecting Vancouver. Sometimes, though, the imagery can get a bit unsubtle, as when two birds of prey worry a stray duck. As The Blues played through The Lost Ones, so music informs this novel as well, with, in addition to music refs, opportunities for Nora to play some guitar and give her pipes a workout as well. It’s strange that a place like this could spawn one of the greatest soul legends alive today, but it makes a certain kind of sense. Music comes from shoving open the blinds and letting the sunshine or the darkness in. At least the blues does. Soul music is called that for a reason. If there was ever a place that stripped away the extraneous, it is Detroit…Detroit isn’t pretty, but the people left to pick up the pieces felt real to me. Which is more than I can say for beautiful but distant Vancouver, where there are no cyclists blasting love songs to cheer up the downtrodden. Maybe I’m falling for this city, even though someone here is trying to kill me. Devil’s Night image from TripSavvy.comThe introduction of a new series, a new set of characters offers the delight of getting to know these people and places for the first time. The second time lacks that advantage, making it a bit tougher for an author to keep us interested. Does Kamal manage it? Yep. Nora, despite, and maybe even because of her quirks, is a fun lead. I wish she had retained her uber BS detector, but she is formidable even in its absence. She remains a kick-ass heroine, and Braz offers a nice, tough, match for her. The events they investigate are interesting, so you will learn a thing or two while on the ride. (Angel’s Night in Detroit is one that stands out) Kamal’s secondary characters remain an engaging lot. Wish she had managed to get more of Nora’s dog, Whisper, into the act this time. I was also disappointed that the AA-type meeting thing was not revisited after the opening. It would have made a nice coda. The stage has been set for Nora to continue with the family quest in the next volume, (We can hope for final answers there.) with the addition, no doubt, of some parallel evil-doing for her and Braz to look into. The Lost Ones started us on our journey with Nora Watts. It All Falls Down might have been better titled It All Builds Up, because it deepens our interest in Nora and her quest. For now, Kamal has provided a very engaging, entertaining bridge from book one to book three. I can’t wait to see what happen when she gets to the other side. It All Falls Down is one smokin’ hot summer read.Review posted – March 9, 2018Publication – July 3, 2018=============================EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author’s personal, Instagram, and FB pagesItems by Sheena Kamal-----A wonderful piece on the origin of Nora Watts and Kamal’s decision to write her as a novel rather than a screenplay – for Powell’s - Rain and the Blues-----Kamal’s article in the Irish Times on some northern history - A Cautionary Tale about the Canadian dreamBits and pieces-----A wiki on the notorious Canadian Sixties Scoop program -----Some info on Devils/Angel’s Night in DetroitMusical refs of note-----Amy Winehouse performing Rehab-----Gary Clarke performing If Trouble was Money -----Lyrics to Oh My Darling, Clementine
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  • Diane S ☔
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 COMPLICATED AND CONFLICTED is how I would describe the deeply flawed Nora Watts. Although she tries to keep people out of her life, taking on her dog Whisper was a big thing for her, she doesn't want to depend on anyone nor want anyone to depend on her. This case will send her reeling when new facts about her father and his supposed suicide, come her way. She will search for snswers, which will send her from her home in Vancouver, to Detroit I think states. Here she find more trouble than ex 3.5 COMPLICATED AND CONFLICTED is how I would describe the deeply flawed Nora Watts. Although she tries to keep people out of her life, taking on her dog Whisper was a big thing for her, she doesn't want to depend on anyone nor want anyone to depend on her. This case will send her reeling when new facts about her father and his supposed suicide, come her way. She will search for snswers, which will send her from her home in Vancouver, to Detroit I think states. Here she find more trouble than expected, and danger again comes her way, involving the few Innocents who get caught up in her life.I enjoy Nora, she is tough, street smart, and a match for any guy in a fight. She survives by her with most time, but doesn't stop until she finds what she seeks. There is some sadness in this one involving a beloved character from the first in series. The author does a great job describing the decay of a changed Detroit, and also the hope that some have that is can be a great place once again.All in all a good story, with an unexpected hangover thread from her first. Love that it shows how hard it is to tell oneself they don't care, and keep others from caring. Deducted a little from my rating because the ending was a bit too much. Still, another series that I intend to keep reading. Let's just say Nora and Whisper have gotten under my skin.ARC from Edelweiss.
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  • Roxane
    January 1, 1970
    It was great to get back into Nora Watts’s world. This second novel was interesting and well written but the overall mystery wasn’t as compelling. It did however set up the next book really well. Appreciated seeing more of Brazuca and seeing how Nora has evolved since the events of Book 1. Excited for the next book in the series.
