I had read Toni Jordan's debut novel, Addition, in early 2009 and loved it - so much so that I have been waiting ever since then for her to release her second book.
Fall Girl was released last week in Australia and I devoted my reading time over the past weekend solely to it.
The fall girl of the title is Della Gilmore, a young woman living with her extended family of con artists in the suburbs of Melbourne. The Gilmore family have always been in the conning trade. Della's father is the patriarch of the bunch and Della has learnt most of her trade secrets from him, her brother, aunt and uncle and cousins. They rely on each other for their work and their income and it has all been going pretty swimmingly by the sound of things.
Della's latest con is to parade herself as an award winning science academic and researcher - Dr Ella Canfield - in order to score a $25,000 research grant to search for the existence of the Tasmanian tiger - a creature that has been listed as extinct for over 70 years. If she is going to win the grant Della has to convince the administrator of the grant, the sexy, confidant, intelligent and wealthy Daniel Metcalf, that she is the real deal.
I'm sure you can see where this is heading.
I was so disappointed with this book. Whereas in Addition Jordan created an original, flawed, interesting main character I found the opposite to be the case in Fall Girl. True, you don't come across a suburban con artist in everyday life (at least I hope I don't!) but that was really the only original aspect to this book and the character of Della/Ella.
There seemed to be too many characters and sub plots and relationship details to enable to reader to focus on the main story - maybe the author was trying to pull a con of her own and confuse the reader with smoke and mirrors??! The ending for me was just the icing on the disappointing cake - I'm not sure where it came from at all as it seemed to introduce a desire of the main character that hadn't been explored at all in the novel up until that point.
Certainly an easy to read book - but there was very little substance for me unfortunately.