First of all, I want to thank Caolinn Douglas for inviting me to share the word about Chris Brookmyre’s Fallen Angel and for being such a delight throughout her time at Little, Brown.
To new nanny Amanda, the Temple family seem to have it all: the former actress; the famous professor; their three successful grown-up children. But like any family, beneath the smiles and hugs there lurks far darker emotions.
Sixteen years earlier, little Niamh Temple died while they were on holiday in Portugal. Now, as Amanda joins the family for a reunion at their seaside villa, she begins to suspect one of them might be hiding something terrible…
And suspicion is a dangerous thing.
It’s different when it’s family though. You’re not defined in each other’s eyes by the things the shape your public perception.
I’ve been a bit of a busy bee lately so have unfortunately been neglecting my bookish work in favour of travelling the globe – more on that soon. However, the minute the plane touched English soil, I made it my mission to finish Brookmyre’s latest release in time for today.
The fact that Fallen Angel was so compelling made my job very easy. I devoured it within hours on the long train journey home. From the get-go, it had all the makings of a truly brilliant crime thriller.
Set in Portugal, the holiday destination of the Temple family, we watch as this famous family deal with an abundance of loss. Now, I’m not usually a fan of multiple narrative novels, but it was essential for Brookmyre’s story and he managed to pull it off rather well – even if it did get a little confusing with the sheer amount of characters from time to time.
In 2002, neighbours Vince and Laurie throw a party for the Temples which sees a young child go missing and later presumed dead. Through this narrative, we see how this tragedy conjured up deep divisions and resentment amongst the Temple family, leaving to bitter estrangement. Later, when the family finally decide to reunite after psychology professor Max Temple dies, the dark secrets that were buried begin to emerge and it looks like Max Temple may have been murdered.
None of the characters are likeable which just serves to make Fallen Angel all the more interesting. Immediately, Brookmyre grabs our attention and never lets go of it. We know someone has been murdered, but we don’t know why or who did it and over the course of the novel, the truth about the Temples begins to slowly unravel and boy, is it shocking.
Brookmyre is a master of deception. There were plenty of gripping twists and I simply adored the way he delved deep into the psychology behind these complex and intriguing characters whilst maintaining an unwavering sense of impending doom. It was the perfect blend of psychological thriller and family drama. Time practically flew by on the train as I played detective, attempting in earnest to put together all the clues.
Fallen Angel is the first book I have read by Brookmyre, but I have a strong feeling that it certainly won’t be my last.