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Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane

Since We Fell

by Dennis Lehane

Quick take

Lehane knows when to pull back and take his time with the story, and when to up the tension and white-knuckle it to the finish.


The new novel from Dennis Lehane, bestselling author of Mystic River and Shutter Island.

"Lehane is the master of complex human characters thrust into suspenseful, page-turning situations."
—Gillian Flynn

Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel's marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths. By turns heart-breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, Since We Fell is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension. It is Dennis Lehane at his very best.

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Why I love it

On a Tuesday in May, in her thirty-seventh year, Rachel shot her husband dead.' Who wouldn't want to keep reading Since We Fell after a throat-grabbing opening line like that? And the novel will take us back to this point, eventually, but not before we learn exactly how Rachel got there.

This is how long I have been reading Dennis Lehane: I remember where I was, to the day and location, when I bought his 2001 masterpiece, Mystic River, in my opinion one of the best crime novels of this century. He continued to produce standout novels like  Shutter Island and The Given Day, and be the source of terrific motion pictures like Gone, Baby, Gone and The Drop. Lehane messes with your mind with puzzles, breaks your heart with complicated characters, and shines a light on the epic sweep of American crime history. He knows when to pull back and take his time with the story, and when to up the tension and white-knuckle it to the finish.

Since We Fell is not quite as gritty (or, frankly, as dude-ish) as Mystic River, but it’s about time Lehane gave a female protagonist her own enthralling story. Raised by a cold, neglectful mother, an improbable star in the world of self-help nonfiction, Rachel comes of age by searching for the absent father her mother does not want her to find. What she finds, and loses, along the way forms her very essence and nearly upends her life. Layer by layer, Lehane unspools Rachel's fears and anxieties with exacting skill, so that by the time she opens herself up to love'”and is betrayed, again and again by doing so'”we are with her, hoping she will overcome unspeakable physical and emotional injury.

Since We Fell is the embodiment of the 'œliterary thriller.' The plot twists as fast and as sharp as your favorite roller coaster, but not until we've gone far inside Rachel Childs's mind to fully know and care about her. Savor the book first, then be prepared to keep pace at the end.

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Member ratings (7,252)

  • Stacey D.

    Fort Myers, FL

    Suspenseful, nerve racking and romantic all in one very tightly written novel. Dennis Is an auto buy author for me and I’ve never been disappointed. He has a way of making even the bad guys relatable.

  • Patricia S.

    West Roxbury, MA

    You could connect really well with the character and her emotions. It took a major twist at the end and then kept you on your toes until the very last page. I want to know what happens next....sequel!

  • Chelsea O.

    Media, PA

    Takes off running from the very first sentence and never stops until the final words. I loved going through this journey with Rachel and sharing the surprises around every bend. Couldn't put it down!

  • Katherine W.


    I love thrillers nd I love trying to figure them out before I finish the book, this one had me hooked from page 1 and the end left me speechless! Definitely recommended to anyone who wants a good read

  • Elizabeth F.

    cuyahoga Falls, OH

    Ok. so I read this book (all 420 pages) in one day. From the start, I couldn't put it down. It really examined a lot of human tendencies and psychology and yet was romantic and thrilling all at once!