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Blind Fall

by Christopher Rice
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Product Details

  • Publisher: Pocket Star
  • Publishing date: 26/01/2010
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9781416525561
  • ISBN: 1416525564

Synopsis

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.



Amazon.com Exclusive
A Letter from Christopher Rice

Dear Amazon.com Reader,

Authors hate answering the question "what is your book about?" because deep down most of us are arrogant enough to believe that our books are about everything. Birth, death, love, grief. You name it, I probably think it's in there somewhere, albeit sometimes only in the form of a throwaway character, like a wisecracking gas station attendant who pops off a few good lines about living in the present as my main character bounces on the balls of his feet, impatient to be rung up so he can race to his next car-chase. But the longer I write for a living, the more it becomes clear to me that while arrogance is a helpful tool for dealing with one's own negative reviews (or the death threats that have been posted alongside your promotional video on YouTube), the question "what is your book about" is one that I better have a coherent answer to long before it's posed to me by anyone besides the ever-present critic who lives in my head. Otherwise I find myself writing entire chapters about the shape of a certain box hedge because I've lost my way and fallen prey to that childish belief that writing is about nothing more than filling up a page. (It is, kind of, but only when you're past deadline.) That said, I can say with confidence that my latest thriller, Blind Fall, is a novel about self-acceptance. It's about how we are often forced to let go of something we believed to be an absolute truth before we can treat ourselves with the same respect we would grant our closest friend. And in that sense, it is also a story about how our own visions of our past, of where we came from and what made us who we are, become incomplete and deceptive if we turn away from of those who walked the path with us and the insights they have to offer into our own personal history.

Phew! Got that out of the way. How was that, Amazon.com editors? Did I win over some Jonathan Franzen readers with that one?

Please note that I referred to my own novel as a thriller. I did so with pride. As I've said now in numerous interviews, Blind Fall was intended to be lean, clear and forceful, a suspenseful story about gays in the military that might appeal to the broadest audience possible. That doesn't mean I dumbed down or cleaned up a more "literary"--God, I hate that word--story that's still sitting in my desk drawer. It means I chose to tell the entire story from the point-of-view of the character facing the greatest personal challenge of any in the book--John Houck, the battle-scarred Marine who discovers the comrade who saved his life in combat was secretly gay. Anything that didn't serve John's character, that didn't ring true to who he was, didn't make the cut. That was a challenge. I love the guy as much as I do any of my protagonists but let's just say we probably wouldn't end up voting for the same candidate in the Presidential election this coming November and we certainly have different CDs in rotation. (To get into character sometimes I would depart from my usual film score montages and get amped up on a little Coheed & Cambria and Incubus. Don't laugh! It's not that big of a stretch. I went to a Mottley Crue concert when I was twelve.)

I also chose to tell you who the killer was about 70 pages in. Why? Because this novel is not a whodunit. This novel is a what-the-hell-are-they-going-to-do, but that's got a few too many words in it so we call those thrillers. Don't get me wrong; there are some twists and turns along the way, but I didn't want the reader breaking sweat over who was responsible for the murder that starts off the action. I wanted the reader's heart to become invested in the relationship between John, the straight (and more than a little homophobic) Marine, and Alex, the secret gay lover of the man who saved John's life. How are these two very different men going to come to accept one another, if at all? This is the question that dominated my thoughts while I was writing the book, and if you decide to give it a read, I hope it dominates yours as well. Sometimes the best suspense comes not from the revelation of a previously concealed detail that's been skillfully foreshadowed, but from wondering how a character you have come to know intimately over the course of many chapters is going to react to a seemingly insurmountable set of obstacles. That's what I was shooting for with Blind Fall.

So there you have it, along with a few unsolicited personal details about yours truly. (Like the fact that I went to a Motley Crue concert when I was twelve.) At the very least, I hope Blind Fall keeps some of you up late at night. For the next month, my late nights will all be spent in hotels as I cross the country to promote this puppy. Maybe I'll get to meet some of you along the way.

