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The new novel from New York Times bestseller Dennis Lehane, 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.

Review

“[Lehane] remains one of the great, diabolical thriller kings who seems intimately acquainted with darkness and can make it seep from the page.” -- New York Times

“A pleasantly twisted character study and a love story. . . . Lehane is in command of what he’s doing.” -- Washington Post

“A pleasantly twisted character study and a love story. . . . Lehane is in command of what he’s doing.” -- Tampa Bay Times

“Lehane has written two books-one, an insightful examination of the search for identity and belonging, and two, a thriller that constantly leaves you guessing-and then smashed them together into one terrific read.” -- Gillian Flynn

“A riveting exercise in psychological suspense.” -- Providence Journal

“Endlessly surprising. . . . [A] twisty tale.” -- Wall Street Journal

“Lehane writes expert, compelling thrillers. . . . He’s one of the game changers who smashed the imaginary boundary between genre and literature, proving that we can have the best of both at once.” -- Tana French, Washington Post

“Make no mistake, Since We Fell is crime fiction, filled with con men, murder, greed and revenge. But the love story gives this novel its heart.” -- Associated Press

“[Lehane’s] work always combines pulp thrills with literary heart and sophistication.” -- Entertainment Weekly

“The most thrilling novel I’ll read all year. Since We Fell is simmering with emotion, menace, and humor. I loved it.” -- Kate Atkinson

“Complex, tense, compelling, and an emotional and strategic hall of mirrors, where nothing is what it seems—but I would follow Dennis Lehane anywhere.” -- Lee Child

“Another winner from the author of Mystic River. . . . A raucous mix of lust, greed, and betrayal.” -- AARP Magazine

“The surfeit of plot twists and emotional baggage are buoyed by Lehane’s hard-boiled lyricism and peerless feel for New England noir.” -- USA Today

“One doesn’t ‘read’ Since We Fell so much as plunge and tumble through its pages like a raft in white water. A sweet bullet of a book.” -- Richard Price

“Once you pick up a Dennis Lehane novel, you’re hooked. It’s just that simple. Since We Fell is a complex, compelling, page-turner of a novel from a master storyteller at the top of his game.” -- Kristin Hannah

“[ Since We Fell] should have crime fiction fans busting out the bottle rockets and champagne. . . . It’s impossible not to succumb.” -- Lithub

“With sharply acute characterization, this is classic Lehane.” -- The Guardian

“A ride you won’t want to miss.” -- New York Journal of Books

“The mystery and intrigue never let go; the twists and turns are engaging and unexpected all the way down the track.” -- James Lee Burke

From the Back Cover

After a very public mental breakdown, Rachel Childs, once a tenacious, globe-trotting journalist, 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.

About the Author

Dennis Lehane is the author of thirteen novels—including the New York Times bestsellers Live by Night; Moonlight Mile; Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; and The Given Day—as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He grew up in Boston, MA and now lives in California with his family.

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3.9 out of 53.9 out of 5
1,877 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

Dee Jay
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This book will be the last Lehane I read
Reviewed in the United States on June 7, 2018
This book starts off slow, drags you through Rachel''s assorted dysfunctions at a tedious pace, starts to get interesting at around the halfway mark when you think there might be a plot starting to happen, gets ridiculously implausible, then lands with a thud.... See more
This book starts off slow, drags you through Rachel''s assorted dysfunctions at a tedious pace, starts to get interesting at around the halfway mark when you think there might be a plot starting to happen, gets ridiculously implausible, then lands with a thud.

There are a number of directions Lehane could have taken with this story. Could have made Rachel crazy and hallucinating. Could have made her a hero who does the right thing. Instead he made her another one of those weak pointless women who seem to be all the rage these days in fiction. Here''s a SPOILER so you don''t waste your money just to find out I was correct in my assessment:

Brian has assumed not one, but many fake identities. He is a con man with an elaborate plan to steal millions and leave the country with his equally fake partner, who has a con man wife that he didn''t realize was conning him. Rachel, despite everything Brian has put her through, both emotionally and physically, goes along with him.

