The Heavens May Fall

Allen Eskens is dastardly. In The Heavens May Fall, he gives us two root-for-'til-the-end best friends--law professor Boady Sanden and Detective Max Rupert--and puts them at odds. Boady and Max have appeared in Eskens's other novels (The Life We Bury), but they take center stage in this duel over the murder of a wealthy foundation director, each bringing personal demons to the legal battle that threatens to end their relationship.

Ben Pruitt, the victim's husband, is Boady's former law partner. Boady agrees to represent Ben despite having retired from practice following a devastating loss. Max and Ben also have a history, but it's far from warm and fuzzy. Boady is certain his friend is innocent; Max is burning to prove Ben's alibi is not as airtight as it seems. Though he's zeroed in on Ben as the killer, Max may be falling victim to tunnel vision and the emotions raised by the anniversary of his wife's death.

Two heroes working at cross-purposes on a high-profile case ingeniously ratchets the tension over where the chips will fall. One of these good men is wrong. The story is told from competing perspectives, with Boady and Max each working steadfastly toward what he believes is justice. Eskens keeps the pace brisk, the plotting tight. His criminal law acumen is evident in compelling courtroom scenes. The short chapters in this thrilling mystery will have readers just-one-more-ing well past bedtime. --Lauren O'Brien of Malcolm Avenue Review

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