Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Listened: "Fallen" by T. Jefferson Parker

Listened: Fallen by T. Jefferson Parker, 2006. OverDrive download.

I'm a big fan of Parker's Charlie Hood series, the latest one came in the mail today. Fallen's hook is the main character's synesthesia.

Robbie Brownlaw is only 29 years old but a homicide detective for the San Diego Police Department. When running into a burning residential hotel to help evacuate people the arsonist responsible threw Brownlaw out a window. Brownlaw fell through an awning with a hard landing on concrete. Subsequently, Brownlaw sees colored geometric shapes when people speak. The shapes correlate to deception, envy, earnestness, fear, etc. He has kept the synesthesia a secret but uses it as a rough lie detector.

Brownlaw gets the murder case for a murdered ethics investigator for the city, Garrett. Garrett's ethics investigations involved financial chicanery and prostitution. Several political big wigs, police officers, and firemen were involved. There are many suspects.

Meanwhile, Brownlaw's wife has left him. She wants something else. Something more. Brownlaw won't tell anyone, including his partner, about his wife. Brownlaw investigates. Brownlaw digs into Garrett's past. Brownlaw pines for his wife and tries to speak with her. Garrett's daughter drowned and he separated from his gorgeous wife. Brownlaw ponders.

Whores are interviewed not "interviewed". Brownlaw's cop partner dates a super wealthy technology guy after they question him. Madam for high-end whores is a real weasel. Madam's muscle is a scumbag. Brownlaw figures it all out. Shoot-out at the end. Brownlaw starts to recover from missing wife and head trauma aftermath. Brownlaw hot for fellow synesthete gal musician in the end.

1. Recurring Parker themes: Lots of driving. Hot, young, musician chicks playing live music.
2. Everyone refers to San Diego as America's Finest City. They all believe it and want to keep scandal away from the city.
3. 1911 love.
4. Ferrari love.
5. Brownlaw is coping with several issues. His new synesthesia. His wife leaving him. Local celebrity after his fall was caught on video and endlessly replayed. Pressure to solve a politically sensitive case.
6. Parker does good work.
7. The synesthesia is not that important to the story. Don' expect constant description and discussion of the syndrome and Brownlaw's reactions to it. This is a fairly straightforward procedural with some good characters.
8. San Diego mega-love. The audio version did not give that slogan sarcastically. I wonder if Parker meant for some characters to be critical of it. I wonder if I would have come away with a different perspective by reading instead of listening.
9. When my brother whacked his head he didn't develop synesthesia. He lost his sense of smell instead.
10. Grammatical errors are common. But, I'm still peeved when finding them.

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