Hey Guys! Exactly eleven days ago I took my Law National Admissions Test and on Saturday I put in an application to study law at university. I came out of that test realizing that being a lawyer is one of the hardest professions out there. To keep your brain in high power mode, analyzing material for flaws like a hawk from a hundred feet up, takes grit. Writing about it is a whole other story.
I have been a massive fan of old murder mysteries for the last few years. My family started out by watching Poirot (It’s on Netflix and I definitely recommend). That quickly turned into watching every episode of the 70 that were made. Since then I have also watched most of Midsomer Murders, Father Brown, and all of Sherlock.
Thank you so much to Prometheus Books for sending me a copy! I can’t wait to share with you all just how much I’m obsessed.
The Heavens May Fall is a fresh interpretation on the classic find-the-killer mysteries of greats like Agatha Christie and Doyle. Yet, it transcends the penny dreadful pitfall that so many murder mysteries fall into by being scathingly clever. It must say something about human nature, but a lot of us have a macabre fascination with violent crime. Furthermore, the layer of legal puzzles add a layer of satisfying complexity to an already riveting subject. The author, Allen Eskens, happens to know what he is talking about. He was a criminal defense attorney for twenty-five years.
The Heavens May Fall is largely the story of three men: Max Rupert, a homicide detective; Ben Pruitt, a renowned lawyer; and Boady Sanden, a law professor.
Pruitt and Max clashed on a case of fraudulent evidence on a case in the past. In The Heavens May Fall, they find themselves intertwined yet again. When Pruitt’s wife is found dead in an alleyway, the only person with enough motive and cleverness to do it is Ben. Only problemis, Ben was in Chicago.
Pruitt enlists Boady Sanden as his defense, drawing him out of retirement and back into the spotlight. Sanden had left the profession years ago after failing the case of an innocent man. On the other side of the courtroom, Max Rupert faces his own demons, namely the death anniversary of his wife.
The case itself is fraught with chaos. Testimony puts Ben Pruitt at the scene of the crime. Testimony puts him back in Chicago at eight the next morning. But how did he get from Chicago and back between dinner and breakfast? Why was Jennavieve Pruitt’s body dumped in an alleyway, wrapped in her daughter’s bedsheets? The case only becomes more foggy when Rupert begins recieving cryptic notes about the death of his wife and Sanden takes custody of the accused’s eleven year old daughter.
This case will string you along till the end. I was convinced that I knew the answer, whose side I was on, and how the judge should rule. In the end, I was wrong on all counts. Eskens has crafted a deftly plotted novel that will weave you into traps as skillfully as Boady Sanden manipulates a witness. You might even learn some legal terminology along the way.
As a future lawyer and hopefully published writer, reading the work of someone who has done just that is both invigorating and bloody cool. The Heavens May Fall is brimming with complex, morally ambiguous characters set against the stark odds of the plot and each other. You won’t be able to put it down once you start.
I give this book a 5/5.