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Publisher's Summary

Detective Max Rupert's and attorney Boady Sanden's friendship is being pushed to the breaking point. Max is convinced that Jennavieve Pruitt was killed by her husband, Ben. Boady is equally convinced that Ben, his client, is innocent. As the case unfolds, the two are forced to confront their own personal demons. 

Max is still struggling with the death of his wife four years earlier, and the Pruitt case stirs up old memories. Boady hasn't taken on a defense case since the death of an innocent client, a man Boady believes he could have saved but didn't. Now he is back in court, with student Lila Nash at his side, and he's determined to redeem himself for having failed in the past. 

Vividly told from two opposing perspectives, the truth about the stunning death of Jennavieve Pruitt remains a mystery until the very end. 

©2016 Allen Eskens (P)2016 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Eskens keeps the reader guessing as the tale takes several unexpected twists before reaching the satisfying denouement." ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Heavens May Fall

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    4,369
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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    46

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

2017 Audie Nominee

There’s something special about a mystery where you think you basically have it pretty much figured out and the author still manages to pull it all together in a surprising way even though what you suspected turned out to be true. This was my experience with The Heavens May Fall, a truly effective and well constructed mystery and legal thriller that was simply a whole lot of fun to listen too.

Being this is an Audie nominee, I hold it to a higher standard than most books. Bray and Colacci have both given Audie caliber performances in the past and while this isn’t the greatest example of their work, it’s still pretty strong. I tend to believe that Bray is an excellent first person narrator but in third person POVs he’s simply very good. His cadence is excellent during courtroom scenes and moments of heavy dialogue but can become a little distracting during quieter scenes. Colacci’s voice has a bit more quirk to it but it matches well with Bray’s style. McFadden’s role was sadly limited but I’d love to hear her take on Lila is a bigger role I the future since I love the character. Overall, this was a good mystery take with solid performances that could be a dark horse among the Mystery category.

122 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent police & legal mystery.

This is a gripping story that is, on the one hand, not entirely original, but on the other hand very well told. I like both police procedurals and legal mysteries, so I have a lot of patience for this genre and do not expect or demand the action of a thriller. Some may find it slow, but I did not. There are three readers, signifying three different points of view. It works well. There are enough twists and turns to keep one guessing; as a matter of fact, I didn't guess the villain and had another person pegged for the crime.

51 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing thriller with a splash of suspense

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of suspense thrillers with twist and turns.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Heavens May Fall?

I truly loved this book, Allen Esken has a way of taking you through the motions of emotion, suspense and anticipation. I was enthralled with the storyline and just when I thought I had figured it out, well, I was wrong. When a socialite is murdered and the investigation begins, Max Rupert puts his sights on the husband. Max has a way of seeing what is least obvious with his own theories and how he proves his theories can't stop but amaze you.

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

I truly am a fan of Detective Max Rupert, a homicide detective who won me over in the very first book of Allen Esken. He is a complicated man with rigid edges but he will not stop at nothing until he finds the answers for the victim. I feel his pain when we listen to the loss he has had in his life, and we cheer him on when he finds the clues that starts the down fall of the criminal. I love all three narrators, I get lost in their voices and they take me through a story that I hate to see the story end.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Towards the end of the book, specifically the last four chapters, I am floored with what transpires, and the narrators depict the characters disbelief by the infliction of their voices, this was done so well that it gave me goosebumps.

Any additional comments?

I love this author and I cannot wait to read his next book.

88 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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Uneven

This is an odd book. It has one great narrator (Bray) and one I cannot stand (Colacci). I was intrigued enough to want to know the ending, but was for the most part quite bored on the journey to the finale. There was way too much time spent with characters grieving over lost loved ones (how is this possibly entertaining?) and the courtroom drama was below average--abrupt and incomplete. It came across as unbelievable. On the other hand, as I listened I considered several people who might be guilty and could not decide. This is much better than the awful Guise of Another (marred by a disastrous narrator and stupid main character), but not on par with the excellent The Life We Bury. Eskins is obviously a good writer. Plots are difficult to create. I hope to see more from him, but please use Bray.

45 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Twinkle, Twinkle


As I listened I thought this was an author I'd read before and kept thinking back to Iles, even Grisham at times. The writing is the same caliber, something that comes from an experienced author of the good legal thrillers (as opposed to the kind you pick up in the departure airport and dump at the arrival airport). Had I not been so engrossed in the plot, I would have stopped my device and looked, but I was intrigued. The plot initially was tightly constructed, well conceived and moved forward at an exhilarating pace.

Detective Max Rupert is a great character, haunted by the experience of the loss of his wife. The author says little about her murder amplifying the mystery of the cold case. Rupert is called to the discovery of a woman's body dumped in an alley in the swanky part of town. She is similar in appearance to his own wife, the red hair, young. She is wearing a pair of expensive diamond earrings. So we can deduce that robbery wasn't a motive. To spice it up, the victim is a philanthropist/heiress and the wife of an arrogant lawyer with whom down-to-earth Det. Rupert has bad blood. In steps: 1) a friend of these battling two, a retired lawyer that has long personal and professional ties to each; and 2) the murdered woman's snooty sister who stands to inherit a billion dollar fortune. As expected, there are affairs, neighbors, politics, multiple motives, AND a note mailed to Rupert during the case stating "I know who killed your wife"...

Throughout the police procedure, Rupert loses his focus, memories of his wife's murder confusing his investigative sharpness. It appears that little things are slipping through the net, but the author introduces another force that may be front-end loading the investigation, creating false coincidences. It's a rumpus but it stays tight and believable.