Best,

Christopher Rice



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  • Blind Fall
    From Amazon

    This will not be a very literary review, nor is it specifically about Blind Fall, as it has been awhile since I read the book. I devoured it as soon as it came in the mail. I loved his mother's books so much that I read almost all of them three times, and though Christopher's writing style is as different from hers as night is from day I love his writing as well. I have read all but his last novel, The Moonlit Earth, which I just haven't ordered yet, and his stories are so darkly intriguing that I can't put them down, reading late into the night until they're finished. His characters are so fascinating that I often feel like a voyeur, which is fun. I find the plots to be so intricate that I sometimes have to check back on names etc. to keep track, but I don't mind that. In all I find his books to be extremely easy, yet spellbinding reading. Probably needless to say, but if you are homophobic I wouldn't recommend them. I personally am not.

  • Like falling under a spell
    From Amazon

    I just finished this novel--it's very good. I was literally hooked from the first page, which is not a good thing when you're running around a large airport to find your flight gate. Yes, there is some "gay culture" in this book, but it's just a part of the story, and the gay characters are so varied in their opinions and lives they're just like--hey! They're just like human beings! Some of them re-tell the story of their own lives so they always appear like a victim (I'm not giving anything away), and some of them don't know what the word "Victim" means (even after they've been brutalized in a dark alley). Mike Bowers is an awesome character, even more so because we learn more about his life after he dies. This needs to be a movie, but I'm afraid Hollywood would ruin it.

  • Disappointing - badly written
    From Amazon

    You might enjoy this book if you don't mind Bad grammar: - "But he kept his mouth shut, fought images of he and Alex living together..." Awkward sentences: - "He steered through the tiny service alley behind the club, saw Philip waiting for him, the back door open and propped against one shoulder." - "But just then, John saw the black Royal Marquis parked across the street and several car lengths away, in a spot that offered a perfect view of Alex's vehicle for the police officer John imagined was sitting behind the heavily tinted windshield." I read about half the book and could not continue. Contrived people, contrived situations", unbelievably long, convoluted sentences - not a good book.

  • Apropos of our time
    From Amazon

    I don't think most people in the United States fully understand why it's so wrong to discriminate against Gay people. Even Gay people I know, don't completely grasp why it's important for barriers to be lifted socially, legally, and morally. This story explores every aspect of the urgency of that problem. The characters are not extraordinary. They're exactly the kind of people I know and have met, who experience discrimination, abuse, and a lack of respect, simply because of being Gay. The pivotal character, Alex Martin, had fallen in love with a Marine named Mike Bowers, and in spite of many obstacles, maintained a relationship with him through Bowers deployment to Iraq. Bowers and Martin seem to be on the verge of establishing a life together when Bowers is murdered. John Houck, a straight Marine buddy of Bowers, befriends Martin, and attempts to help him find out who murdered Bowers. But in order to do that, Houck has to put himself into the shoes of a Gay man, and this straight, white, war hero experiences what it's like to be hated for being 'different'. If I have any problem with this book, it's Christopher Rice's obsessive and repetitive use of California towns and settings that add nothing to his stories. He continually leads us down this interstate and that highway, leading to one obscure town after another, as if we needed a map of the state to follow along. It's the same thing he did in Light before Day. And in my opinion, it detracts from the plot to have to follow along, remembering whether they are travelling East or West, and which road leads to which town and why. It's a small thing, and I do enjoy reading every Christopher Rice novel, but the travelogue of California is unnecessary, unless it adds to the story line. If you know anyone Gay in the military, you should read this book. I don't ever expect heterosexuals to universally accept homosexuals. But sometimes, if you look into someone else's world, you can learn not to hate them, and you can learn how harmful it is to discriminate. I think that is the importance of this novel. And I highly recommend it to everyone, Gay or Straight.

  • Let's keep this short...
    From Amazon

    In a nutshell, it's a good read. I did have a hard time putting in down. Rice, just as his mother, is a master at creating very intriguing and complex characters. I felt the plot was captivating, though the climax was a bit, well, more anti-climatic that I had hoped for. Nonetheless, I recommend taking the time to plow through this one.

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