SINCE WE FELL by Dennis Lehane

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It’s been about two years since the last Lehane book, World Gone By, but it is always worth the wait and this book is no exception.

Since We Fell starts out as a character study of sorts. The first third of the book examines Rachel’s life in an attempt to help the reader understand what comes next. I thought the mystery of the book was put forth here – Rachel doesn’t know who her father is. Her mother always refused to tell her and when her mother finally agreed to tell her when she became of age, her mother died.

Next is the Rachel who is a successful, globe trotting TV journalist. But that career ends abruptly when she has a breakdown on live television during a trip to Haiti. The destruction and despair are palpable, but it is the personal that finally does her in. We don’t learn exactly what happened until later on, but we learn about the life of an agoraphobe.

Rachel is married to a news manager who can’t deal with her failure. Eventually she realizes he was not the perfect husband and marries again. Her second husband, Brian, is the love of her life. He travels quite a bit for work, but always communicates with her. The second third of the book is about their life together, his willingness to be shut away with her and how well he seems to know and understand her.

The last third of the book is the thriller some readers may be expecting. By this point I was beginning to think everything I’d read up to this point was the point, but I was wrong. The tension starts ratcheting up when Rachel ventures out on her own to meet a friend, then thinks she sees her husband going into a building around the corner. Brian is supposed to be on a plane out of the country, and this sparks the inner reporter in Rachel and off she goes.

There are many twists in this crazy roller coaster ride that positively hurtles to the finish line, and the pacing invariably speeds up towards the end. This was a terrific read for both literary readers and thriller readers, something that is not easy to accomplish. Hats off to Lehane, one of our most gifted writers. This is a cinematic read for sure, and I can see another fine film in Lehane’s future.

5/17 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

SINCE WE FELL by Dennis Lehane. Ecco (May 9, 2017). ISBN: 978-0062129383. 432p.

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