Thank you to Walter Giersbach for sharing this review with me! You can also find it on Goodreads.
Take This Writer Very Seriously
It’s presumptuous to think my review of “Since We Fell” will add anything to Mr. Lehane’s stature. But I’m compelled to say that the first two-thirds of the novel gave me insights into agoraphobia, acute anxiety and fear of the world around us. I could say, “Yes, I know what your character feels because I’ve been there,” and isn’t that why writers write? To communicate as well as entertain.
It doesn’t help that our current times add to everyone’s dis-ease and anxiety. I come by my neuroses (not yet debilitating like Lehane’s chief character, Rachel) with valid credentials: Recognition of my mortality at age 77 and grief over losing a wife of 46 years. This story delves deeply into character that seems very familiar.
Writers of crime fiction often aspire to be taken seriously. Chandler felt this. Philip Dick wanted to be taken “seriously.” I believe Lehane now can legitimately join the ranks of major authors interpreting our trying times. Not the crimes, but just the difficulties of coping with one day after another and fear that the wolf is overtaking you.
Take this passage as Brian’s partner Caleb says, “When we were young, at a crucial time in the development of our selves, Brian and I were great friends. Now he’s where he is and I’m where I am…and I’m not sure who we are anymore. When you spend so much time in the skins of others that you don’t recognize the smell of your own anymore, maybe the only allegiance you owe is to the people who remembered you before the makeup and the stagecraft took over.”
Then — surprise! — the last third of “Since We Fell” races ahead with “reveals” that Rachel was not irrational in suspecting her husband of lying and infidelity. There’s a magnificent $75 million scam taking place under her nose. People die violently. Rachel and her husband are on the run as the very bad guys close in.
This is also an urban-centric novel. Many of Lehane’s novels center on the Boston area. He’s a Boston boy the way Raymond Chandler was a Californian, Faulkner a Mississippian. I feel a kindred spirit for Boston because of that year I lived in Cambridge. Boston is, like New York and a few other cities, a personality in its own right. Robert S. Parker knew that when his heir apparent Ace Atkins set Lullaby in that city and included a street map in the frontispiece.
This is the 10th Dennis Lehane novel I’ve read and it’s by far the best of the best.
posted to Goodreads 6/30/17
Thank you Walter! I have some catching up to do!