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  • Cheri
    January 1, 1970
    “She never mentions the word addictionIn certain company.Yes, she'll tell you she's an orphanAfter you meet her family."She paints her eyes as black as night now.Pulls those shades down tight.Yeah, she gives me a smile when the pain comes.The pain gonna make everything alright."Says she talks to angels.They call her out by her name.Oh yeah, she talks to angels.Says they call her out by her name.” --She Talks to Angels, The Black Crows, Songwriters: Christopher Mark Robinson / Rich S. RobinsonRe “She never mentions the word addictionIn certain company.Yes, she'll tell you she's an orphanAfter you meet her family."She paints her eyes as black as night now.Pulls those shades down tight.Yeah, she gives me a smile when the pain comes.The pain gonna make everything alright."Says she talks to angels.They call her out by her name.Oh yeah, she talks to angels.Says they call her out by her name.” --She Talks to Angels, The Black Crows, Songwriters: Christopher Mark Robinson / Rich S. RobinsonRecently, I was introduced to Nora Watts when I read Sheena Kamal’s The Lost Ones, and I was intrigued by this damaged and daring young woman who seems to make her own rules and expect others to respect those rules. She’s smart, quick-witted, and even ruthless when need be, while at the same time managing to be somewhat quirkily charming, all the while jugging her own personal demons. ”During my share, I settle for telling my fellow nutjobs that I feel like I’m being shadowed by my demons, and they nod in understanding. We are strangers who all know one another’s deepest secrets, bonded in the sacred circle of a urine-stained meeting room in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. They lift their anemic arms in polite applause afterward and we disperse from the collapsed circle. We are blessedly strangers again.” In It All Falls Down,prompted by a veteran’s story about her father, Nora goes in search of the truth about her him, her father had died when she was quite young. She once again leaves her dog, Whisper, and Vancouver behind and heads to Detroit, where her father grew up – but that wasn’t where he was born. Her father was one of approximately 20,000 Canadian Indigenous children who were taken from their families and were placed in foster homes, or adoption between the 1950s into the 1980s. Needless to say, her search isn’t a walk in the park. What Nora finds when she gets to Detroit is trouble, but then it seems to follow her wherever she goes. Those that have tried to help, look after her in the past, are back in the Pacific Northwest trying to figure out where she’s gone and how to reach her, a band of damaged souls, themselves. Kamal never allows the story reach a point where the reader’s interest wanes, but neither is this story told at a frantic pace. This is a well-paced story with just enough tension to keep you from wanting to put this down, especially if you’ve read The Lost Ones, as you’ll want to see how Nora fares, and if, indeed, It All Falls Down.My only quibble was that Nora’s internal BS detector, which was so much a part of who her character was in The Lost Ones was on the fritz, leaving her to go about her days like the rest of us mere mortals. I hope Ms. Kamal is able to locate it, get it back in working order for the next book in this series. Pub Date: 3 JUL 2018Many thanks for the ARC provided by William Morrow / Harper Collins
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  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    January 1, 1970
    It All Falls down is the sequel to the fabulous The Lost Ones. In this book is Nora Watts approached by a man that claims to have known her late father. Nora doesn't know much about her father, and the man's inquest about her and her sister makes her search for facts about her father. This eventually takes her from Vancouver to Detroit where Sam Watts grew up. The more she learns about her father and ultimately her mother makes her realize that the circumstances around her father suicide are mor It All Falls down is the sequel to the fabulous The Lost Ones. In this book is Nora Watts approached by a man that claims to have known her late father. Nora doesn't know much about her father, and the man's inquest about her and her sister makes her search for facts about her father. This eventually takes her from Vancouver to Detroit where Sam Watts grew up. The more she learns about her father and ultimately her mother makes her realize that the circumstances around her father suicide are more complicated than she thought.At first, the story in this book seems to be just about Nora's father. Then, Nora starts to discover more about the mother she hardly remembers. And, ultimately Nora will realize that her own ghosts are still out to get her. If you have read the first book do you know about Nora's hunt to find her daughter Bonnie (that she gave up for adoption) that disappeared. She may have brought Bonnie home, but there are still people out there that will Nora ill.I love how this book gave Nora and the reader more knowledge about Nora's parents. As the first book was about Nora and Bonnie does this feel great to get to know more about Nora and her family. Of course, Bonnie is still there in the story. Love the pics they send to each other, in a way to tentatively have a contact. Then, there is Jon Brazuca doing his own research into the death of a friend's mistress. That part was OK even though I much preferred when he decided to help Nora instead. The ending of the book makes me long for the next book in the series!I want to thank William Morrow for providing me with a free copy through Edelweiss for an honest review!
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. I had no idea this was the second book in a series and it took me some time to get into the story. But once I did-I was completely gone! Sheena Kamal writes a gritty thriller and her heroine, Nora Watts is the kind of flawed character that I just cannot get enough of in books or television. Highly recommend!
