It’s a Mystery: The Fallen, by T. Jefferson Parker

The FallenThe color of lying

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Robbie Brownlaw is high on life, working at the job he’s always wanted and married to the girl of his dreams. He’s about to learn one of life’s most important lessons, however; everything can change in the blink of an eye. Brownlaw is one of the most interesting fictional detectives on my reading list. As The Fallen opens, he’s literally taking a fall, from the 6th story of a burning San Diego hotel. He survives, but develops synesthesia. In his case, Robbie can see colors representative of the speaker’s emotion while he’s conversing with them. That unsettling conditions comes in handy when he questions witnesses, but it sure doesn’t make his personal relationships easy to maintain. Imagine knowing instantly that someone is lying to you, or jealous.

Robbie’s been back on the job for a few months, when an officer from the city’s ethics commission is brutally murdered. His investigation takes him into the seamy underside of San Diego, a city that’s so beautiful on the surface. As he proceeds with his inquiries, Brownlaw encounters high priced call girls, cops on the take, corrupt city officials, and the victim’s wife, who has now lost both her little daughter and her husband within the space of nine months. In the midst of the turmoil, Robbie’s own wife deserts him, leaving him stunned and heartbroken.

Intriguing, fully developed characters, suspenseful and dramatic plot, and well-honed prose combine to make The Fallen a high quality page turner. Now I’m off to check out Parker’s other books.

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