The Heavens May Fall. Allen Eskens. Prometheus Books. October 2016. 270 pp. ISBN#: 9781633882058.
Two seasoned lawyers, Max Rupert and Boady Sanden, who are also friends face each other, one a prosecuting attorney accusing Ben Pruitt of murdering his wife, Jennavieve and the other one defending the accused. Max lost his wife to a hit and run accident one year ago and his emotions are in full throttle on the one year anniversary of that devastating loss. Could this cloud his thinking about Ben’s guilt or innocence? He thinks not but Boady is out for the objective truth. Boady, on the other hand, carries the burden of a lost case, a loss he finds to be an unforgivable failure. He has managed to move beyond that moment but it still looms large in the background and he’s determined it won’t mar the way he handles this case, as Ben is also a colleague and friend. Boady enlists the support of a student, Lila Nash, who both learns from Boady and offers critically objective perspective when it is most needed.
Ben supposedly has a perfect alibi and yet a woman who lived across the street from his home claims she saw him in a red car outside his house on the night of the murder. Max believes this is all the evidence he needs but Boady is not so sure. Ben and Jennavieve supposedly had a perfect marriage, with its normal ups and downs, but could both of them have secrets that no one else has recognized until now? Max is accused of ignoring other potential suspects and also receives a reprimand for taking home a file about his wife’s murder. Since all other investigators consider that a closed case, Max sees no harm in reviewing the available evidence.
The gradual evolution of this murder investigation and trial will shock all readers as no one even hints at a clever manipulation of alibis that will affect both this case and connect to Max’s wife’s death as well. Stunning, clever plot with a splendid depiction of how legal minds can manipulate cases to both protect and incriminate potential defendants. Highly recommended, indeed!