Allen Eskens' award winning debut novel, The Life We Bury, in 2014. (my review) The next book, The Guise of Another was just as good. (my review) On re-reading my review, I see that Max Rupert, was my favourite character in TGOA and that 'I'd love to see him in another book, even in a peripheral role."
Well, I got my wish! Detective Max Rupert is the lead character in Esken's just released third book, The Heavens May Fall.
Jennavieve Pruitt is found dead, her body dumped in an alley. But the original crime scene is her own bedroom. Jennavieve's husband, attorney Ben Pruitt was out of town, that day. But, Pruitt has a history with the police, specifically with Rupert. Despite his claims of innocence, Rupert likes him for the crime. This is the case that Rupert pulls on the anniversary of his own wife's unsolved murder.
Lawyer Boady Sanden is a friend to both men. When Pruitt asks him to represent him - even before any charges have brought - Sanden hesitates....he had to walk away from the law six years ago for personal reasons. But in the end he agrees.
Eskens has crafted another great plot, giving the reader the best of two genres - police procedural and legal reads. The final reveal of whodunit at the end, complete with a nice little twist was great. The ongoing search for Rupert's wife's murderer provides a nice sub-plot.
But Eskens takes things a step further in his novels. His characters have depth and introspective voices. The Heavens May Fall is told from two perspectives - that of Max and Boady. The reader sees the investigation and trial from two different viewpoints. But what we also see is the inner turmoil of each man, their search for personal peace of mind against the search for justice. Friendship and loyalty are also pitted against justice.
I always enjoy coming across the origins of a book's title as I read. In this case...
"Fiat justitia ruat caelum - do justice though the heavens may fall. If a person is ever presented with the choice, that person must always do what is right even though it may bring on great personal loss."
Eskens himself is a defense lawyer. That credibility, combined with his impressive writing chops, makes for some great reading. The Heavens My Fall could absolutely be read as a stand-alone. But do yourself a favour and pick up the previous two as well. You won't be disappointed. Read an excerpt of The Heavens May Fall.
And as before, I hope to see Max Rupert in Esken's next book. You can connect with Allen Eskens on his website, follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.