Wednesday, May 24, 2006

THE FALLEN by T. Jefferson Parker

Barbara Wallace reviews THE FALLEN by T. Jefferson Parker (William Morrow, 2006).

San Diego, “America’s finest city,” is the setting for The Fallen. Protagonist Robbie Brownlaw is a young homicide detective who has risen rapidly in the SDPD. He is an odd duck for a couple of reasons. First off, previous to the action in this novel, Brownlaw suffered a head injury in pursuit of a felon when he was tossed from a six-story window. (Humble Brownlaw fears that his amazing survival from the fall has had a lot to do with his rapid rise in the department.) Further, as a result of his fall, he has synesthesia, a neurological condition where one’s senses get mixed up. In his case, he “sees” the voices of others when they speak. Liars leak bright red squares. Blue triangles come out of the mouths of happy speakers. Although his wife Gina knows about his strange ability, he keeps it under his hat at work. Despite the fact that it helps considerably in solving murders, it is a little strange.

Parker is such a clever writer that you go along with almost anything that he contrives. And, aside from these initial outlandish premises, the book proceeds pretty much according to the rules of the police procedural. Brownlaw’s challenge is to find the murderer of Garrett Asplungh, a stand-up guy formerly of the SDPD. After studying the murder scene, Brownlaw and his partner McKenzie Cortez pursue the cast of characters in the sex videotapes discovered by the victim in his work as a city ethics investigator. As the two detectives follow the tragic threads of their victim’s life, the reader starts to root for Brownlaw and Cortez as they struggle to unmask city corruption and find a killer.

Barbara Wallace, Randolph Branch Library


Book Excerpt

T. Jefferson Parker: The Dark Side of the California Dream, Publishers Weekly, Feb 6, 2006: "I defy you to read one of my books and not have some kind of emotional reaction to it, to feel that this matters."

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I wish I had paid attention in high school biology. I wonder if we ever discussed synesthesia? Sounds like Parker is quite ingeniously using his creative license.
I am enjoying working on this blog and am smiling to myself as I shake my head and sigh "so many good books, so little time."

Since Barbara posted her review yesterday, I have been fascinated by the concept of "liars leaking bright red squares."

I'll have to find the time for this one...
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