A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Friday, September 30, 2016

All Fall Down by Tom Bale- Feature and Review

You tried to save a life. Now you’re fighting to save your own. 
It should have been an idyllic day for the Turner family – until a dying man, beaten beyond all recognition, arrives at their home, uttering the words, HELP ME. 

Rob and Wendy Turner and their children try to explain away the horrific scene as being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but in the days that follow their lives are threatened in ways they could never imagine. 

The family is unaware that they are being watched by someone with their own terrifying agenda, who will stop at nothing to fulfil their own twisted desires. 

But when hidden secrets come rushing to the surface, it’s clear not everything is as it seems in this happy family. Are the Turners a victim of circumstance – or does the key to their fate lie closer to home? 

Forced to fight for everything they hold dear, can they save themselves before time runs out – or will their act of compassion see them paying the ultimate price…? 



  All Fall DownAll Fall Down by Tom Bale
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All Fall Down by Tom Bale is a 2016 Bookouture publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This book was trending for a while a few weeks ago, so I thought I should probably check it out and I’d say it was worth all the attention.

‘All Fall Down’ is a taut, edgy, psychological thriller, coiled up tighter than wound spring.

Rob and Wendy are having a nice evening, cooking outdoors, when a badly injured man stumbles onto their lawn. Later they find out the man has died. At first, it seemed like a very bizarre incident, but Rob begins receiving disturbing notes, and a series of odd occurrences has the family on edge.

Rob’s business was involved in some questionable dealings which he is just now recovering from, and his marriage has reached a turning point, with Wendy expressing dissatisfaction, and their children, Josh, Evan, and Georgia are each deeply entrenched in their own lives. But, when they all go away together for a family holiday, things go horribly awry, when they are placed in a terrifying predicament, putting them in survival mode, for better or worse.

Whew! This story really put me through the wringer! My heart rate spiked a few times and I felt nervous and uncomfortable from start to finish. The psychological terror comes from not knowing who to trust, not knowing what the motive could be, and from inner turmoil within the Turner household. Rob and Wendy’s paranoia is catching as they question event from their past, wondering if it is all somehow connected.

I like stories that expose the fragility of human nature, that implies we are all vulnerable to suggestion, are all capable of almost anything when it comes to survival or protecting our family. This story winds around those loops with precision, exposing the darkest corner of the human psyche, proving we may all have a trigger that turns us into someone we wouldn’t be under normal circumstances, and also proves the power of familial ties, and even the power of love, despite the turbulent and unorthodox way it presents itself.

The characters are certainly unique, rousing me to pull for them, but still left me feeling unsure about trusting them explicitly.

What secrets are you harboring? How far would you go to save your family? How much are you will to hide? What sacrifices are you willing to make and can you live with those choices?

Thought provoking, dark and chilling, and utterly terrifying at times, this novel is one you must read if like suspense thrillers of any kind.




Tom Bale has had a variety of jobs including retail assistant, claims negotiator and project manager, but none was as exhausting as the several years he spent as a househusband with two pre-school children. Tom has been writing since the age of seven, and completed his first novel at fifteen. After twenty years and hundreds of rejection slips, his first novel SINS OF THE FATHER was published under his real name, David Harrison. With his next book, SKIN AND BONES, he acquired an agent, a pseudonym and a book deal that enabled him to write full time. He lives in Brighton, England, with his family. Visit his website at www.tombale.net, follow him on Facebook, or on Twitter: @t0mbale (zero instead of "o").

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