I feel like Lehane is laughing at me for giving him money for this insulting trash, but rest assured it will be the last dime of mine he sees.
64 people found this helpful
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Beth
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Old Lehane is back
Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2017
The old Dennis Lehane is back. Thank goodness SINCE WE FELL is not another of his historical mafia books. Looks like he’s done with those. But SINCE WE FELL doesn’t begin like one of Lehane’s older novels. The first half of this book is a study of Rachel, the... See more
The old Dennis Lehane is back. Thank goodness SINCE WE FELL is not another of his historical mafia books. Looks like he’s done with those.

But SINCE WE FELL doesn’t begin like one of Lehane’s older novels. The first half of this book is a study of Rachel, the main character. It does not grip the reader almost immediately, as you might have expected of Lehane before his mafia books.

Instead, we learn of Rachel’s discontent with her mother, who refuses to tell Rachel who her father is/was. Eventually, Rachel looks for him on her own. This leads to her initial meeting with Brian, a supposed private detective, who refuses to take her money for a job he knows he can’t do.

We also learn a lot more about Rachel, maybe more than we need to know sometimes. For various reasons, though, she is frequently afflicted with panic attacks. They disrupt her life so much that she becomes almost totally housebound.

The second half of SINCE WE FELL is Lehane as we used to expect. Now we come to know Brian better. Is he all that he seems? Who is he, really?

There’s more plot to the second half. But the character study in the first half is what makes the book more than a plot-driven thriller.
50 people found this helpful
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G. Bell
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
New and different for Lehane ... but still great Lehane!
Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2017
Read it in one sitting yesterday -- I love Dennis Lehane''s writing. Different from a lot of his other work, but the guy has range, and isn''t afraid to branch out and try something new. Can''t understand these people who are brutalizing him for "straying" from the... See more
Read it in one sitting yesterday -- I love Dennis Lehane''s writing. Different from a lot of his other work, but the guy has range, and isn''t afraid to branch out and try something new. Can''t understand these people who are brutalizing him for "straying" from the Patrick Kenzie formula that made him famous. I like the variety, and thought he did a good job with a female protagonist. There are some fairly long paragraphs dealing with Rachel''s psychological torment, and I occasionally thought of Elmore Leonard ("I try to leave out the parts that people skip") but they do add to the story, even when a little long. Maybe those who are expressing disappointment are missing the nonstop thriller/action/adventure motif of his early work, but the guy isn''t cooking Big Macs, he''s writing novels! This is something new and different, but so what? The test is, "Do I stay up late to finish the thing because I can''t put it down?" And the answer here is an unqualified yes.
270 people found this helpful
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Peter
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Failed experiment
Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2017
This novel has really garnered some wide-ranging review rankings! Think it is the sign of a daring book that people react to it strongly one way or another. Dennis Lehane is a talent writer who has written some truly brilliant series novels and standalones (personally I... See more
This novel has really garnered some wide-ranging review rankings! Think it is the sign of a daring book that people react to it strongly one way or another. Dennis Lehane is a talent writer who has written some truly brilliant series novels and standalones (personally I prefer his standalones to the series novels but not that I am complaining about either).

In this novel, we have a journalist who has a very public meltdown that leaves her afraid to go out into the world and a virtual prisoner in her own home. She is lucky though, she is married to a wonderful and caring man. Gradually she begins to have some doubts about him and starts investigating.

This is very much different to the other books Lehane has written and to be honest, I didn''t like it at all. The main character was not likable and I had trouble sympathising with her mental issues, the breakdown didn''t ring true at all, the whole Haiti descriptions didn''t feel right to me either. The story just felt a bit too pat for my tastes.

Maybe I will re-try it in a few years and think it is brilliant but until then, 2 stars.
24 people found this helpful
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carilynp
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Dennis Lehane’s thriller SINCE WE FELL took me on a ...
Reviewed in the United States on June 22, 2017
Dennis Lehane’s thriller SINCE WE FELL took me on a ride and spun me around. Here is a story about a woman who is basically lost. From the get-go. Her self-absorbed mother has raised her by herself, never telling her the true story about who her father is. When her mother... See more
Dennis Lehane’s thriller SINCE WE FELL took me on a ride and spun me around. Here is a story about a woman who is basically lost. From the get-go. Her self-absorbed mother has raised her by herself, never telling her the true story about who her father is. When her mother passes away, Rachel, now a college graduate, is left alone in the world, searching for her mystery dad. With but one clue, she heads to a local private detective who assures her it’s a dead-end and there is no hope of finding him.

