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Since We Fell: A Novel by Dennis Lehane
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Since We Fell: A Novel

by Dennis Lehane

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7705318,575 (3.61)33
After Rachel Childs, a former journalist, suffers an on-air mental breakdown, she 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.… (more)

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Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
Solid Characters in an Implausible Plot

I like plot, reading for the tension, suspense, and unexpected twists that the best authors can craft. For me, characters are in books largely to move the plot forward. But characters can also be captivating, as Since We Fell reminded me. Unfortunately for this book, those fascinating and nuanced individuals populate a plot that was often unbelievable and always convenient.

Rachel Childs, the protagonist of Since We Fell, felt real to me and quite easy to like. In the early chapters, Lehane paints her as a woman who is utterly alone – emotionally, psychologically, and physically. By the middle of the book, she has suffered her on-air mental breakdown and is a virtual shut-in. She is a well-developed, complex character through these sections. Her final transformation seemed a bit over-the-top to me, but extreme situations might call for reaching into the depths of one’s psyche and drawing on capacities rarely seen.

Although a bit slow paced initially, I generally enjoyed the author’s writing style, particularly some of the visual similes. This type of comparison is easy to overuse, but Lehane hits a good rhythm. And the end is action packed.

The weakness of the book, however, was the plot. It simply strained credibility too much for me to remain immersed in the story. There are several, specific scenes that were questionable, e.g., an interaction between Rachel and a detective or several scenes involving the villains. Those, however, could be written off as a necessary stretch of the imagination. But it was the primary ‘twist,’ the turning point in the story that came about two-thirds of the way through the book that pushed the story beyond believability. While it forced me to re-characterize much of the action, which good twists will do, it also made everything that had and would happen convenient and generally trite.

Overall, I loved Rachel’s climb back out of self-doubt and despair. If you’re a reader who values character development and vivid prose even when not fully supported by plot, you should enjoy Since We Fell. ( )
  BMPerrin | Sep 17, 2019 |
Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane

Rachel is a former journalist who has some what of a break down on-air. Her life is greatly altered and she lives a secluded life. Once having the perfect life she finds her marriage in shambles. Soon she is filled with deep thoughts, and things may not be exactly what she thought they would be.

The story starts slow, then moves at at more even pace. Rachel is definitely at a cross-roads in life and you can feel her emotions on every page. I was pulled in and not able to let go. An intense psychological thriller, those who like this genre should enjoy it as well. ( )
  SheriAWilkinson | Sep 12, 2019 |
Rachel Childs is a television journalist in Boston whose career is on a steep upward trajectory until she is sent to Haiti on assignment after the devastating 2010 earthquake. The horrors that she sees and experiences there leave her with a severe case of post-traumatic stress disorder that becomes apparent when she breaks down during a live report.
Back in Boston, her news career in shambles, Rachel struggles with panic attacks that leave her afraid to even leave her apartment. Her marriage doesn’t survive, but when she meets an old acquaintance by chance, his patient understanding of her problems leads to romance and eventually marriage. With Brian’s help, Rachel starts to re-emerge from her self-imposed exile. Her tentative journey back to normalcy is jolted, however, when she inadvertently ventures downtown and discovers Brian in a place where he shouldn’t be. Her furtive attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery without tipping him off to her suspicions leads her deeper and deeper into a dangerous situation where no one is who they seem.
For my money, Dennis Lehane is one of the most underrated mystery/thriller writers in the business. Yes, several of his previous novels, Mystic River and Shutter Island among them, were turned into feature films, but the books themselves never generate much discussion among my friends who enjoy Harlan Coben, Linwood Barclay, and others. With Since We Fell (Ecco, 2017), Lehane has delivered another intricately plotted examination of people who are not what they seem being driven to extremes by circumstances they can’t control. I appreciated that Rachel, despite her emotional fragility through much of the first part of the novel, is far from a hapless victim waiting to be rescued. She manages to engineer her own rescue on her own terms, even as she accepts the consequences of what she has to do in the process.
Lehane builds the narrative tension slowly but surely (perhaps a little too slowly) to a white-knuckle finish that seems both unexpected and inevitable. Nothing about this book made me any less eager to read the next offering from a first-rate writer. ( )
  rosalita | Sep 5, 2019 |
The story wasn't that interesting. I don't like the mystery genre I am finding more and more. ( )
  jill1121 | Jun 1, 2019 |
I purchased this book from Amazon to read with Reading Butterflies Bookclub. All opinions are my own. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane. I need more of these books in my life! It was one of those that you can't put down until you reach the last page and even when you do you feel like wait no I need more! Rachel Child's has only ever wanted one thing, to find her father. Her mother held that secret over her head all of her life like a carrot on a string. Be a good girl graduate, be a good girl go to college etc. Then one day an accident and Rachel's mom takes the identity of her father to the grave with her. No one knows anything about Rachel's father. She hires a private detective, she finds her mother's ob/gyn, she finds her mother's old friends but no answers. She goes on to have a successful career and marries a very ambitious man, but after a few trips to Haiti she suffers a mental breakdown like no other and her world begins to spin out of control until someone from her past comes into her life and shakes her back to reality. Rachel then has to learn to battle with herself not only to survive but to protect everything she knows to be true from becoming a lie. Review also posted on Instagram @borenbooks, Library Thing, Amazon, Goodreads/StacieBoren, Twitter @jason_stacie and my blog at readsbystacie.com ( )
  SBoren | May 19, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Dennis Lehaneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Nilsson, JohanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In memory of David Wickham, a prince of Providence and a real cool cat.
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On a Tuesday in May, in her thirty-fifth year, Rachel shot her husband dead.
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