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    Hm. My next book better be good because I’ll definitely have a book hangover...I loved Eyes Like Mine, loved this one too. Nora is a fierce young woman who trouble always seems to find her... Can’t wait for book 3! I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Lou
    January 1, 1970
    What I have found is that titles that have no synopsis posted on NetGalley seem to have a low pick-up rate, as if people cannot manage to search for it elsewhere on the web. Maybe people are just lazy, who knows. This is one of those with no blurb, but after reading it elsewhere on the net it sounded intriguing, it certainly didn't put me off! Okay, rant over!With advance praise from Jeffery Deaver and Lee Child, and it being recommended for fans of Stieg Larsson, Sharon Bolton and Peter Swanson What I have found is that titles that have no synopsis posted on NetGalley seem to have a low pick-up rate, as if people cannot manage to search for it elsewhere on the web. Maybe people are just lazy, who knows. This is one of those with no blurb, but after reading it elsewhere on the net it sounded intriguing, it certainly didn't put me off! Okay, rant over!With advance praise from Jeffery Deaver and Lee Child, and it being recommended for fans of Stieg Larsson, Sharon Bolton and Peter Swanson, this had me at hello. I see that this is the second in the Nora Watts series from Sheena Kamal, I haven't read the first one, but I feel this could easily qualify as a standalone title."It All Falls Down" is what you call a real page-turner with a fantastic storyline and Nora Watts, the central character is a fascinating and well-developed protagonist who is both feisty and deeply flawed. In Nora, Kamal has created a believable and relatable main character. I plan to go back and read the first in the series in order to understand how her past has moulded her into the person she is today. The plot is taut and intricate, full of tension and suspense. The writing is excellent making the novel very simple to engage with and plenty of pace in the storyline means everything just flows naturally, this made it an absolute pleasure to read.Many thanks to Zaffre for an ARC. I was not required to post a review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Linda Strong
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsNora Watts is a unique character, deeply flawed. She abhors most people but loves her dog. Her family is dysfunctional, but the friends she has chosen for her 'real' family all have their own issues. But she is loyal to them.Nora is approached by a man on the street who says he knew her father ... the father that killed himself 10 years ago. Not knowing her father's upbringing, the man whets her appetite for learning more about her father and plans a trip to Detroit where her father cam 3.5 StarsNora Watts is a unique character, deeply flawed. She abhors most people but loves her dog. Her family is dysfunctional, but the friends she has chosen for her 'real' family all have their own issues. But she is loyal to them.Nora is approached by a man on the street who says he knew her father ... the father that killed himself 10 years ago. Not knowing her father's upbringing, the man whets her appetite for learning more about her father and plans a trip to Detroit where her father came from. Sh wants, no needs, to discover a reason behind his death. Instead, she finds more questions than answers. Meanwhile, PI Jon Brazuca is investigating the overdose death of a billionaire’s mistress, who may have some connection to Nora.There are multiple characters, multiple story lines. Some of it happens in Detroit, some of it in Canada. I found it hard to follow at times. This is second of a series, and I highly recommend reading the books in order to understand how Nora's past has made her into the person she is today.There is tension and some suspense, but it's on low heat. I was expecting a bit more explosive, but it never reached that plateau. Many thanks to the author / William Morrow Publishing / Edelweiss / for the advanced digital copy. Opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own.
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  • Liz Barnsley
    January 1, 1970
    I'm on a total roll of excellent books at the moment and It All Falls Down must be somewhere near the top of those mainly because of main protagonist Nora Watts who is an incredible character. Full review to follow.
  • Rachel Hall
    January 1, 1970
    When Sheena Kamal blasted onto the scene with her debut, Eyes Like Mine, in a brutally brilliant shot of Canadian noir she introduced her damaged and uncompromising lead protagonist, Nora Watts to the world. In a stunning debut a deeply troubled Nora was taken from her job as a research assistant at a small private investigations firm in downtown Vancouver in search of the daughter she gave up for adoption fifteen years ago and was forced into confronting the memories of the horrific rape that l When Sheena Kamal blasted onto the scene with her debut, Eyes Like Mine, in a brutally brilliant shot of Canadian noir she introduced her damaged and uncompromising lead protagonist, Nora Watts to the world. In a stunning debut a deeply troubled Nora was taken from her job as a research assistant at a small private investigations firm in downtown Vancouver in search of the daughter she gave up for adoption fifteen years ago and was forced into confronting the memories of the horrific rape that left her pregnant and the ruthless predators responsible on Vancouver Island.Firstly, I would advise readers NOT to tackle this follow-up novel as a stand-alone as without knowledge of the hefty backstories of the characters involved and an outline of the events of Eyes Like Mine the story is unlikely to be fully enjoyed or make complete sense. Kamal neither summarises or conveys the gist of Nora’s situation sufficiently enough to make this clear or details exactly why she