As a big Chris Brookmyre fan I’m delighted to share my review today of his standalone novel Fallen Angel.
About this book…
ONE FAMILY, TWO HOLIDAYS, ONE DEVASTATING SECRET
To new nanny Amanda, the Temple family seem to have it all: the former actress; the famous professor; their three successful grown-up children. But like any family, beneath the smiles and hugs there lurks far darker emotions.
Sixteen years earlier, little Niamh Temple died while they were on holiday in Portugal. Now, as Amanda joins the family for a reunion at their seaside villa, she begins to suspect one of them might be hiding something terrible…
And suspicion is a dangerous thing.
What did I think…
OMG THIS BOOK!!! I’m a real fan of Chris Brookmyre and was a little concerned about this book to begin with as it’s a standalone novel and not part of his best selling Jack Parlabane series. But I need not have worried because this book is absolutely bloody brilliant! If you like a slowly built tension to your thrillers with flawed characters that all seem to be hiding secrets and are completely unlikable, then you are going to LOVE Fallen Angel. If you like real life missing person cases and have your own ideas about what really happened to them then you are going to REALLY LOVE Fallen Angel!
This is one of those books where you definitely need to take your time over reading it so that you can absorb all the information the author drip feeds you about the characters and what really happened on THAT holiday back in 2002 when toddler Niamh Temple died in mysterious circumstances. All the usual suspects are back in Portugal for a reunion holiday after one of the family has recently passed away, alongside nanny Amanda who is looking after the baby of the couple in the next door villa. Amanda is a keen vlogger and her curiosity is piqued when she realises who the family next door are and what happened 16 years ago. But there are some VERY dark secrets being kept within this outwardly perfect family and a stranger poking around in their business may prove extremely dangerous to outsiders when the masks start to slide.
I lapped up this book like the cat who’d got the cream! It had the most PERFECT storyline in my opinion and appealed to my love of unsolved true crime mysteries. I also loved slowly peeling back the layers of those unpleasant, disagreeable characters to find out what made them tick, often reversing preconceived ideas that I had had from the first few chapters. I suspected everyone and thought about every single scenario that could have happened to Niamh but I was still shocked to the core by the actual reveal! And there were other twists that I didn’t see coming either including one that made me smile (you’ll know it when you read it!).
I think Fallen Angel has now overtaken Black Widow as my very favourite Chris Brookmyre novel. I actually hugged this book to my chest when I finished it (this is a thing for me but it doesn’t happen very often!) and didn’t want to part with its characters as, even though they were flawed and utterly repulsive at times, they had got under my skin. The narrative is shocking but compelling, the setting beautiful but with a menacing atmosphere around every corner and the perfectly poised family corrupted from the inside out.
BUY THIS BOOK!! You can thank me later!
Meet the author…
Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full-time novelist with the publication of his award-winning debut Quite Ugly One Morning, which established him as one of Britain’s leading crime authors. His Jack Parlabane novels have sold more than one million copies in the UK alone, and Black Widow won both the McIlvanney Prize and the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award.