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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Rapid Falls

ISBN: 978-1503904743

Publisher: Lake Union

Publication Date: 12/1/2018

Format: Other

My Rating: 5 Stars Author Q & A Interview

Top Books of 2018 Forgive and forget? In this twisty thriller of psychological suspense, the past and present collide for two sisters who survived a tragedy—and must now survive the truth behind it. It’s been twenty years since Cara’s boyfriend died in a horrible accident and her sister, Anna, went to prison. The tragedy has become a local legend, but Cara has moved past her grief to have a successful career and a happy family. Pity about Anna. Recently released from incarceration, she’s struggling with addiction, guilt, and shame—a shattered life. Cara’s forgiveness seems to be the only thing that helps her pick up the pieces.

But as Anna pulls herself together, her memories of that night on the bridge start to come into focus. And few of them match her sister’s.

As past secrets unfold and nothing is what it seems anymore, Anna desperately searches for the truth. But what if Cara doesn’t want her to find it?


My Review

Terrifying and satisfying! Debut novelist Amber Cowie delivers a “knockout” dark and gripping new suspense novel of sibling rivalry (on steroids) and what happens when greed and jealousy take control. Two sisters with twisted relationships and long-buried secrets are at the heart of this smashing debut.

An intriguing "killer" psychological thriller— RAPID FALLS examines the explosive potential of dark secrets to destroy families, sisters, marriages, and everyone near to them. The author slowly and expertly reveals the (chillingly-real) truth that could be ripped from today's headlines.

Where nothing is as it appears.

Rich in place and character loaded with lyrical prose and stunning metaphors. Complex and profoundly emotional, there is much beneath the surface of this domestic psychological suspense.

Two sisters coping with the aftermath of a tragedy. However which sister is more sinister and evil? A dangerous game of cat and mouse betrayal where there may be no winners.

Meet the Piper family.

They are a family of four living in a small town of Rapid Falls. As small towns go, everyone knows everyone else’s business. Besides, the town has only one entry, a bridge over the rapid falls. A town named after its waterfalls. Most teens want to escape for a bigger and better life. How do they go about achieving this goal?

RAPID FALLS is written with two timelines: 1992-1997 and 2016-2017. Two sisters craving attention. It all started with prom night.

Cara and Anna. It was Cara’s prom night, and she has convinced Anna her sister to be their designated driver. Jesse was the town athlete and Cara’s boyfriend. After all, Anna was going to film school and Cara and Jesse would be getting on with their future.

However, things are not as they seem on the surface. Everyone is keeping secrets.

That night ended in tragedy. Anna sent to prison for the death of Jesse (Cara’s boyfriend). There was a fatal car accident, and Cara saved Anna from the water and from drowning.

A family imploding.

Now fast forward Anna has been released from prison and has a drinking problem. She is back living with her dad. She is self-destructive. Her dad has also turned into an alcoholic, and the mom left them behind for a better life. What happened to this family? The town shuns Anna. She has served time for murder. A town favorite dead.

Cara for some reason is always there to help rescue her. She has moved away. Married the rich guy, Rick. (she does not tell him about her past). She has a great job. The perfect life. The perfect wife. The perfect mother (Maggie). She cannot allow anything to disrupt her life.

However, Anna does not remember everything that happened that night. Cara may be hiding events of the night long ago. What if the truth is revealed? What if she remembers?

Rapid Falls

The truth is bloody good, and you will be holding your breath until the final scene! Your loyalties may change from the beginning of the book compared to the end. What really happened prom night so long ago, and how far will one go to hide the truth?

WOW! From tough love, sibling rivalry, resentments, betrayal, obsessions, narcissism, alcoholism, addictions, dysfunction, denial, selfishness, jealousy, love, hatred, fear, lies, secrets, tragedy, revenge, survival, plus more.

Where nothing is as it appears in this twisty psychological thriller that will keep you glued to the pages to the explosive “hold your breath” conclusion (literally edge of a cliff).

Being true to one’s self. Duality plays a big part in the narrative, making this an ideal choice for book clubs and further group discussions. (a great reader group guide included). Rock-star quality writing.

I really enjoyed the strong metaphors as relates to water, the characters, and the town of Rapid Falls. Just as waterfalls can be beautiful, peaceful and mesmerizing; they can also be dangerous. As can be humans, animals, and families. They can turn toxic— a sharp contrast between good and evil (as the sisters). Darkness and light.