has unfinished business with a violent gang.A year on from the fallout of Eyes Like Mine which saw ex-alcoholic Nora take a life or two, albeit in self-defence, she remains as prickly as ever as she slowly recovers from near-drowning and a gunshot wound. Still residing in the insalubrious surroundings of Downtown Eastside she is temporarily resident in the Kitsilano home of her former boss, trusted friend and political journalist, Sebastian Crow, as he spends the remainder of his battle with terminal cancer compiling his memoirs with the aid of Nora and her devoted dog, Whisper. As Seb spends his last days living in the past a watchful Nora is taken on her own journey when she is approached by a veteran claiming to know her late father when he served in Lebanon with the US marines, all of which is news to Nora. However it is his mention of “trouble in Lebanon” and that Samuel Watt’s suicide has always bothered him that sends Nora in search of the truth behind his death and from Vancouver to the gritty streets of her father’s now neglected childhood home of Detroit. As Seb encourages Nora to get to know who her father really was without the blinkers of childhood on she must first retrieve the only memories of his life contained in a shoebox by her estranged sister, Lorelei, which aside from a few faded photos consists of five postcards from an address in Detroit and forms the first piece of her puzzle.Amid the depressing atmosphere of a once vibrant city now faced with mass desertion and thriving industries gone to seed, the hopeless spirit of the Detroit inhabitants chimes with Nora when initial answers aren’t forthcoming with Harvey, Sam’s adopted brother, decidedly hostile. Surrounded by urban detritus what Nora does manage to discover from the few marines who knew her father is enough to cast serious doubt on his having committed suicide. Abandoned by her birth mother at an early age, Nora has nothing but a removed interest for her natural mother but as she delves into Sam’s history she makes some shocking discoveries about her Palestinian mother, Sabrina Awad. Slowly it emerges that her mother’s sudden disappearance from family life was inextricably linked with her father’s violent death a year later that landed Nora and Lorelei into the failing system of foster care. But for tenacious Nora, she must first face down whoever is following her every step of the way and escape several brushes with death and tackle the mystery of the man in the park in a blazing Angel’s Night showdown. Resilient and highly flawed, Nora does not shy away from confrontation, which makes her an unenviable proposition for her opponents but firstly she must work out who all her enemies are, well aware that the her involvement in Bonnie’s case has left a legacy of unfinished business.Simultaneously a second thread of the plot is unravelling with ex-cop, ex-security agent and Nora’s old sponsor throughout AA, Jon Brazuca. Still regretting his compulsion to help Nora during her first struggle and the months it took him to kick the habit again brought on by his involvement he is after an easier and simpler life. When he is hired by billionaire playboy Bernard Lam to look into the fatal overdose of his twenty-five-year-old and four-months pregnant mistress, Clementine Chan, with the express mission to uncover her dealer and follow the supply chain upwards in order for Lam to take revenge, it presents the opportunity for a payday to retire upon. But with Clementine’s death due to cocaine laced with a synthetic opiate more potent than fentanyl called “Wild Ten”, the stakes are high and secrecy paramount for those involved. When the trail leads straight back to the enemies he and Nora made in their first outing he must once again decide where his loyalties lie. It is Brazuca’s story which offers far more in that way of intriguing investigation and in all honesty I think this element of the plot was substantial enough to support the novel alone. Removed from Nora’s day to day life after the events of the first case he is caught in a race to locate her before her enemies catch up with her.Overall I was far less enamoured with the plot of this story, which seemed flimsy in comparison to Eyes Like Mine and also proceeded as a slower pace with far less dramatic action. Nora’s story felt drawn out and despite being an engaging protagonist I was far less interested in her discoveries pertaining to Lebanon and Beirut. Disappointingly the energy of the first book was missing and it was Jon Brazuca’s investigation that I was focused upon and remained keen for the unfolding drama to get back to as Nora’s lacklustre heritage story was of little personal interest to me. When both characters cases conveniently led back to the gang behind the first investigation it felt awkwardly contrived and like Kamal was groping for something bigger to tie It All Falls Down together.Increasing seeming focused on geopolitical events and organised crime I was underwhelmed by It All Falls Down and frustrated by Nora’s preoccupation with her past, hence I doubt I will be reading future novels in the series. Not only is the plot much less cohesive and the threads of Nora and Brazuca knitted together is an artificial and clunky manner, I feel that future stories actually need to take the character of Nora someone and develop her. Whilst Kamal writes impressively and Nora Watts remains an unforgettable and fascinating heroine, I felt less emotionally moved by her plight and with a third novel apparently detailing Nora’s attempt to reconnect with her estranged teenage daughter in Toronto and once again running from the enemies she made in her sizzling debut I feel that Sheena Kamal must show she has more strings to her bow than one stunning storyline that is dragged out in every future outing in the series.With thanks to Readers First who provided me with a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
