Summary and book reviews of The Fallen by T Jefferson Parker

The Fallen

by T Jefferson Parker

The Fallen
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2006, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2007, 400 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Following an accident, homicide detective Robbie Brownlaw, develops synesthesia, a neurological condition where your senses get mixed up. Sometimes when people talk to him, he see their voices as colored shapes provoked by the emotions of the speakers, not by the words themselves. When a sergeant in the Professional Standards Unit is found dead, will need all his talents, normal and paranormal, to solve the murder.

"My life was ordinary until three years ago when I was thrown out of a downtown hotel window. My name is Robbie Brownlaw, and I am a homicide detective for the city of San Diego. I am twenty-nine years old.

I now have synesthesia, a neurological condition where your senses get mixed up. Sometimes when people talk to me, I see their voices as colored shapes provoked by the emotions of the speakers, not by the words themselves. I have what amounts to a primitive lie detector. After three years, I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the colors and shapes of other people's feelings, unless they don't match up with their words."


When Garrett Asplundh's body is found under a San Diego bridge, Robbie Brownlaw and his partner, McKenzie Cortez, are called on to the case. After the tragic death of his child and the dissolution of his marriage, Garrett -- regarded as an honest, straight-arrow officer -- left the SDPD to become an ethics investigator, looking into the activities of his former colleagues. At first his death, which takes place on the eve of a reconciliation with his ex, looks like suicide, but the clues Brownlaw and Cortez find just don't add up. With pressure mounting from the police and the city's politicians, Brownlaw fights to find the truth, all the while trying to hold on to his own crumbling marriage. Was Garrett's death an "execution" or a crime of passion, a personal vendetta or the final step in an elaborate cover-up? Amid rampant corruption and tightening city purse strings, whatever conclusion Brownlaw comes to, the city of San Diego -- and Brownlaw's life -- hangs in the balance.

A carefully woven novel of suspense, The Fallen brings to life a superb cast of characters against the all-too-real backdrop of a city fighting for its survival. Hailed by critics as "a powerhouse writer" (New York Times) and "a thinking man's bestseller" (Washington Post), T. Jefferson Parker delivers his most elegantly written, suspenseful, and moving novel yet.

PROLOGUE

When the sixth floor of Las Palmas Hotel caught fire Robbie Brownlaw was in the diner across the street about to have lunch.

It was a cool March afternoon in San Diego and Brownlaw's turkey burger had just arrived when he saw orange flames roiling behind the hotel windows. He took a bite of the sandwich and hustled outside just as the sixth story windows blew and an orange explosion knocked him back against the brick wall of the diner.

Robbie heard screams up there in the fire. He had never heard screams like these. Then he heard all the yelling as people spilled from the restaurants and offices, pointing up at Las Palmas while debris clattered to the asphalt—a splintered chair, a flaming lamp shade, a nightstand with the drawers hanging out.

Fire alarms shrieked competing warnings down the street. Brownlaw heard a guy screaming up on the sixth floor right through the ringing. Such fear. He looked up, still braced against the wall of the ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

The week in which I read The Fallen I started three thrillers, but The Fallen was the only one that I finished. I felt like Goldilocks - one thriller was too macho, another was too gory - only The Fallen was just right, combining well drawn characters with a solidly told police procedural.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (414 words).

Media Reviews

The Washington Post - Patrick Anderson

[Parker] writes with intelligence, style and sensitivity, and belongs with people like Connelly and Pelecanos in the first rank of American crime novelists.

Library Journal

Parker's (Laguna Heat) 13th novel provides a nice blend of hard-boiled police procedures and an intimate look at the lives of the men and women behind the badges, although keeping up with the large cast of characters can be challenging.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Parker creates a world of fully realized characters coping with obsession and loss.

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review. Deftly plotted, gracefully written and, as usual with this savvy veteran (California Girl, etc.), it's the lead character you pay your money for. Robbie is another in Parker's growing gallery of wonderfully sympathetic heroes.

Booklist - Allison Block

Starred Review. His dialogue crackles and pops in an intricate and well-paced tale set in a city where shadowy characters lurk beneath sunny skies.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

The protagonist in Parker's 13th novel has synesthesia, a condition that is believed to effect about 1 in every 200 people with a bias towards left-handed women. Synesthesia comes from the two Greek words syn (together) and aisthesis (perception) - therefore synesthesia literally means "joined perception". A synesthete experiences one sense with another. For example, on hearing a particular piece of music he/she might taste a particular flavor.

The most common form of synesthesia appears to be when someone sees a letter, number or word as a particular color - for example a synesthete might see the word car as sky blue and the number 5 as light green. Almost any combination of the senses is possible - there are synesthetes who...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Fallen, try these:

  • Live by Night jacket

    Live by Night

    by Dennis Lehane

    Published 2013

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Live by Night is a riveting epic layered with a diverse cast of loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femmes fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream.

  • The Dangerous Edge of Things jacket

    The Dangerous Edge of Things

    by Tina Whittle

    Published 2011

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Tai Randolph thinks inheriting a Confederate-themed gun shop is her biggest headache - until she finds a murdered corpse in her brother's driveway.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...
  • Book Jacket: A Gentleman in Moscow
    A Gentleman in Moscow
    by Amor Towles
    It is June 21, 1922, and 33-year-old Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov is convicted of being a class ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Circling the Sun
by Paula McLain

An intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.