Book Title: The Heavens May Fall
Author: Allen Eskens
Series: Max Rupert/Boady Sanden
Genres: Crime Fiction, Psychological Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedural
Date Read: 10/03/16
Pub Date: 10/04/16
Detective Max Rupert and attorney Boady Sanden s friendship is being pushed to the breaking point. Max is convinced that Jennavieve Pruitt was killed by her husband, Ben. Boady is equally convinced that Ben, his client, is innocent. As the case unfolds, the two are forced to confront their own personal demons.
Max is still struggling with the death of his wife four years earlier, and the Pruitt case stirs up old memories. Boady hasn t taken on a defense case since the death of an innocent client, a man Boady believes he could have saved but didn t. Now he is back in court, with student Lila Nash at his side, and he s determined to redeem himself for having failed in the past.
Vividly told from two opposing perspectives, the truth about the stunning death of Jennavieve Pruitt remains a mystery until the very end.
Allen Eskens is one of those authors equivalent to a fine wine; he just improves with time as each book is even better than the last. I truly feel that The Heavens May Fall is his best work yet, although it’s getting hard to find areas where he can improve his writing as its dang near perfect. Though this book isn’t technically part of a series, those who have read his previous two novels The Life We Bury and The Guise of Another will have a greater appreciation for the characters; there are also a few plot aspects that will spoil some of the previous books’ twists if read out of order so proceed with caution (but the review is spoiler free).
“Fiat justitia ruat caelum. It means do justice though the heavens may fall.”
I think what is truly amazing to me is how the author has crafted books that can be read in a multitude of ways. If you read them in chronological order, you have the opportunity to follow along with these characters in “real time” and experience their journey as they do. Each of these books have just as much potential to be read as a stand alone; while they do carry information that could spoil a few twists you won’t feel lost reading them on their own. I personally picked up The Guise of Another initially because I did not know the stories connected in any way, but I actually enjoyed reading it first, then doubling back to The Life We Bury, and finishing up with this one. I know I’m spending a ton of time on this tiny portion of the stories but I feel its important and a highlighting feature of how intricately written these books are.
Speaking of writing style, Eskens has mastered the delicate art of creating beautiful, haunting prose while keeping the reader glued to the suspenseful plot. I seem to get lost in his stories because the settings and scenes are so well done. I haven’t blown through any of his books, as they are something to be savored and enjoyed, but the pacing is so that you could if you felt inclined. This book came in at 297 pages, so really quite slim compared to most, but it packs a punch with no extra fluff to boot. The same narrative is told from 2 separate characters’ POV in alternating chapters which makes the read more interesting. The murderer wasn’t a huge surprise to me, as we are limited to a few characters as options, but that isn’t the real twist in this story; there’s a much bigger “gotcha” in the final pages that is making me very ready for Eskens’ next book, so go into this knowing there is a rather large cliffhanger. I finished this book a week ago and am STILL thinking about how wonderful it was, so hopefully that shows what a truly worthy read this is. Highly recommended to fans of mysteries and crime fiction!
*I’d like to thank the author and publisher for hooking me up with this book in exchange for an honest review. Consider this my desperate plea for the next book as soon as copies are available next year! 🙂