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Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private…

Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator (edition 2011)

by Robert Downs

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Title:Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
Authors:Robert Downs
Info:Rainbow Books, Inc. (2011), Paperback, 234 pages
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Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator by Robert Downs



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Have you ever wondered how James Bond can walk away from so many disasters with hardly a scratch? It’s a talent shared by Casey Holden, the protagonist of Robert Downs’ Falling Immortality. But Holden’s not immortal, and the women won’t quite always fall for him. He’s a surfer – of internet and waves. He’s an ex-cop with money. And he’d really rather not tax himself with too much work. But he’s quickly drawn into the mystery of who killed his client’s husband. After all, she’s a beautiful client, and surely she won’t resist his charms.

Convincing dialog fills the scenes where Holden and his cop friend tease each other while teasing the truth out of details. They’re long scenes, filled with plenty of good-humored male banter, their leisurely pace nicely balanced with fast-action car-chases and more.

The first-person narration remains convincing throughout this novel – a little grating to female readers perhaps, as Holden repeats his attraction to women and his preference for ones who are willing to remove their clothes. Neither character nor plot are as classy or classic as James Bond. But the tongue-in-cheek survival of all dire straits echoes the title pleasingly. Long on dialog and digression, it’s a novel to pick up and put down as the day progresses, with plenty of easy recapping of forgotten detail and no need for long deep thoughts.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review. ( )
  SheilaDeeth | Oct 29, 2015 |
Before you gasp in horror from the unusually low rating I've given, let me put a few things straight: Robert Downs is not necessarily a bad writer and Falling Immortality is not a bad book. Remember my philosophy? There's no such thing as a bad book. However, this book has set off some bombs inside of me that should have been left alone; when a book annoys me that much, I will take it personally, and I will write a review to reflect those feelings. This review may sound highly tempered and slightly pissy. You've been warned.

My biggest issue is that there is almost no substance to this story. I can tell you the entire plot in one sentence: Casey Holden, playboy extraordinaire, solves shady crime involving questionable widow, her impenetrable late husband, and her miserable past. In fact, had this sentence actually been in the pages of Falling Immortality, there would be nothing left to read; everything else is virtually fluff. With absolutely no connectable content and dreadful writing flow—no substance, nor style—this book was one I grit my teeth and rubbed my eyes through. I didn't like it at all.

The second biggest problem is Casey, our first-person narrator. He may be a private investigator, but ironically he just can't answer or think of anything straightforwardly. It's clear he knows his job, but has no social awareness, too much confidence, and an ill sense of humor he expects everyone to be amused by. He'll ask a question for the case, flirt and banter exhaustingly for four pages at a time, then come back to the question because, oh yeah, he was supposed to get an answer. There is so much unnecessary fluff, that Falling Immortality was close to an impossible read.

Also, in terms of personality, Casey is the about the last person from whom I'd want to hear a story; not only is he foolish, but he's also unreliable, extremely immature, and just can't get to the point! Half the time I wanted to smack a reason out of him, and the other, I wanted to duct tape his mouth shut. His "witty" ramblings are irritating and just too much. Downs should not be trying so hard to create a humorous personality, because Casey as a character fails miserably from making such a huge effort. Another off-key trait is Casey's supposed womanizing; apparently he is successful at it (but nothing from the author shows me how he scores so well... it all seems like ideal make-believe to me), but all he comes off as is highly annoying, smart-alecky, and frankly, pathetic. He has no charm nor wit whatsoever; the ladies' man characterization just doesn't fit. I can't imagine someone like him being so popular with women in real life; for the most part, he just seems like a jerk—a highly oblivious and outrageously aggravating one, at that. He thinks he's clever and gorgeous and charismatic, but is actually just comes off as plain lame.

The rest of the cast isn't much more impressive. The victims are shallow and unprobed, and even the antagonist isn't that bad—mostly, he's unmemorable and adds no suspense nor issues to the development of the story. This is supposed to be a work of detective fiction; where's my suspense and where's my crime??

Pros: The occasional funny, quirky line from Casey // Clean writing; well-edited

Cons: Poor flow // Difficult, dense writing // Dispensable diction // Every character is unlikable // Casey, who, unfortunately is our protagonist, is the most unlikable (and pathetic) out of all of them // Mystery is very weak // No suspense or speculation // Very inadequate in almost every aspect: story, style, characterization, structure, and technique

Love: I thought about dropping my head in my bowl of minestrone soup, but I had a feeling someone might notice, or in a big blow to my ego, they might not.

Verdict: My dislike for the protagonist (an immediate disadvantage towards my opinion any book), the thick, unnavigable writing style, and the lack of meaningful story structure throughout Falling Immortality make it an exasperating, unfulfilling read. This novel has a couple light chuckle-worthy moments is generally unpromising, and after reading, my patience had reached its lowest low. Highly insubstantial in content and wretchedly unsuccessful in style (and storytelling!), Downs's debut is not something I would recommend

Rating: 3/10—Not a fan; I don't recommend this book

Source: Complimentary copy provided by author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you!) ( )
  stephanieloves | Jan 16, 2013 |
Falling Immortality:
Casey Holden, Private Investigator
By Robert Downs

Former cop Casey Holden now works as a PI in Virginia Beach where he makes his own hours and takes on only the cases he wants. When a gorgeous chain smoking woman walks through his door and requests that he solve a two year old murder Casey begins to dig. What he uncovers is buried under one lie after another; will he be able to solve a case that the police department wasn’t able to?

