cover image Since We Fell

Since We Fell

Dennis Lehane, read by Julia Whelan. HarperAudio, unabridged, 12 CDs, 10 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-0-06-212947-5

Reader Whelan captures the complexity of the protagonist and suspense of Lehane’s psychological thriller set in contemporary Boston. The story revolves around Rachel Childs, the once rising star TV news reporter whose career ended in 2009, when she melted down on-air while covering the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti. In the years since, Rachel has remained jobless and emotionally shattered, and become prone to panic attacks. She attributes her crippling anxiety to her absent father, who abandoned her when she was five. Rachel, now in her late 30s, rarely leaves the house except to investigate the identity of her father, which she sees as the antidote to her mental issues. That’s how she meets Brian Delacroix, a handsome and charismatic private eye, who becomes her new source of stability and eventually her husband. Yet one bump in the road of married life, and Rachel loses control leading her to conspiracy theories about her husband. Whelan pulls the listener along this ever-twisting plot with a cool, low-key delivery that allows Lehane’s clean, proficient prose to flow easily without any embellishments. She keeps characterizations of supporting characters, such as Brian and Rachel’s mom, to a minimum, but the dialogue is delivered naturally and easy to follow. Whelan excels at subtly voicing Rachel’s interior state as she grows from insecure, agoraphobic recluse to a take-charge woman of action. An Ecco hardcover. (June)