SINCE WE FELL
By Dennis Lehane
Harper Collins Publishers
May 9, 2017
Synopsis from Publisher:
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.
I was skeptical when I started reading this book. I read reviews stating the book was slow to start. A common theme among the reviews was the amount of time spent on character background before something suspenseful happened. Character development can be very tricky. I have read books that gave too much and some that did not give enough. Since We Fell, fell (HA!) right in the middle of too much and not enough for me. Most of the character development focused on Rachel, the main character. However, there were other characters that I also found interesting and wanted to know more of their background.
At one time, Rachel was on the fast track to becoming a main player in TV journalism. After a series of life changing traumatic events, Rachel withdraws from the world. When Rachel finally starts to come out of the mist, she is drawn into a situation that is far more scary and dangerous than the fears that drove her into insolation. We join Rachel as she learns about her family, her career, friends and herself.
Set in Boston MA, Lehane does a great job pulling you into Rachel’s world. Common known Boston streets, schools, and monuments are referenced throughout the book. While reading I could picture many of the places Rachel frequents. I felt her panic as she approached a traffic packed street or a crowded walkway or subway platform.
Due to the large amount of character development, I grew to really care about Rachel. I cheered for her, I cried with her, and I shared in her emotions of fear and loneliness. While the character development of Rachel took up a good deal of the book (First 150 pages or so) I enjoyed it. The remainder of the book would not have had the effect it did without the intense character development. To put it plainly, I would not have cared about the ending of the book if I had not grown to care so much about Rachel.
The conspiracy at the center of the book was very interesting to me (NO SPOLIERS, I promise). It made me conduct some research into the subject. While greed and corruption is no stranger in a suspense novel, I found the conspiracy so surprising. It was not at all what I was expecting which made this read educational and entertaining.
What stood out to me most, was how Rachel constantly underestimated herself. She always thought she was too scared or not brave enough or could not handle a situation, but she always defied her expectations of herself. The difference between her states of mind and her actions throughout the book are HUGE. Whenever she did something that contradicted how she was feeling I cheered for her.
As interesting as Rachel was, there were other characters that I would have liked to have read more about. Rachel’s husband and his BFF/business partner were fascinating. I do not want to go any further into them because I don’t want to ruin the book for anyone who has not read it. However once you start reading about Rachel’s husband and his BFF/business partner, I bet you will want to learn more. I am sure their past adventures would be enough material to start their own series.
Since We Fell was a great read for me. It is the story of an innocent, vulnerable, and isolated woman who is forced to learn that she is way more than she thought. If you love a “flight or fight” story, Since We Fell is for you. I was completely drawn into the plot. I enjoyed getting to know Rachel. I enjoyed reading about a severely terrified character defying her expectations of herself. This book would be perfect for fans of Peter Swanson.
MURDER AND MOORE RATING:
4 ½ out of 5 Stars