Cowie’s skillful characterization and her shocking final twist make this a “must read” standout debut suspense thriller, landing on my Top Books of 2018. You will be shocked to learn this is a debut. We can only imagine what is to come. 😍

An author to follow (she is so much fun on social media). RAPID FALLS is prime for the big or small screen. (fingers crossed) Delighted to learn there will be more books coming soon!

"RAVEN LANE (2019) and THE MINES (2020). Both are in the domestic suspense genre and focus on strong, but surprisingly complex, female narrators that find themselves in extremely complicated relationships with their loved ones and the world at large."

Read all the juicy details and the inspiration behind RAPID FALLS. Learn more about this exciting new author with exclusive behind the scenes tidbits. Stay tuned for my extensive Q&A Elevator Ride with the Author coming Dec 1, 2019.

Subscribe to my Newsletter to receive top books per month and monthly Q&A author interviews. You are going to love it!

For fans of AJ Banner, Mary Kubica, T.Greenwood, and Heather Gudenkauf. Move this author and RAPID FALLS to the top of your reading list! PS: The hardcover is stunning!

Review Links:






Top Books of 2018

Dec Top Books


Rapid Falls



“Rapid Falls is an ingenious thriller cleverly disguised as a straightforward story about two sisters coping with the aftermath of a tragedy. Just when I’d thought I’d figured it out, the novel twisted into something entirely different, leading to an ending worthy of Alfred Hitchcock. You aren’t going to want to miss this remarkable novel.” —Karen McQuestion, bestselling author of Hello Love

“Rapid Falls flips the script of the family saga of tough love and simmering resentments so hard and fast I think I got vertigo. Dark, delicious, and utterly subversive…I leave you with a warning: this one packs a wallop.” —Emily Carpenter, author of Every Single Secret

“Blood is thicker than water, but in Rapid Falls, both are fraught with danger. Sibling rivalry, obsessive first love, and a tragedy that haunts a family: the suspense had me hooked, desperate to see what secrets would surface. But that’s the trouble with sisters—how can you hide a dark heart from the person who knows you best?” —Jo Furniss, bestselling author of All the Little Children and The Trailing Spouse

“In this smart, riveting thriller reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith’s works, a dark alchemy of family secrets and sibling rivalry spins ever more wildly toward a shocking, diabolical ending. I couldn’t put it down!” —A. J. Banner, USA Today bestselling author of The Twilight Wife

“In Rapid Falls, two sisters are haunted by a prom night tragedy. One’s life is spiraling out of control and one seems intact. But appearances can be deceiving. Cowie brings her readers to the edge of a cliff and then dares them to dive off—right into the rough and tumble that is Rapid Falls. Twisty and gripping.” —Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Fractured and The Good Liar

“In Rapid Falls, everyone is the good guy in their own story. Like a spider spinning a web, Ms. Cowie skillfully takes this notion and elevates it to a fantastically dark and dizzying place. Say goodbye to any preconceived ideas about sisterhood, the power of grudges, or happily ever after, because this book will sweep them away and leave you gasping for more.” — Eliza Maxwell, bestselling author of The Unremembered Girl

“Hypnotic and darkly twisted, Rapid Falls is the true definition of a page-turner. It’s so compelling that you will not want to put it down. Cowie’s smart storytelling and mesmerizing prose paints a stunning debut, making it one of my favorite psychological thrillers of the year.” —Kerry Lonsdale, Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author

“Rapid Falls is a deeply seductive psychological thriller about two sisters and the secrets they struggle to keep as their lives—and their lies—begin to unravel.” —Sheena Kamal, bestselling author of The Lost Ones

“Amber Cowie conjures up the pressures of living in a small town where everyone thinks they know your business so evocatively that I kept turning round to see who was watching me. A great read.” Imogen Clark, author of Postcards from a Stranger

“Years after a tragic car accident, a young woman’s ‘perfect’ life unravels one stunning revelation at a time as the events of that fateful night come back to haunt her. Amber Cowie’s gut-wrenching thriller sends you reeling through drunken bonfires, small-town intrigues, and family secrets as a single betrayal alters the course for everyone involved. A page-turner from start to finish; you can’t look away until the jaw-dropping conclusion.” —D.M. Pulley, bestselling author of The Buried Book


Q & A With the Author

Amber Cowie


About the Author

Amber Cowie

Amber Cowie is a graduate of the University of Victoria and was short-listed for the 2017 Whistler Book Award. She is a mother of two, wife of one, and a debut novelist who enjoys skiing, running, and creating stories that make her browser search history highly suspicious. Amber lives in the mountains in a small West Coast town, but you can find her online at @ambercowieauthor on Facebook, @ambercowie on Instagram and @ambercowie on Twitter. Read More







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