Publication: 25th April 2019 – Little, Brown UK
A stunning standalone novel from the multi-award-winning thriller author Chris Brookmyre about one family, two holidays, and a murder.
The Temple family seem to have it all: the former actress; the famous professor; their three successful grown-up children. Amanda, new to nannying, is working at a holiday villa neighbouring the Temple’s and is fascinated by them. 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…
Happy publication day to Chris Brookmyre and welcome to my stop on the blog tour for his new terrific and engrossing novel, FALLEN ANGEL. I’d like to thank Caolinn Douglas, Grace Vincent, and Little, Brown UK for inviting me to join the blog tour and for providing me with a proof copy of a story that kept me completely captivated for two days.
I loved this novel, I really did. The plot is unpredictable, the characters are enigmatic, and the setting is so beautiful. With a clear and intelligent prose, Chris Brookmyre created a gripping and suspenseful story of a dysfunctional family and the dark and disturbing secrets of its members.
On the splendid setting of the Portuguese seaside, two families live side by side in their villas. One villa is the holiday home of the Temple family: the once-famous actress, the renowned well-known professor, and their three children. On the outside, they look like the perfect family, but there are secrets, resentment, rivalry, and a tragedy in the past that risk to come to light when the family reunites again to mourn one of their own. In the other villa, there is Amanda Coolidge, a young blogger, a future journalist spending her summer working as a babysitter for a family friend before going back to Canada to start college. She is intrigued by the family next door. It’s clear that there is not much love between some members of the Temple family and what really happened that summer in 2002 when a tragedy hit the family? The truth may be much more sinister than Amanda thinks…
The characters are not easy to like, but they are very intriguing and compelling. There are the three women of the Temple family: narcissistic Celia, the matriarch of the family, once a famous actress and now living in the shadow of her more famous husband; indulgent Marion who always put her family first; and ice-cold Ivy, the youngest daughter with a troubled past who changed her name to distance herself from her family. And then there is Amanda. She is curious, investigative, and she wants to find out the truth about the Temple family, even if that may get her in danger. Using different timelines and different points of views, Chris Brookmyre slowly unravels the truth and keeps the tension always high.
FALLEN ANGEL is a superb, unpredictable, and compulsive novel, one of my favourite novels of the year, so much so that I am still thinking about it days after I finished reading it.
Chris Brookmyre was a journalist before becoming a full-time novelist with the publication of his award-winning debut Quite Ugly One Morning, which established him as one of Britain’s leading crime authors. His Jack Parlabane novels have sold more than two million copies in the UK alone, and Black Widow won both the McIlvanney Prize and the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year award.