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  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    Nora Watts, the character Sheena Kamal created in her novel Eyes Like Mine (also Published under The Lost Ones), was one of my favourite protagonists of 2017 and I was really looking forward to meeting up with her again.It is a very different Nora we see in Shamal’s latest novel It All Falls Down. After killing someone in order to rescue her daughter, Nora struggles not only with her conscience but has also lost the gift that had set her apart as an investigator – her ability to detect lies. She Nora Watts, the character Sheena Kamal created in her novel Eyes Like Mine (also Published under The Lost Ones), was one of my favourite protagonists of 2017 and I was really looking forward to meeting up with her again.It is a very different Nora we see in Shamal’s latest novel It All Falls Down. After killing someone in order to rescue her daughter, Nora struggles not only with her conscience but has also lost the gift that had set her apart as an investigator – her ability to detect lies. She is now living with her friend and former boss Sebastian Crow, who is dying from cancer and trying to compile his memoirs with Nora’s help. She seems even more rootless and lost without her job as investigator, her dark past still haunting her. Already a very solitary and reserved character, she is becoming even more anti-social, if this is at all possible. So when the past catches up with her in the form of an old military buddy of her father’s, she grabs the opportunity to travel to Detroit, her father’s childhood home, to try and find out more about her parents’ past. As the daughter of an indigenous Canadian man who had been taken from his birth family and raised by adoptive parents, and a Palestinian refugee mother, who vanished without a trace when Nora was a child, she has many questions about her lineage that she thought would never be answered. She is especially haunted by the suicide of her father, which saw her sister and her being put into foster care and raised as a ward of the state.The dark underbelly of Detroit offers a sinister backdrop to Nora’s search for truth, and a stark contrast to her Vancouver home. For a reader from a small remote country town, this setting was a huge eye-opener to me. With an industrial crisis hanging over the city, bringing high unemployment, drugs, violence, hopelessness and crime, Detroit seemed like a scary and joyless place to me. As soon as Nora starts digging into her father’s past, threatening to unearth some skeletons, she is attracting the attention of some very dangerous people, which sees her having to go on the run and fight for her life.I was happy to see that Nora, despite her lost superpower, was still the brash, abrasive, badass character I had been so enamoured with in Kama’s first book. She also hasn’t lost her self-deprecating humour I had enjoyed so much. Whilst Nora does her best to keep everyone at arms’ length, including her readers, she is an irresistible protagonist. However, I felt that there was a link missing between Kamal’s first novel and this one, as the story makes a huge jump forward in time to a point where I felt that I had perhaps missed another book. Nora’s and Brazuca’s stories don’t tie together well in this one, and it all felt slightly disjointed to me. I also felt it more difficult to connect to the element of organised crime and gangland activity, which was so alien to me and did not have the same emotional pull as Nora’s first quest, of rescuing a child she had given up for adoption at birth. However, as Nora discovers some pieces of her parents’ past that put everything she has ever thought into doubt, I felt myself getting more intrigued. Whilst I felt it a bit harder to connect to all the different characters in It All Falls Down than in Eyes Like Mine, and desperately missed Nora’s faithful companion Whisper, I still enjoyed this plucky character and look forward to finding out more about her in the next book in the series. As a fair warning to readers, I feel that this book would not work well as a stand-alone novel and highly recommend reading the first book in the series before delving into this storyline. Thank you to Edelweiss and William Morrow for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review. *blog* *facebook* *instagram*
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  • Glen
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book in a goodreads drawing.Nora grew up with only her father as a parent. When he kills himself, she pokes around, and finds her father was shipped thousands of miles to be adopted by an American family. Then she gets dragged into a deeper a conspiracy.It was okay, but nothing really memorable.
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  • Orláith
    January 1, 1970
    I found It All Falls Down to be quite painful to read. Not because of trauma to the characters, but because it was just so slow and boring that I had to force myself to keep turning the page. Honestly, I found this to be the most sluggish "thriller" I have ever encountered. The dialogue is uninteresting and there was nothing about the characters that made me root for them or even like them for that matter. I'm not going to go into any more detail as I hate to write such a negative review but if I found It All Falls Down to be quite painful to read. Not because of trauma to the characters, but because it was just so slow and boring that I had to force myself to keep turning the page. Honestly, I found this to be the most sluggish "thriller" I have ever encountered. The dialogue is uninteresting and there was nothing about the characters that made me root for them or even like them for that matter. I'm not going to go into any more detail as I hate to write such a negative review but if my writing this can save someone else from a wasted evening of slogging through this book then I feel I have to post this. Thank you to the publisher for sending me a free copy of It All Falls Down.