Fast forward to a successful career in TV, Rachel is now married to a colleague who wants to go places, but she is now dragging him down. She slowly unravels after an on-air meltdown while reporting a disaster in Haiti. Ashamed, humiliated and fired, she doesn’t know what to do. Frozen with fear, she becomes a shut-in.

When she does venture out, life will never be the same. This is the part where our clearly able author starts taking us on the rollercoaster ride of the year. Carefully now, readers. Pay attention. There are twists and turns and you won’t be able to get off the ride. You have no idea where this is going and what has Rachel gotten herself into.
36 people found this helpful
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C. F. Crowe
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The reader must have patience to appreciate this story
Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2017
For 50 percent of the book, the story centers around Rachael. Who is a disturbed young girl that lives with a single mother. Her mother refuses to tell her who her father is. " because you would emulate him". Rachael engages a private investigator to track down... See more
For 50 percent of the book, the story centers around Rachael. Who is a disturbed young girl that lives with a single mother. Her mother refuses to tell her who her father is. " because you would emulate him".

Rachael engages a private investigator to track down her father after her mother''s death. All that she knows is that his name begins with a J.

At the midway point in the book the story becomes a very different tale of death deception and finally possible trust and a happy existence. Stay with the story, you won''t regret it.
27 people found this helpful
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jackson
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Disappointing crime novel
Reviewed in the United States on November 25, 2018
I have never read any of this author''s work before and am not tempted to do so again. Without giving anything away, reading this book is like reading two barely-connected, over-reaching bits of nonsense. The first part reads like it could have been written by a... See more
I have never read any of this author''s work before and am not tempted to do so again. Without giving anything away, reading this book is like reading two barely-connected, over-reaching bits of nonsense. The first part reads like it could have been written by a fifteen-year-old Bronte sister. The second part changes course dramatically, becoming a Mickey Spillane novelette with a female protagonist. Not that the characters change that much, just the style and direction.
Now this alone would not be bad if it weren''t for the lack of substance in either part; or if it weren''t so badly over-written. Aside from some awkward plot-twists, the reader will say to him-or-her self: Is that all there is? There is simply nothing there; it''s like unintentionally drinking a stale bottle of Near-Beer, waiting for the taste or buzz that never shows up.
If you don''t mind blowing a couple of bucks for the kindle edition it might keep you interested enough to get through a cross-country flight. Then again, maybe not.
12 people found this helpful
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Jeffrey T. Mallaber
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Could put a meth freak to sleep.
Reviewed in the United States on July 23, 2021
First, I am a long time Dennis Lehane nut. I’ve read just about every word he’s published, including short stories he contributed to some noire anthologies. That said, since the Kenzie and Gennaro series ended, his novels have gotten progressively more pretentious and... See more
First, I am a long time Dennis Lehane nut. I’ve read just about every word he’s published, including short stories he contributed to some noire anthologies. That said, since the Kenzie and Gennaro series ended, his novels have gotten progressively more pretentious and boring. Since We Fell is, I certainly hope, rock bottom.

I’m 221 pages in, and the most interesting thing that has happened is a lady suspects her husband is cheating. Around Page 100, I started reading about every other paragraph, just trying to skip to the chase. At present, it’s more like every other page. I’ve set a deadline of 50 more pages. If the trend continues, and nothing remotely interesting I''m just going to dump it and call it ten bucks wasted.

If you want to be a lab rat in Mr. Lehane’s experiment in stretching his literary legs, by all means, have at it. If, however, you’d rather be even partially entertained, grab a bottle of laundry soap and read the poison warnings. You’ll have a better shot.

