BOY FALLEN by Chris Gill is a compelling story of a young man and his journey of self-discovery interweaving a police procedural that stuns with its climax.
Brooke Palmer’s return back to the small town of Toanga is not a happy one, for starters, she has lost a boy who was almost a son to her, her best friend, Lana is devastated by the loss, and adding to the trauma is the memories of a past that she doesn’t want to recollect. Author Chris Gill has captured the essence of grief so brilliantly that Lana’s pain of losing her son and coming to terms with his murder was tangible. The small-town claustrophobia was also conveyed wonderfully as a vivid picture of the animosity of the locals shown against Brooke’s and Lan’s family could be felt leaping off the pages.
As Detective Collins requests Brooke’s help with the inquiries, we get to see Evan Wiley thru small snippets. As Brooke and Collins investigate the murder and the interrogation takes them to Evan’s contacts, the story opens up thru the POV of Evan and honestly, had me wanting more of his thought process. The questions about his sexuality and coming to terms with it, the need for drugs to be accepted into a group of friends, the bullying that has destroyed his confidence, the love that he discovers, his desperate need for at least one friend to talk things over, everything is laid bare and the author makes the reader experience the whole gamut of emotions thru Evan. However, I would have loved to know the reasoning behind his decision to use his savings to establish friendships just when the world was at his call. Just a minor point in an otherwise excellent story by Chris Gill.
Brooke and Collins make a good pair and I loved the easy camaraderie they share during the investigation. Both of them take strength from each other as Brooke has to relive the loss of her brother in a similar fashion to Evan, and Collins is fighting the custody of his daughter. The climax came out of nowhere as I had no inkling of the murderer so plainly hidden.
Boy Fallen is not a fast-paced adrenaline rush thriller, but if you are a fan of a cleverly conceived crime thriller with a heartfelt story of a young man, then BOY FALLEN is definitely a book to be read.
Many thanks to PRINTD publishing and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.
Apologies to the publisher for the delay in posting this review.
A POWERFUL CRIME MYSTERY WITH A YOUNG MAN’S JOURNEY OF SELF-DISCOVERY AT ITS CORE
When the body of wealthy teen and aspiring photographer Evan Wiley is found faceup at the base of Taonga Falls, one thing is immediately clear: he didn’t jump.
Detective Brooke Palmer races down to the struggling New Zealand town she once called home to comfort her oldest friend – Evan’s mother.
But when Brooke learns Evan had been hanging out with a boy who used to bully him, she quickly gets drawn into the case. She fears this dangerous new friendship may have cost Evan his life – or at the very least, his heart.
And as Brooke confronts her own past, she is reminded that in Taonga, even those who have it all can hit rock bottom.
A gripping whodunnit through a fresh lens, Boy Fallen will keep you guessing until the very end.
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