Monday, October 3, 2016

Review: The Heavens May Fall

Summary: 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 story of Jennavieve Pruitt’s death disrupts many lives—and the truth remains a mystery till the very end. -- Seventh Street Books

I am a big fan of Allen Eskens' mysteries. I read THE LIFE WE BURY and THE GUISE OF ANOTHER within just a few months last year -- you can read my reviews here and here -- and enjoyed both of them quite a bit. I loved the complexity of the characters as well as the mystery aspect of the books. Needless to say, I was very excited to discover that a minor character in these novels actually got his own story in Mr. Eskens' latest book THE HEAVENS MAY FALL.

Detective Max Rupert is having a tough day. It's the anniversary of his wife's hit-and-run death, and he is called to the scene of a murder. He arrives to find a woman stabbed to death and wrapped in a child's comforter. Oddly enough, but also very fortunately, he finds her diamond earring which traces the owner to Jennavieve Pruitt, the wife of a successful criminal attorney. She is a wealthy socialite who also happens to run a foundation that preserves wetlands.

It's possible (and maybe even likely) that there are a few people that Jennavieve has rubbed the wrong way in her business dealings, but Max immediately thinks her husband, Ben, is responsible. Isn't it usually the husband or boyfriend? However, Ben was out of town the night of the murder. Ben hires Boady Sanden, a retired attorney to defend him -- an attorney who just happens to be good friends with Max... and one who swore he'd never practice law again.

Despite having different motives, both Boady and Max delve into this case. While working to defend Ben, Boady is forced to deal with his guilt for the death of an innocent client and hopefully redeem himself. Meanwhile, Max is constantly reminded of his wife's death as he investigates Jennavieve's murder, especially when he receives some evidence that might reopen the case. As these two men battle their inner demons, they also discover the shocking truth about this woman's murder.

I loved THE HEAVENS MAY FALL! Once again, Mr. Eskens' wrote another winner. The characters are so complicated, and the mystery is even more complex. I quickly became involved in Max's troubles, and I was equally excited when Boady entered the picture with his troubled past. I loved the dynamic between these two men -- the juxtaposition of their long-time friendship with their opposing views concerning Ben's guilt; and I felt as if the author did a great job in bringing both of these men to life.

I appreciated how this novel was written. The book was divided into different sections -- The Death, The Defense, and The Trial, while also showing the two different views, Max's and Boady's, of the case. I really enjoyed seeing how both sides processed and discovered the information about the murder, and I think these various viewpoints added to my enjoyment of the novel. Having said that, I also think different views caused my mind to jump back and forth (and really all over the place) about who was responsible (and why) for Jennavieve's murder.

I also was extremely impressed with the murder mystery. Just when I thought I had everything figured out, something happened to change my mind. I love it when that happens! There were so many twists and a shocking conclusion that are guaranteed to entertain fans of mysteries. In fact, I felt as if the ending was perfect! Things were wrapped up but not too neatly, and I suspect that readers will be seeing more of these characters in a future novel.

Overall, I loved THE HEAVENS MAY FALL (and really all three of Mr. Eskens' books.) I highly recommend this award-winning author if you are a fan of smart, literary mysteries.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I've never read his work but will be soon because my book club has chosen The Life We Bury for our October meeting. I'm really looking forward to it!