Monday, April 30, 2012

THE FALLEN - Jassy Mackenzie

My review of Jassy Mackenzie's THE FALLEN appeared in the April 20th edition of Shelf Awareness for Readers. I am reprinting it here with their permission.

Jade de Jong’s biggest problem on her scuba diving holiday in St. Lucia is her fear of the water—until her boyfriend, police superintendent David Patel shows up with devastating news. As if learning David intends to return to his wife isn’t bad enough, Jade’s scuba instructor is brutally murdered and both Jade and David find themselves pulled into a complex murder investigation full of corruption and bizarre twists.

In Mackenzie’s third Jade de Jong novel, she highlights a wide range of contrast in her homeland. She builds suspense through crime-riddled Johannesburg, greed, and corruption that leads Jade to question, “Was there anybody in the South African police service who didn’t have a price?” Likewise she beckons readers to the beautiful beaches of St. Lucia that are worth risking life and limb to protect. She offers characters willing to go to great lengths for what they believe. That delicate balance of good and bad mirrors the symbolic sunrise and it continues to provide the reader with hope.

The true gem of Mackenzie’s novel is the electrifying plot. The pace is constantly swift, right up to the last page. Mackenzine throws in the appropriate clues throughout the course of the novel, avoiding the author cheat at the conclusion but still maintaining a high level of suspense and mystery. Some minor plot details, such as police neglecting to take a cell phone after frisking a suspect, may leave some readers a little quizzical but the pace will quickly jerk readers’ focus back to the story.

The conclusion of this novel may divide readers into a love or hate category, but you can count this reviewer among the former!

THE FALLEN is available in hardcover from Soho Press (ISBN: 978161695065) and on audio, narrated by Justine Eyre from AudioGo.


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