The narration was great, an approach I wish was used on more books. Each of these narrators was a good representation of their character. Maybe too good; the readers shouldn't have been told who-dunnit. I can hear it in this narrator's voice -- smug and guilty, but that's for you to decide. I deducted the stars because of a few sloppy investigative slips, and because I knew from the beginning the murderer. My opinion never waivered -- *thrillus interruptus.* Entertaining, a listen you'll want to keep at until a bang-up conclusion that pulls out all the legal tricks of the trade.

60 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic

The story grabs you right away. I had to take a day off from work...I could not stopped listening

37 people found this helpful

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loved it!

this is my third consecutive Allen Eskins audible book and I have to say that I now count him among my favorite authors. I am new to audible and his stories have been thoroughly engrossing and keeps you intrgued from the first paragraph to the very end. I loved how he had brought characters forth from his previous two books...this to me is rewarding because I always miss the characters in a great story once a book ends. as for the heaven may fall...oh my, this book kept me on edge in that "I can't put this down" sentiment, everytime I settled in to listen. I was very happy with this purchase and book.

51 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Recommended but with trigger warnings

First of all, the warnings: If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, dealing with custody issues, or would be triggered by themes of murder, this book is probably not for you. The descriptions of the crime are not overly gratuitous and were delivered skillfully only to support the plot but I don't want to send anyone in without adequate caution.

I listened to this after listening to The Life we Bury by the same author. I enjoyed that and this one I found to be very similar in nature but the story was different enough to keep me from feeling like I was listening to the same story with different characters. The story is told from two perspectives, that of the detective investigating the crime and from the perspective of the defense attorney defending the accused. I found this to be very well-executed and my loyalties tended to shift depending on which perspective I was listening to at the moment. It created some internal drama for me caring about both characters and knowing that they couldn't both be worthy of my sympathy and care.

Overall the plot was clever and well-planned. I admit that I wasn't completely shocked by the ending but did feel some thrills of excitement at details that I hadn't anticipated. I also felt personally betrayed to some extent by the final revelations that proved some of my sympathies were misplaced (although I knew it was coming). The evil actions in the story and my personal investment of empathy felt betrayed which is the hallmark of a skilled author. I applaud Eskens for his skill in creating such complex emotional response from the reader.

If you have not read The Life We Bury, I'd recommend you start there. We have some character cameos that I think make the story more interesting knowing the background relationship of Bodie, Max and Lilah. However, the author does give a high level overview of how they are connected so it isn't going to ruin the book if you skip the earlier book. But I caution that there is some additional depth in those relationships that will add value to your experience in this story. The complexities of Max Rupert's struggle are definitely enhanced by knowing more of his background from the earlier story.

I mostly listen to my audiobooks on my commute and last week included a business trip with a long flight and this was a perfect distraction for the monotony of travel and navigating the airport. While it wasn't something I felt a rabid need to return to at the cost of sending calls to voicemail and avoiding activities that required my attention, I did find myself looking forward to listening and looking forward to picking it back up when I was away from it. I reserve that 5th star for the books that make me rabid though so please don't consider my four star rating a detraction, four stars is "just short" of my highest recommendation.

The one thing I did not like as well was the narrator that told the story from Bodie's perspective. I found his narration was a bit unnatural feeling. The narrator almost felt like he belonged narrating one of those nature shows explaining mating cycles of the three toed sloth instead of a novel. Once I got into the story, the narrator's pace and inflection for Bodie bothered me less and less until by the end, it didn't phase me. However, Bray's performance as Max Rupert was just spot on (and I freely admit Bray is my favorite narrator). My less than stellar review of the the other male narrator is not enough to keep me from recommending this title, though. I think most people that like a crime drama with a bit of clever plotting will find their time well-spent in this one. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for other works by this author.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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There May be a Crime Cliche this book missed

But there aren't two. Oh Dear. From the get go, this is just a really LAZY book. Please - those of us who read these things can probably run our crime scene by now. We are NOT wowed by ideas such as disturbance of dust patterns or bothering to notice whether or not a victim has just showered as brilliant forensics. That's routine - being told it's 'brilliant' is just eye rolling. The reading of this was wooden and overly melo-dramatic - and I AM GETTING SO SICK of heart-broken detectives whose perfect wives have been mysteriously killed and are haunted by grief, guilt, whatever. Note to authors- there are NO perfect marriages and men, or, for that matter women, detectives going around moaning about the loss of them are tedious.It's been done. And re-done. The story line of this was sort of OK - but Eskens can do way better. This was just a cliche soup. Skip or risk drowning.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Good, but not great..

I loved “The life we bury” (and warmly recommend to all who love “good thrillers that are also good books”), but I feel that Allan Eskens let me down with his third book. The plot of this legal thriller is clumsy (and hard to believe), the writing is stiff, and the characters aren't particularly well developed or appealing. Admittedly as the story progresses the reader gets involved and is eager to get to the bottom line. But this is not the “good thriller/good book” that I expected from Eskens..

53 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Patel
  • 08-16-17

Gripping story from the beginning

I don't want to give too much of the story away in this review, but what I will say is that this book is well written with a good plot and strong characters. RC Bray and David Collacci are brilliant and have given life to the characters in this book. A very good listen - I would highly recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Elizabeth
  • 08-14-18

Another great one!

I find Eskens books really easy to listen to. I love the characters, and this was an interesting plot. I recommend it to people who like books that are legal drama’s rather than thrillers. The only problem was that I listened way longer into the night than I should have and it made it hard to wake up in the morning. I couldn’t put it down.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Beverley
  • 06-13-21

Excellent Read!

And once again an excellent gripping story..... good work Alan Eskens. Recommend reading highly! A