Very disappointing.
4 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

vicki.reads.books
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Didn''t really know what to make of this
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 13, 2019
I have read all of Dennis Lehane''s books which are set in the present time, and enjoyed them all - particularly Mystic River. I was unfortunately disappointed with this one, however, because I just didn''t know what to make of it. The first half of the book is a completely...See more
I have read all of Dennis Lehane''s books which are set in the present time, and enjoyed them all - particularly Mystic River. I was unfortunately disappointed with this one, however, because I just didn''t know what to make of it. The first half of the book is a completely different tone to the second half. The initial chapters set up the characters nicely, but when the second half departed on an alternate trajectory, it just seemed unnatural and didn''t flow. I wasn''t sure of the plot as a whole - it was quite odd, and not up to Lehane''s usual standard. Yes I was left thinking about the book after I had closed the final page, but not in the way that Gone Baby Gone made me contemplate the moral questions it raised - this time I was just left thinking ''what on earth was that?'' I''m not quite sure what the author was trying to achieve, what type of book he was trying to write, and who he wanted to appeal to. It''s worth a read only so you can make up your own mind - otherwise stick to his earlier stuff.
3 people found this helpful
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reviewsbychloe
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This book has a magical pull about it, it just grabs you and absorbs you
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 1, 2019
Lehane has the most mesmerising writing style that instantly drew me in. Whilst his style is unique, it had a ‘Grisham’ effect on me, I knew instantly that I was in safe hands and in for a treat! The prologue and blurb shock you, as it reveals Rachel has shot her husband....See more
Lehane has the most mesmerising writing style that instantly drew me in. Whilst his style is unique, it had a ‘Grisham’ effect on me, I knew instantly that I was in safe hands and in for a treat! The prologue and blurb shock you, as it reveals Rachel has shot her husband. The ‘why’ is not divulged. The story then sweeps back and builds up Rachel’s childhood and early adult years, revealing more about her personality and the memories that have shaped her. Looking back on this book, I’m in awe of how much Lehane packed into just over 400 pages, so much of Rachel’s life is covered through this story! This book has a magical pull about it, it just grabs you and absorbs you into a plot that is full of paranoia, twists and intrigue. It’s not like a typical crime thriller, whilst the suspense and shock factor are present, it also focuses heavily on self discovery and recovery. I personally think this made the book more unique and I liked the slow burn effect it added to the plot. Some people might be put off by this, and usually I am, but I feel Lehane managed to pull it out the bag due to his strong characterisation skills. All of the characters bring so much to the table; be it they’re relatable or unreliable, they just add so much colour to the story. My only niggle; and the reasons why it’s a 4 star rating, I’d have liked the ending to have been drawn out a bit more, it felt a little rushed, which was disappointing since I can’t fault the first 300 pages of this book.
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David Jackson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
You will love it or hate it - apparently!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 9, 2018
I have read all of Dennis Lehman’s novels. This one is different (which is good) and it is also one of his best. Some of the reviewers hated it, but I just can’t relate to that. It is intriguing, constantly surprising, wonderfully well written and ultimately highly...See more
I have read all of Dennis Lehman’s novels. This one is different (which is good) and it is also one of his best. Some of the reviewers hated it, but I just can’t relate to that. It is intriguing, constantly surprising, wonderfully well written and ultimately highly satisfying. It is a joy.
4 people found this helpful
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Cutser
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Really good read from Denis Lehane
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 26, 2017
Really different and really interesting from Denis Lehane. Very interesting characters that you easily became invested in and rooted for. Some nice twists and turns that keep you guessing without going overboard. Can''t wait for his next one.
5 people found this helpful
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allipally
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I nearly gave up with this book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2020
I wasn''t really sure what the book was about at all. I kept with it and I''m glad I did because the last third was good! I''m sure there is going to be another book and I feel that the characterisation could have been achieved in a shorter time frame as the main character...See more
I wasn''t really sure what the book was about at all. I kept with it and I''m glad I did because the last third was good! I''m sure there is going to be another book and I feel that the characterisation could have been achieved in a shorter time frame as the main character seems to change dramaticially in the last third of the book.
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