Wednesday, October 26, 2016

#Collaboreads | A Book with "Fall" in the Title

A bookish linkup with friends - #Collaboreads | A Book with "Fall" in the Title - A Simpler Grace

Hi, friends! After months of planning to join in on the #Collaboreads linkup with Amber and Rachel and not being able to swing it in my editorial calendar, I am finally participating! It's a great month to do so because this month's prompt is to choose a book with "fall" in the title. I actually pulled several books (five, to be exact) that fit the bill, but when all was said and done, only one made the cut.

Let's chat about that book, shall we?

#Collaboreads | A Book with "Fall" in the Title - A Simpler Grace

by Michael Harvey

Former cop turned private investigator, Michael Kelly, is looking into the death of a homeless man in a Chicago subway tunnel when he stumbles on something dangerous. A deadly biological weapon has been unleashed inside the tunnel and has infected countless innocent passengers. No one takes the threat seriously until people start dying of the same mysterious disease in local hospitals. While Kelly searches for who is responsible, he encounters something even darker. The release of the pathogen is only part of a much larger scheme - one that involves West Side gangs, murder, drugs, the city government and the nation's leading laboratory dealing in black biology.

What part of the book could you not get enough of?
We All Fall Down offers all the best parts of a thriller novel: mystery, suspense, danger, crime...scientific laboratory scenes. This girl is a die-hard CSI fan and science nerd, so when the topic of "black biology" (the science of developing and preventing harmful biological pathogens) arose, I was sold.

As soon as the storyline picked up in the second chapter, I was on the edge of my seat and my heart didn't stop pounding until I put it down. This book is 416 pages long and I read it in one sitting, in a matter of hours.

How did you relate to/care for the characters? What are your thoughts on the plot line and twists and turns?
One thing I wish Harvey had done was to develop the characters a bit more. Usually, when I read a novel, I have a pretty good idea of who the main players are, what they look like, what they sound like and there was little of that in this book. The story moved along just fine without it, but I don't feel like I can relate to any of them, because outside of the facts that pertained to the matter-at-hand, I knew nothing about them. There was very little backstory of the protagonist. This book is one in a series about this character, so perhaps there is more detail in a prequel, but the lack of information left a lot to be desired.

The plot was one thing that was developed well. There were a lot of unexpected twists, conflict, tension, and suspense and I enjoyed how the narration moved from one point of view to another throughout the book and how smooth that transition was. This was not one of those thrillers that you can solve in the first half of the book. Harvey leaves you guessing until the very end.

What other books are like this one? If none, did it remind you of a particular tv show or movie with its themes and characters? Does it serendipitously line up with things going on in your life or in the news right now?
I've never read any other books quite like this one, but there are several tv shows that I'm reminded of. CSI, obviously, but also similar scientific crime shows like Criminal Minds and NCIS as well as some of the medical shows like ER or Chicago Med.

The world of biological warfare is a topic that I find very interesting but is also very real in today's world. While reading this, I was reminded of the anthrax outbreaks from the early 2000's and how frightening that was to think of the idea of an invisible and deadly pathogen spreading so easily from person-to-person. Those feelings definitely played into the intrigue of this story.

You know you judged this book by the cover. What did you think of it? How did it relate to the contents of the novel? And the font and layout of the pages?
Ah, let's talk book covers. Now, this was a Kindle book, so the digital cover might have been different than the print edition. The cover image was that of a subway train in the middle of a large metropolitan city, presumably Chicago, as that is where this story takes place, but it doesn't relate to the novel in any other way. It could have been a stock image, for all I know.

I am a book cover buff and pay close attention to the design and construction of a book and I feel like the publisher could have gone leaps and bounds above what they did with this one. There is no indication, whatsoever, that this story deals with dangerous pathogens or secrets in black biology laboratories, based on the cover design. It does nothing to set it apart from any other crime novel. It's sad, but if they had put a biohazard symbol somewhere in the design, that would have given it a huge step up.

STARS | ★★★☆☆
Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?
I am giving this book three stars and would recommend it to someone who was looking for a good, fast-paced thriller. This is not the book for someone who enjoys in-depth character development. The plot is it's main drawing point.

I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've ever read anything by Michael Harvey or decide to pick up We All Fall Down based on this review. Now, don't forget to hop over to the linkup and check out the other "fall" books this month.

This post is part of the #Collaboreads linkup with Rachel and Amber. For more info on how you can participate, visit Rachel's page for details.

The post #Collaboreads | A Book with "Fall" in the Title first appeared on A Simpler Grace. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share it with your friends!


  1. Wow, this sounds fascination, especially the biological warfare aspect. It's pretty dang impressive that you read a 400+ page book in ONE sitting!! I get a bit ADD even with books I love.

  2. It was an enjoyable book. And I normally don't read that much in one day, but was participating in a 24-hour readathon last weekend and this book was on my list for that. :)

  3. Interesting! I've been really into thrillers lately, but this isn't one I would normally gravitate toward because of the biological warfare aspect. It sounds very interesting!

  4. I like to branch out every now and then and pick up a book that would normally not interest me at all and I've been pleasantly surprised most of the time. Thanks for stopping by today, Leah!