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Since We Fell: A Novel Hardcover – May 9, 2017
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“Endlessly surprising. . . . [A] twisty tale.” (Wall Street Journal)
“[Lehane] remains one of the great, diabolical thriller kings who seems intimately acquainted with darkness and can make it seep from the page.” (New York Times)
“A pleasantly twisted character study and a love story. . . . Lehane is in command of what he’s doing.” (Washington Post)
“A pleasantly twisted character study and a love story. . . . Lehane is in command of what he’s doing.” (Tampa Bay Times)
“Lehane has written two books-one, an insightful examination of the search for identity and belonging, and two, a thriller that constantly leaves you guessing-and then smashed them together into one terrific read.” (Gillian Flynn)
“A riveting exercise in psychological suspense.” (Providence Journal)
“Lehane writes expert, compelling thrillers. . . . He’s one of the game changers who smashed the imaginary boundary between genre and literature, proving that we can have the best of both at once.” (Tana French, Washington Post)
“Make no mistake, Since We Fell is crime fiction, filled with con men, murder, greed and revenge. But the love story gives this novel its heart.” (Associated Press)
“[Lehane’s] work always combines pulp thrills with literary heart and sophistication.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“The most thrilling novel I’ll read all year. Since We Fell is simmering with emotion, menace, and humor. I loved it.” (Kate Atkinson)
“Complex, tense, compelling, and an emotional and strategic hall of mirrors, where nothing is what it seems—but I would follow Dennis Lehane anywhere.” (Lee Child)
“Another winner from the author of Mystic River. . . . A raucous mix of lust, greed, and betrayal.” (AARP Magazine)
“The surfeit of plot twists and emotional baggage are buoyed by Lehane’s hard-boiled lyricism and peerless feel for New England noir.” (USA Today)
“One doesn’t ‘read’ Since We Fell so much as plunge and tumble through its pages like a raft in white water. A sweet bullet of a book.” (Richard Price)
“Once you pick up a Dennis Lehane novel, you’re hooked. It’s just that simple. Since We Fell is a complex, compelling, page-turner of a novel from a master storyteller at the top of his game.” (Kristin Hannah)
“[Since We Fell] should have crime fiction fans busting out the bottle rockets and champagne. . . . It’s impossible not to succumb.” (Lithub)
“With sharply acute characterization, this is classic Lehane.” (The Guardian)
“A ride you won’t want to miss.” (New York Journal of Books)
“The mystery and intrigue never let go; the twists and turns are engaging and unexpected all the way down the track.” (James Lee Burke)
From the Back Cover
After a very public mental breakdown, Rachel Childs, once a tenacious, globe- trotting journalist, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel’s marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths.
By turns heartbreaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, Since We Fell is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension. It is Dennis Lehane at his very best.
Top customer reviews
I am not going to give spoilers, even minor ones. Every new discovery made me tighten my jaw a bit more, and there were plenty of white-knuckle moments, especially in the latter half of the book. However, I was also deeply connected from the beginning, due to Lehane’s acumen for building complexity through character. What Lehane did was fuse character development with plot, both necessary and integral to the book as a whole. Rachel Childs, the fractured and caring journalist, is the fascinating protagonist, and as complex a character as you will ever meet in a suspense story. But even secondary characters in this novel have their own unique imprint—no one was generic or glazed over. The steady burn in the first 200 pages is crucial to installing the reader and hooking you into the story, preparing you for a compelling and superb completion. Every. Character. Is. Believable. And the plot never lets you go.
We meet Rachel and learn quickly that she has understandable abandonment issues. Her father left when she was three, barely a flicker of remembrance for Rachel, and her mother, a once-famous writer of marriage books, is like a Susan Sarandon at her most acerbic. Figuratively and literally, Rachel is still searching for her father, and suffering with psychological issues and a cauterized spirit stemming from his departure and her mother’s controlling and often bitter tongue throughout her life. Trust is not easily gained for Rachel. And, after a journalistic trip to Haiti, the troubles intensify.
The novel covers themes that work together, in tandem and flawlessly—highlighting abandonment, betrayal, friendship, PTSD, and none so potent a motif as love and trust. This is the kind of love story that can go any which way, and I won’t tell you which way it goes. Of course, the first line of the book’s prologue tells you how love can go wrong.
“On a Tuesday in May, in her thirty-fifth year, Rachel shot her husband dead.”
That can be a tough act to follow for a lesser talent, but Lehane kicks it up more than a few notches as the story progresses. I was caught up with clenched fists almost every step of the way. There are characters that you warm to, and others you love to hate, but you will be engulfed by events as character and plot move the story forward. Just be patient. This isn’t like the Kenzie novels, with fast action page after page, and it is as much character-driven as plot-driven. They inhabit the narrative hand-in-hand, which I can’t restate enough. And there are moments, events, and dialogues that grip you to the end. As Rachel’s mother warned her on page two:
“A man is the stories he tells about himself, and most of these stories are lies. Never look too closely. If you uncover his lies, it’ll humiliate you both. Best to just live with the bull#%*^.”
Read it and leap!