It All Falls Down
by Sheena Kamal
Publication Date : July 3, 2018
Pages : 336
Everyone loves an underdog. Readers looking for an underdog to cheer on, need look no further than the protagonist featured in Sheena Kamal's newest release, It All Falls Down. In It All Falls Down readers travel with Nora Watts from the unsavory streets of Vancouver Canada, to the financially devastated city of Detroit, Michigan. After receiving a mysterious visitor Nora Watts, an assistant/admin for a private investigation agency, decides to look into the death of her father. Once she arrives in Detroit, Nora realizes she may have stumbled onto something more sinister than she first imagined.
After reading The Lost Ones, book one of the Nora Watts series, and It All Falls Down, what stands out to me is Nora's stubbornness and blind determination. No matter how potentially dangerous a situation may be Nora goes in and does not come out until she finds out what she wants to know. I think many of us have questions in our lives which we would rather not know the answers. While many may avoid these types of questions, Nora feels that even if she knows the worst, at least she knows.
Nora Watts is one of the most intriguing lead characters I have read. When the opportunity to ask the author who created Nora presented itself, I was super excited and could not wait to learn the back story and inspiration for this complex and flawed character.
Synopsis of It All Falls Down
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.
Sheena Kamal holds an HBA in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and was awarded a TD Canada Trust scholarship for community leadership and activism around the issue of homelessness. Kamal also worked as a researcher into crime and investigative journalism for the film and television industry.
Q & A
Murder and Moore : Thank you so much for taking time to answer a few questions for my blog, www.murderandmoore.com. The Lost Ones and It All Falls Down both managed to tug at my heart strings. I am sure I will not forget Nora Watts for some time.
Sheena Kamal: I'm so glad the books resonate with you! Nora is a tough character to love sometimes, but that makes her journey interesting to write.
Murder and Moore : Nora is a flawed character, the death of her father, her time in foster care, her estrangement from her sister, and many tragic events in her adulthood, have left her extremely damaged. Why did you decide to give Nora such a troubled background?
Sheena Kamal : From the beginning, I'd envisioned Nora as an outsider, which is why she feels that she must always take matters into her own hands. And what that meant was that she had to have a difficult background. She's convinced that nobody would want to help her or even believe her when she's in trouble, which is why she relies on herself so much. She's the ultimate lone wolf, but by circumstance. Not by choice, necessarily.
Murder and Moore : The Kirkus Review compares Nora to the lead character of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, Lisbeth Salander. Assuming you read the series, what do you think of this comparison?
Sheena Kamal : I'm incredibly flattered, of course. I've read and loved that series. Lisbeth Salander is an iconic character so any comparison is a huge compliment.
Murder and Moore : In It All Falls Down, Nora travels to Detroit to find out more about her father. Why did you choose Detroit?
Sheena Kamal : Sometimes you visit a place and it stays in your imagination. That's what Detroit is for me. I drove there once from Toronto to see a Dave Chappelle show and became fascinated by what I saw there. I knew Nora's dad grew up somewhere in the US. Detroit was a natural fit because I suppose some part of me wanted to write that city in some way.
Murder and Moore : What are you currently reading?
Sheena Kamal : Right now, The Battle For Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes On The Disaster Capitalists by Naomi Klein, and Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz. I'm thinking about villains these days.
Murder and Moore : Can you tell us what the future holds for Nora?
Sheena Kamal : Without spoiling too much, I'd say both family and vengeance are on her mind. She'll keep making mistakes and doing the wrong things in order to get to the right. It's what she does.
** Thanks to William Morrow for arranging this Q & A and for my free copy of It All Falls Down**
It All Falls Down is now available for purchase!