Monday Book Review: Blind Fall


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Book Description

March 11, 2008
From three-time New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice — whose novels have been called “bold and ambitious” by The New York Times, “chillingly perverse” by USA Today, and “shocking, sexy…intricate” by Glamour — comes this startling psychological thriller about an Iraq War vet who seeks redemption and revenge when a fellow Marine he failed to protect during the war is brutally murdered.

John Houck became a Marine to become a hero. But his life changed when he failed to notice an explosive device that ended up maiming the captain of his Force Recon Company, a respected Marine who nearly sacrificed himself to save John’s life.

Home from Iraq, John pays a visit to his former captain, only to discover the captain has been gruesomely murdered. John pursues a strange man he sees running from the scene, but he discovers that Alex Martin is not the murderer. Alex is, in fact, the former captain’s secret male lover and the killer’s intended next victim.

When it becomes clear that local law enforcement has direct connections to the murder itself, John realizes that to repay his debt of honor, he must teach Alex Martin how to protect himself, even if that means teaching Alex to kill. In the process, John confronts the painful truth about the younger brother he was unable to protect and the older sister he always felt he failed.

Blind Fall is a story of honor and integrity, of turning failure into victory. It is a stunning departure for Christopher Rice: the story of two men, one a Marine, one gay, who must unite to avenge the death of the man they both loved — one as a brother-in-arms, one as a lover — and to survive.

My Take:
There was once a book that took itself too seriously.
I applaud Christopher Rice in crafting and writing this tome. The dedication it takes to see a Novel through is no small task. However, the book feels as if Rice has an overwhelming need to pound the message through to readers that gay people matter. OF course, all lives matter, as we’ve seen in the mid 2010’s. Blind Fall was written in 2008, a few years before, but he goes on to show how gay couples were forced to live in the shadows and protect themselves.
In Blind Fall, Rice creates over-the-top characterizations, almost being stereotypical: the over-the-top testosterone-filled military men, the weak, manipulative lover and I could go on. This is a good early attempt at writing but one wonders if Rice got the contract on his own writing ability or through the power of his name. Time and place are treated as secondary, almost unbelievable in their characterizations themselves.
The writing is good enough to draw the reader in and I did finish reading the work; a pleasant enough tale to get me through. I would suggest Rice not take himself and his work so seriously. Have fun with the plot, characters. This is something I usually tell writers to stop: more exposition. Give more voice to characters thoughts, how they got there, what  about sub-characters to move the plot along? Where are they? How did they get there?
I give 2 1/2 stars.
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