Casey Holden is a “Man’s Man” fast car and even faster women make up the extent of his personal life. With sarcasm and wit he manages to unravel a mystery that is sure to surprise the reader. I had a lot of fun reading this one, I am a girly girl but Casey Holden is one of those characters you can’t help but like. Add in the case that Holden is working on and the author has created a truly fun book full of scandalous behavior and not just by his clients. I truly hope that Robert Downs has more in store for Holden and his escapades. I hate comparing authors but the main character reminds me of the Iron Druid series. Maybe that is just part of the “MANfiction” the author warned me about but either way I Love It!

For More Reviews be sure to visit my blogs at:
http://bookwormrflects8.blogspot.com/ ( )
  BookWormRflects | Nov 9, 2012 |
Disclosure: I received this book from the author.

This detective & mystery selection is about a retired police officer's continued devotion to solving crimes as a private investigator. Casey Holden is a narcissistic P.I. who weaves sex into just about every part of his life. Which is unfortunate, because he'd probably get the case solved a lot faster and with fewer mishaps and missed clues if chasing tail wasn't such a high priority.
I found the constant inclusion of innuendos, the protagonist's extreme sense of entitlement and the treatment of his friends to get old fast. It distracted from what I had initially thought would be a really great mystery. While the banter is quite witty and at times funny, the need to include some form of sex into every scene was a bit of a turn off. I also began to wonder how this sort of thing could be sustained in future installments. The ending was a bit of a letdown, I had hoped for a really interesting twist, but it turned out to be a bit more predictable than I'd hoped.
Having said all of this, I would give the next book a try in the hopes of more character development, actual investigative work and fewer rolls in the hay. ( )
  d_bookworm | May 19, 2012 |
Casey Holden is sarcastic, rubs a person the wrong way - and doesn’t care. Except for in matters between the sheets; then he’s all sorts of the right way. He’s a former cop, and in-between vacations he’s a Dodge Viper driving PI. Life is easy, and that’s the way he likes it. But then Felicity Farren walks into his office, seeking help to solve the two-year old, unsolved case of her husband’s murder. Felicity comes and goes like the wind, drawing more questions than answers; but Casey likes a puzzle, and he’s determined to solve this one – if of course, he doesn’t find himself a murder victim from poking his nose into where it doesn’t belong first.

Now I know what some of you women out there might be thinking – guy sounds like a womanizing jerk, why would I waste 220 pages reading that? And, well, he is. But, he’s witty, quick on his feet with a response to everything, and you really can’t help appreciating it. Casey Holden is like the bad boy we’re secretly drawn to, yet he has enough good boy in him to justify the unstated attraction. If I were a man, I’d be jealous of Mr. Holden.

Some of my favorite scenes were between Casey and his best friend, Ian (who is still on the police force). For every witty remark Casey blurts out, Ian has one to throw back at him. I couldn’t help chuckling as they went back and forth, tit for tat, trying to one-up the other. Yet throughout it all, you sense their deep friendship and that at the end of the day, they really would be lost without the other. And I think in his odd way of showing it, Casey knows this. But of course his ego is too big to let him verbalize it. I equate their conversations to the man-version of Friends, and I loved it. Without the banter between them, I think the book would have been missing something.

I’m a mystery/detective novel buff, so I jumped at the chance to read this, but with every read in this genre comes a grain of salt – you don’t have the flexibility with plot like you might with other genres. That being said, I was rather pleased with the plot twists in this book. Granted they all might not have surprised me, but that’s of no fault to the author, only the genre. The ride through the twists was enjoyable, the hovering mystery of who Felicity really is, and why (if she’s trying to solve her husband’s murder) is she so darn elusive! And this is where the author really shined, he pulls you into the puzzle – you suddenly become like House, on a mission to solve the mystery at any cost.

The ending was climactic enough for my taste, wrapping up the story, yet leaving a bit to the reader’s imagination. That aspect, I thought, was done very well. The author did a fine job at resolving it to satisfaction, but giving the reader room to still ponder, still have a hint of mystery to solve – which only makes us want to jump on board for the next adventure. Which I would do.

Overall this was a decent read for me, and I would give it two thumbs up. I can see how Casey’s character might not be for all women, but I enjoy sarcasm, I enjoy ‘hangin with the boys’, and I think most women are entirely too complicated to try and figure out. But, I'm a girly girl too, a chic flick lover at heart, I cry, like sappy stuff, and probably entirely too complicated myself. So bravo to the author for that, being able to take your average woman, and make her relate to this kind of character on all levels. But not just relate, he made me like this character. I loved all the characters actually, major and minor, the plot pace was spot on, and the twists enough to keep me reading. I would add this to my list of recommended books to fans of mystery/detective novels.

**My review copied from my blog, http://crazyladywithapen.blogspot.com/ ( )
  DarianWilk | Apr 20, 2012 |
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