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Since We Fell

By: Dennis Lehane

Publisher: HarperCollins Trade

Imprint: Ecco

Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780062129383

Other Formats:

Electronic | Audio | Trade Paperback

On Sale: | Pages: 432

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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.
"Since We Fell," with its 418-page agglomeration of cringe-inducing dialogue, unbelievable occurrences, largely bland characters and plodding plot points became my albatross.... It's too bad that it took until page 159 for the action to start. To his credit, once things got rolling, Mr. Lehane offered twist after twist, some foreshadowed, others not, some genuinely surprising, others telegraphed by a mile. But by the time the crazy started, I had lost interest.
—Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Since We Fell,” Lehane's latest novel, feels even more than his previous books like a balancing act between a character study and a thriller, one in which the genre nature of the book hides its head for so long that the reader ultimately surrenders the idea that he or she is reading anything other than a literary novel about an attractive and successful young woman slowly surrendering to paranoia and madness.... The thriller that emerges in the last 100-plus pages is more than satisfying on its own merits.... I loved watching the author walk the tightrope of deeper questions, was thrilled to see him push the boundaries of human understanding for its own merits, without needing an adrenaline fix of life-or-death stakes and villains with guns.
—New York Times
“Since We Fell” is essentially a nuanced and insightful character study, combining the best of literary fiction with strong, compelling elements of psychological suspense and the thriller genre. Toss in Lehane's formidable but unpretentious prose and you've got a major winner.
—Seattle Times
Despite the two-books-in-one feeling, this is a really smart novel about who we are, and who we choose to be, and how, if ever, we can know the difference. Rachel might be in the middle of a dangerous spider web, but that is actually what begins to give her strength to push her into actions and decisions she might never have imagined, and there's something triumphant about that. “Since We Fell” might not be Lehane's absolute best book, but not-the-best Lehane is still worlds better than most anything else around.
—San Francisco Chronicle
The dialogue and plotting are typically Lehane sharp, but there's oddly little sense of place, a stunning departure from the writer who caught Boston's grit in his Patrick Kenzie/Angie Gennaro novels.... The pace picks up in the second half once Rachel's paternity is settled, and the bodies start falling.... Someone says “I gotta teach you a little forgery” at the end of a chapter and someone says “Help me wash the blood off the deck” at the end of another. Hollywood will love it — there is much to admire and filmmakers are not bound by the book when it comes to creating atmosphere. Some readers, however, especially fans, may feel different about at least that part.
—Boston Globe
There's a murder on the first page. But the killer and central character is a woman, Rachel Childs. And early on, it seems this will prove less a vintage Lehane crime novel than a compelling psychological study of a troubled and flawed woman.... Because Lehane has so successfully and sympathetically drawn Rachel, readers are likely to be vested in her. I was. And as Rachel investigates Brian, coming out of her shell in the process, the book becomes as compelling as anything Lehane has written in the past. That is, until the story starts to unravel.... "Since We Fell" is a worthy effort, but ultimately it is not up to Lehane's standards.
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
Rachel's probing leads to matters more disturbing than she could have imagined. Like her own work-in-progress, Mr. Lehane's twisty tale keeps changing, from personal-quest novel to psychological thriller to action thriller.
—Wall Street Journal
SINCE WE FELL has something for everyone: vociferous readers, folks who haven't cracked the binding on a book in years, thriller aficionados, romance readers, everyone. Author Dennis Lehane has a tendency to slide across genre barriers anyway, and does so here with great aplomb while tossing prizes from the pages to the readers like a politician in a parade. It's an addicting read, one that you won't set aside easily and likely will never forget.... One never knows what Lehane has planned from page to page, and from minute to minute, so we may well be seeing some of these memorable characters again at some point. Or not. Regardless, this is unquestionably one of Lehane's most striking books, which, considering his body of work, is really saying something.
Rachel works extremely well as the focus of the book. Lehane has always written wrenching female characters into his stories, and he has no trouble giving center stage to one. The question is never whether she will escape her past. We know she's got the moxie to do it, but where is she headed? Her options narrow as the book becomes more crime-centric and throws her into life-or-death situations rather than contemplative ones. But she's as much of a pragmatist as anyone Lehane ever dreamed up. She comes a long way through the twists and turns of “Since We Fell,” which takes its title from a love song about desperate dependency. By the end of it, she's learned how to depend on herself.
—New York Times
On the page, the surfeit of plot twists and emotional baggage are buoyed by Lehane's hard-boiled lyricism and peerless feel for New England noir. But there's also a whiff of pandering... There are a few possible novels in this one: Rachel's search for identity through her search for her father; the story of a privileged young journalist taken out of herself and her monoculture in a nightmare Haiti; scenes from a marriage tested by anxiety and ambition. Instead, Lehane seems to be shuffling his deck of plot cards as the narrative lurches, settling into a grinding action-crime procedural involving a goldmine scam, cliched hit men, gruesome murders, preposterous resurrections. By the climax, Rachel has gone from shut-in to scuba-diving ninja, admirably self-reliant, but the moral clarity her character was arcing toward becomes a muddle of marital deceit and sappy romance. Lehane's goal for his heroine may have been ambitious, but — like Brian — he lets her down.
—USA Today
Dennis Lehane's 14th novel takes the author back to his old New England stomping grounds, that fertile place of “Mystic River” and “Shutter Island.” This tale, “Since We Fell,” basing its title on an old torch ballad, is a pleasantly twisted character study and a love story told in no particular rush.... Lehane, is, as ever, a graceful writer, observant of the world that shapes his characters' lives.... Lehane is in command of what he's doing — unspooling plot twists and developing his character as Rachel descends into her own heart of darkness.
—Washington Post
Since We Fell feels distinctly cinematic (and indeed is already in development by Dreamworks, with Lehane working on the script). Its dialogue is crisp and often darkly funny, its characters vividly drawn, its plot a tightening wire of well-crafted suspense.
—Tampa Bay Times
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