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  • William
    January 1, 1970
    Darker beginning than her first book, sadder from the start. More pain. Again superb prose. When dogs know that they are dying, they’ll find a comfortable spot and lie there until it’s their time. There is no self-pity in their eyes. They don’t fight what’s coming. It’s their people that become fraught with anxiety at the idea that their loved one is about to die. But for the dog there is only a kind of peaceful resignation. -- Then she puts her finger to her lips again, waits a moment while she Darker beginning than her first book, sadder from the start. More pain. Again superb prose. When dogs know that they are dying, they’ll find a comfortable spot and lie there until it’s their time. There is no self-pity in their eyes. They don’t fight what’s coming. It’s their people that become fraught with anxiety at the idea that their loved one is about to die. But for the dog there is only a kind of peaceful resignation. -- Then she puts her finger to her lips again, waits a moment while she listens to a sound inside, then goes back to smiling at me. It’s astounding to learn the young age at which girls start keeping secrets from the alpha males in their lives. --He could get used to women using him for sex, he realizes. And at least she’s honest about it. But still, he can’t quite figure her out. She seems like too sensible a woman to let grief overtake her like this. Seems people have become more complicated or he has become simpler. But he doesn’t understand how either could have happened without some kind of advance warning. --Open-mic night, Nora sings:My voice, low and raspy to begin with, catches on the word Daddy for just a fraction of a second, but it becomes much too real, much too fast for me. A change comes over me as I sing now, and it has nothing to do with wanting to show up some cocky young bluesman. I’m not fine, and my daddy will never know it. So I sing about that and it is my way of reliving what that little girl saw on the day she came home from school, the day that changed her life forever. --Brazuca stands and tries to hide the pity in his eyes. Women have divorced him, drugged him, tied him to a bed, broken his heart, walked away. But none of them has ever killed herself to get away from him. Vary sadly in the second half of the book, "It All Falls Apart". Not sure what happened. Pressures of touring for the extraordinary and superb, 5-Star "Eyes Like Mine" ("The Lost Ones") ?
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  • Meghan
    January 1, 1970
    Didn't like it as much as the first one. Story was still good, but the end just sort of - happened, and I am not sure which of the two story lines I was supposed to be paying attention to. Instead of being thrilled with the twisty turns I was just a little confused. But I still love Nora and the Detroit stuff was ok.
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  • Jamie Canaves
    January 1, 1970
    The Past Is Still Coming (TW: rape/ suicide)This sequel was one I was anticipating and it didn’t disappoint! Nora has had a tough life, and the events of the first book only added more traumatic events, but she never quits nor stops moving forward, which is what leads her to leave one of the only people in her life–on his death bed–to find answers about her father. We travel from Vancouver to Detroit as Watts puts distance with her past to uncover who her father was, but her past in Vancouver is The Past Is Still Coming (TW: rape/ suicide)This sequel was one I was anticipating and it didn’t disappoint! Nora has had a tough life, and the events of the first book only added more traumatic events, but she never quits nor stops moving forward, which is what leads her to leave one of the only people in her life–on his death bed–to find answers about her father. We travel from Vancouver to Detroit as Watts puts distance with her past to uncover who her father was, but her past in Vancouver isn’t going to stop coming for her no matter how far away she is–including PI Brazuca. Watts is the kind of woman that life has beaten–repeatedly–and left her hard, mistrusting, and determined, and I love watching her navigate through the world on difficult journeys. The book has a lot of different parts–the previous “case,” her caring for a dying man, her current mission to learn about her family, working on a new relationship, and Brazuca’s current work and case–but they all flow well with each other and come together in the end leaving me once again having read a really good book and wanting more Nora Watts. (You technically do not have to read The Lost Ones because this book does catch you up BUT it gives away a lot of the solves from the first book. Plus, the first book was a great thriller so you should read it.)--from Book Riot's Unusual Suspects newsletter: http://link.bookriot.com/view/56a8200...
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  • Terri
    January 1, 1970
    MY first insight to this book was that it looked rather interesting, a book that held many twists and turns, While it does hold some insights, I found it a little hard to actually get in to it at first as there seemed to be so much information which hadn't been explained as well as the fact, that certain bits of information was repeated constantly within a few pages. (something I can find offputting sometimes)But the main dislike of the book is that, to full understand more of the story line and MY first insight to this book was that it looked rather interesting, a book that held many twists and turns, While it does hold some insights, I found it a little hard to actually get in to it at first as there seemed to be so much information which hadn't been explained as well as the fact, that certain bits of information was repeated constantly within a few pages. (something I can find offputting sometimes)But the main dislike of the book is that, to full understand more of the story line and about Nora's life,You have to of read the authors first book. I received this book as part of Readers First giveaways in return for an honest review. In part, if I had known that the book was the second in a series, I wouldn't of entered to win this book. Not only does the first book needs to be read, the whole story kind of ends on a cliff hanger with Nora, making you have to wait for the third book to continue reading about what is going on. Other than those little things, there were some parts of the book that I did enjoy, the style of writing flowed quite clearly in some places. The language was easy to understand and there was only a few characters to keep track off. Although, saying that, it can be hard to understand a little with the way each chapter seems to swap from prospective of each of the characters without much to go on or knowledge at first.
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  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    I'm not usually drawn to gritty books but there was something about Nora Watts that hooked me with the first book so I had to see how she made out in the second. Probably am done with this one.
