Tuesday, February 07, 2006

THE FALLEN by T. Jefferson Parker

Ever since being pushed out a sixth-floor hotel window, San Diego homicide detective Robbie Brownlaw has experienced synesthesia. Specifically, he sees the emotion in people's voices as colored geometric shapes—a kind of "primitive lie detector".

Still adjusting to life and work after the fall, Brownlaw is assigned to investigate the death of ex-cop Garrett Asplundh, who had been coping with a shock to his own system, the drowning death of his three-year-old daughter.

To Parker's credit, Brownlaw's special ability never overshadows his character or his case. Instead, his genuine values and voice highlight a larger story of well-drawn characters responding to sudden life changes. Recommended.

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