Sunday, July 31, 2011

We All Fall Down by Michael Harvey

In We All Fall Down, a light bulb filled with a pathogen drops from the ceiling of the subway tunnel in Chicago and people start dying. Parts of the city are sealed off with fences to keep the spread limited to that area while the scientists try to determine how to stop it and figure out what's going on. Private Investigator Michael Kelly goes looking for answers and winds up finding crooked cops, ruthless gangs and a government secret that could destroy many lives.

After reading The Third Rail (my review), I was so looking forward to this book. I was not disappointed at all. I loved it! The story pretty much continues on from where it left off in the previous book. It's hard for me to tell if this book can be read as a standalone book because I read the two books back-to-back. On the safe side, I'd suggest reading The Third Rail before reading this one.

Anyway, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading this book. I read it in just a few sittings and didn't want to put it down. The overall story is pretty scary and left me wondering what would happen if this were to really take place. Harvey suggests that we are ill prepared to deal with an attack such as this. The information on black biology, the research and the development of bio-weapons, was extremely fascinating. It was just believable enough to add to the scare-factor. I didn't think everything in the book was plausible, but that doesn't make it any less scary.

Once again, Harvey offers insights into the city of Chicago and highlights the problems that the city faces: gang violence, drug use, poverty and corruption. I especially enjoyed reading about the city's underbelly. It's definitely not the kind of thing you'd find in any travel or tourism brochure.

One my complaint is that some of the conversations were a little abrupt. There was a bit too much back and forth with very short sentences. It was sort of like watching a long rally at a tennis match. This appears to be Harvey's style, but I didn't notice it as much in his other book. It was really only a little annoying.

I loved that the last section of the book was called "Loose Ends". Given how the last book ended, I wasn't sure if Harvey was introducing more loose ends or was going to clean up those still outstanding. I won't tell you the outcome, but I will tell you that I was wholly satisfied with the ending.

New words:
stygian (page 254): pitch-black and frightening

Highly recommended. I'd really like to go back and read the first two books (The Chicago Way and The Fifth Floor) in this series. I'll have to keep my eye out for them. Harvey is definitely one of the best thriller writers around.

For more information about this book or to browse inside, please visit the Random House website.

For more information about the author and his other books, please visit Michael Harvey's website.

Thanks to Dana from Kaye Publicity for this review copy.

We All Fall Down by Michael Harvey, Alfred A. Knopf (Random House), ©2011. ISBN 9780307272515(Hardcover), 298p.

1 comment:

  1. I have read about this book and it sounds really good and really scary...nice review...


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