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Mixed feelings I have mixed feelings about this book. It is the second book in Sheena Kamal's Nora Watts series and as I had not read the first book in the series, I found it difficult to engage with and follow.I liked the cover and enjoyed the casual, breezy prose but the plot felt weak, the characters flat and the setting under-developed. I felt the characters and their backstories could have been introduced and explained in more detail. However, I realise that the author might have excluded s Mixed feelings I have mixed feelings about this book. It is the second book in Sheena Kamal's Nora Watts series and as I had not read the first book in the series, I found it difficult to engage with and follow.I liked the cover and enjoyed the casual, breezy prose but the plot felt weak, the characters flat and the setting under-developed. I felt the characters and their backstories could have been introduced and explained in more detail. However, I realise that the author might have excluded such explanations so as to avoid repetition for existing readers.In short, I would recommend this book to those who have read the first book in the series and are therefore familiar with Nora Watts; I would not recommend it as a standalone novel. As a newcomer to the series and someone with no previous knowledge of Nora Watts and her background, the book left me with too many unanswered questions to feel satisfactory and complete.With thanks to Readers First for the ARC.
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  • Valerie
    January 1, 1970
    Received this as an ARC from the publisher. I read and enjoyed this book but it didn't hold my interest as some do. I didn't want to keep on reading and not put it down. Took me several days to finish it. Don't know why - just didn't grab my attention. Having said that I did like it enough to finish it out which is a sign that some are going to thoroughly enjoy it.One of the reviews compares Nora Watts to Lisbeth Salander and there is truth in that. She is the gutsy take no prisoners main charac Received this as an ARC from the publisher. I read and enjoyed this book but it didn't hold my interest as some do. I didn't want to keep on reading and not put it down. Took me several days to finish it. Don't know why - just didn't grab my attention. Having said that I did like it enough to finish it out which is a sign that some are going to thoroughly enjoy it.One of the reviews compares Nora Watts to Lisbeth Salander and there is truth in that. She is the gutsy take no prisoners main character. I think maybe reading the first book in the series might have made a difference. Probably one of my issues is that I like a series where the reader can jump in on any of them and follow. Had a little problem with this one.
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  • Molly
    January 1, 1970
    Nora Watts is a great character - real, gritty, overly fond of her dog and averse to most people. I wish that I'd read the first volume in this series before this one, but Sheena Kamal makes it fairly easy to pick up on the details of her characters' pasts. The mystery here is confounding at every turn, full of dead ends and things that don't make sense - which, once the man behind so much of Nora's misfortune is revealed, actually makes perfect sense. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this Nora Watts is a great character - real, gritty, overly fond of her dog and averse to most people. I wish that I'd read the first volume in this series before this one, but Sheena Kamal makes it fairly easy to pick up on the details of her characters' pasts. The mystery here is confounding at every turn, full of dead ends and things that don't make sense - which, once the man behind so much of Nora's misfortune is revealed, actually makes perfect sense. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this and will probably be going back to pick up the first installment. I received a galley of this book via Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Mom2nine
    January 1, 1970
    If I had not won this book, I wouldn't have read past the first 100 pgs, which was full of random sex and shady characters. It all seemed gratuitous, without explanation of how Nora supports herself (never did figure that one out) or why she is surrounded by so many shady people, but also ties to police. The second half finally settles into a bit of a mystery or puzzle instead of relying on shock value. Book received in goodreads contest
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  • Cathy
    January 1, 1970
    Very confusing. Too many characters. Not what I expected from reading back cover 'blurb'. There was a very tenuous connection between the multiple characters. The end was very unsatisfactory.I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway.
  • Emily
    January 1, 1970
    DNFing around 30 pages. The Lost Ones was on my TBR for a long time, and I had really been looking forward to it. I had trouble connecting with it, but still figured I would give this one a chance.I appreciate what the author is trying to do in both books, but there's way too many little stories crammed in. Everything is far-fetched and dramatic, and it's hard to believe in the things that happen in the world of these books. These might be good for someone who is just being introduced to thrille DNFing around 30 pages. The Lost Ones was on my TBR for a long time, and I had really been looking forward to it. I had trouble connecting with it, but still figured I would give this one a chance.I appreciate what the author is trying to do in both books, but there's way too many little stories crammed in. Everything is far-fetched and dramatic, and it's hard to believe in the things that happen in the world of these books. These might be good for someone who is just being introduced to thrillers, but I just found it to be too slow-paced. Thank you to the publisher for sending these books.
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  • Phyllis Krall
    January 1, 1970
    This is the second book in the Nora Watts series and even though I did not read the first one, I had no trouble understanding what went on. Nora’s search for answers about her father’s death take her from Canada to the streets of Detroit. It is an intense thriller with many shocking twists as Nora faces danger every step of the way. Events that are related to her father’s past bring Nora up against troubles that are insurmountable. She never gives up, even when her own life is at stake.I enjoyed This is the second book in the Nora Watts series and even though I did not read the first one, I had no trouble understanding what went on. Nora’s search for answers about her father’s death take her from Canada to the streets of Detroit. It is an intense thriller with many shocking twists as Nora faces danger every step of the way. Events that are related to her father’s past bring Nora up against troubles that are insurmountable. She never gives up, even when her own life is at stake.I enjoyed this thriller and will certainly read the first one. I admire Nora’s strength and tenacity in every situation.
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  • Victoria Law
    January 1, 1970
    I really appreciate Kamal's weaving in the political, cultural and historical landscapes. But having the viewpoints switch for Nora in Detroit and Brazuca in Vancouver (along with the cast of characters that each encounters along the way ) made it difficult for me to follow easily. I found myself having to flip back to remind myself of the significance of some name or another several times.that said, I'm still looking forward to the next book and seeing how she ties all these pieces together.
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  • Breakaway Reviewers
    January 1, 1970
    A search for answers unearths more than bargained forNora Watts is a strong but troubled woman who is caring for friend Sebastian who is dying from cancer. She has moved into his apartment with her dog Whisper and is dedicated to giving her friend the death he wants.Just a little paranoid, Nora feels she is being watched, and when she encounters a strange man while walking her dog, her life is thrown upside down when he claims to have known her late father.Looking for answers, Nora travels to De A search for answers unearths more than bargained forNora Watts is a strong but troubled woman who is caring for friend Sebastian who is dying from cancer. She has moved into his apartment with her dog Whisper and is dedicated to giving her friend the death he wants.Just a little paranoid, Nora feels she is being watched, and when she encounters a strange man while walking her dog, her life is thrown upside down when he claims to have known her late father.Looking for answers, Nora travels to Detroit to find out the truth about his death. In doing so, she stirs up a hornets’ nest and finds herself hunted and in danger. A chance encounter with a blues singer gives her a glimpse of normal life, but then her pursuers threaten that relationship.Alone and afraid, Nora leaves no stone unturned in her search for answers and in doing so learns some uncomfortable truths about the mother who abandoned Norah and her sister when they were very young.This is a fast-paced thriller with loads of suspense and a wealth of interesting and memorable characters. Well written and well researched this is an old-fashioned thriller brought way up to date. A great read.PashtpawsBreakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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  • G.J. Minett
    January 1, 1970
    I'll confess I haven't yet read book one in the Nora Watts series. It's an oversight I'll put right very soon. It All Falls Down is a real page-turner with a feisty and decidedly flawed central character who would probably have shrugged me off or flattened me if I'd tried to show any sympathy for her but whom I couldn't help loving all the same. It's intricately plotted, pacy and blessed with a cast of characters who are both distinctive and engaging. I really enjoyed this and although, as is in I'll confess I haven't yet read book one in the Nora Watts series. It's an oversight I'll put right very soon. It All Falls Down is a real page-turner with a feisty and decidedly flawed central character who would probably have shrugged me off or flattened me if I'd tried to show any sympathy for her but whom I couldn't help loving all the same. It's intricately plotted, pacy and blessed with a cast of characters who are both distinctive and engaging. I really enjoyed this and although, as is inevitable with a series, some of the backstory for book one has already been revealed, that won't stop me from reading it - the writing is that good. Definitely recommend this
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  • Rebekah McComas
    January 1, 1970
    Even after reading this from cover to cover, I’m still not sure what the book was actually about…Nora Watts is a recovering alcoholic with a suitcase full of Daddy issues, plus Mommy and Sister issues to boot. She is living with her friend and mentor Sebastian Crow, who happens to be suffering from the later stages of cancer, and her dog Whisper, who naturally understands her in a way no human ever could. One day, Nora encounters a strange man in the park who hints that there may be more to the Even after reading this from cover to cover, I’m still not sure what the book was actually about…Nora Watts is a recovering alcoholic with a suitcase full of Daddy issues, plus Mommy and Sister issues to boot. She is living with her friend and mentor Sebastian Crow, who happens to be suffering from the later stages of cancer, and her dog Whisper, who naturally understands her in a way no human ever could. One day, Nora encounters a strange man in the park who hints that there may be more to the story of her father’s suicide than has come to light. She drops everything and races off to Detroit to find some answers.Meanwhile, ex-police-officer-turned-private-detective Brazuca is pressured into investigating the overdose of a millionaire playboy’s young mistress, which leads him deep into the shady territory of gangland. I didn’t feel that this book was particularly satisfying - I found it hard to tell if the book failed to wrap up all of the loose ends and supply the answers Nora had set out to seek, or whether by the time I got to the end I was just so bored that I had stopped paying attention. Either way, sadly I didn’t enjoy this book much at all. I found the character of Nora to be frankly annoying and didn’t feel as if she had been redeemed by the end. The plot made little sense and I could never really see where it was meant to be going leaving me feeling confused, frustrated but ultimately relieved when it was finally over. I don’t think I’ll be hunting down any more of Kamal’s books anytime soon. This one just wasn’t my cup of tea.
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