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The Fallen

3.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,108 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
A good cop, Robbie Brownlaw was thrown from a sixth-floor window of a downtown hotel and miraculously survived. The traumatic incident left Robbie with a fast-track career in the San Diego P.D.'s Homicide division . . . and a rare neurological condition that enables him to see people's emotional words as colored shapes—green trapezoids of envy, red squares of deception . .
ebook, 464 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published 1980)
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Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
I like it when I find a good thriller. :D :D :D

*throws on keeper pile*
Cathy DuPont
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My local reading friend and I both love mysteries so we were talking about writers who won or were nominated for the yearly Edgars. From there we went on a venture to find and read as many authors as possible in that category. T. Jefferson Parker was Sandy’s find and she was bragging about him from the first book.

I was reading Michael Connelly and figured he couldn’t be as good as she felt he was because I had never heard of him. Wrong once again.

Great book, great characters and great plot all
Oct 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2006-reads
SETTING: California
SERIES: Standalone

Robbie Brownlaw is a homicide detective in San Diego, California. One day, he is eating a meal when he sees that a hotel across the street has caught fire. He dashes over to help out, rescuing several people. However, the last person he tries to help turns on him and throws him out of a hotel window, six floors up. Against all odds, Robbie survives. The main after-effect is that he now has synesthesia, a neurological condition where yo
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I really liked this book, glad I picked it up from a friend. Good characterizations, a likable hero. Well-written, and I wasn't sure of the killer until the end. A dark story of corruption and self-importance among the powerful in San Diego, and also of love and loss. I found it hard to put down.
Feb 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the 1st free book I found on my new "ibooks" app for my phone. Because it was free, I was apprehensive as to whether it would be a good read. As it turned out, I really enjoyed it, and am looking up more of T. Jefferson Parker's books.

There were many characters, but they were developed enough to follow as the plot progressed. The story takes place in beautiful San Diego, California. (And, beautiful Sacramento was mentioned once in the book -- go Kings!) The main character, Robbie Brownl
Nov 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-crime
Robbie Brownlaw is high on life, working at the job he's always wanted and married to the girl of his dreams. He's about to learn one of life's most important lessons, however; everything can change in the blink of an eye. Brownlaw is one of the most interesting fictional detectives on my reading list. As The Fallen opens, he's literally taking a fall, from the 6th story of a burning San Diego hotel. He survives, but develops synesthesia. In his case, Robbie can see colors representative of the ...more
This was okay.

I have really enjoyed Parker's earlier books Pacific Beat Laguna Heat but some of his more recent books have been somewhat disappointing this and Storm Runners both feel like they were written more quickly or without the same level of attention.

The characters here are decent, but I felt that they could have been more developed, I would have liked to have seen more dialogue to see how the characters interacted, rather than being told by the narrator, which would have been interest
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*Rating: 3.5*
Okay.. I have be honest. I expexted much less from this book. There are many things i would prefer differently, but it was actually a very nice book.
This is what i call "traditional crime story".
A detective, a partner, and a killer to be found. I didn't see any special use of the character's "gift" rather than just being there as a part of his personal story. Every lie told in this book by someone, was already established by the readed before his special gift detected it.
Other than
Jun 19, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
I wonder if Mr. Parker leads a really sad and depressed life. Most successful writers will say that an aspiring writer should write what he knows. Judging by most of the offerings by Parker that I've read, he must really know depression.

The hero of this story is Robbie, a detective who has been promoted early, primarily because of a highly publicized incident in which he was thrown out of a tall building and lived to tell about it. Since the accident, Robbie has developed an extra-sensory gift\c
JG (The Introverted Reader)
Homicide Detective Robbie Brownlaw was promoted a few years ago after a crazed arsonist threw him out of a sixth-floor window. He obviously survived to tell the tale, but he was left with a form of synesthesia--he sees people's words as colored shapes. He's learned to use this ability as a primitive lie detector. He's called in when a former cop is found murdered.

My attention wandered a bit a lot while I was reading this, but I can't say it was necessarily the book's fault; I've got a lot going
I don't think I have ever read a Jefferson Parker novel before, but I have certainly read many similar books. Most similar, I would say, was Red Dragon (and in fact one review made reference to Harris).

Unfortunately I did not find this any where near as enjoyable as Red Dragon. I could definitely feel the similarities, but I would be hard pressed to say it was a homage or inspiration, over a slightly poorly done copy.

The "love story" throughout felt like it had been thrown in to fill a quota, on
May 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In The Fallen, Homicide detective Robbie Brownlaw, after being thrown out of a 6th floor window and receiving minor brain injuries, now sees shapes and colors denoting the emotions of a person when they speak. This is just one form of a condition called synesthesia. When a member of the Ethics Authority is murdered, Brownlaw finds himself on the case and in the middle of a web of corruption involving members of the San Diego elite from the police department all the way up to the office of the ma ...more
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Homicide Detective Robbie Brownlaw was thrown from a building three years ago and ended up with synethesia, a neurological condition where your senses get mixed up. Now when people talk to him he can see their voices as colored shapes triggered by their emotions. This is a great help to him when working on cases because he can now tell when suspects are lying. He is now assigned to the murder of Garrett Asplundh who was shot in his car under a San Diego bridge. Asplundh was an investigator for t ...more
Gerald Kinro
Feb 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-suspense
San Diego Homicide Policeman Robbie Brownlaw suffers a head trauma that causes his senses to get mixed up. He sees conversations as colored shapes that reflect the speakers' emotions. This is an asset a built-in truth detector. Former policeman Garrett Asplundh, now an ethics investigator, is shot dead while waiting for a meeting with his estranged wife. Asplundh had uncovered a widespread corruption scandal—and unleashed plenty of enemies, including city officials, a financier and a purveyor of ...more
THE FALLEN (Police Procedural-San Diego-Cont) – G+
Parker, T. Jefferson – 12th book
William Morrow, 2006- Hardcover
Detective Robbie Brownlaw was thrown from a 6th floor window and survived. But one result is that he now has synesthesia which causes him to see shapes that represent the emotions behind people’s words. When ethics investigator Garrett Asplundh is found murdered, it leads Brownlaw into an investigation filled with political corruption, prostitution, and personal crises.
*** Parker is
John MacDonald
Feb 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm very glad I stumbled across this author, although I was somewhat disappointed to find that this particular story, is a stand alone novel. Mr. Parker does have a couple of other recurring characters stories, but San Diego Detective Robbie Brownlaw is not among those. Still, I fully enjoyed the story and the fact that Mr. Parker has given his protagonist an unique ability, as he has been classified as having synesthesia. Detective Brownlaw's special gift, is that he can see emotions, when some ...more
Being a fan of police procedurals, I’ve been recommended to dive into the work of Jefferson T. Parker. So far I’ve enjoyed Silent Joe and California Girl, and some of the Charlie Hood series. I have conflicting impressions about The Fallen. I adored the compelling characterization of Robbie Brownlaw and that’s why I’m giving this book a 3-star rating, but I didn’t enjoy the storyline, nor the plot.
Overall this book depressed me a bit and I couldn’t wait to finish it. Don’t get me wrong, giving
Vidya Ananthanarayanan
This was one of those random finds on the public library's e-books list that was available for check out, all the popular ones were taken. So I decided what the heck, and was pleasantly surprised. This is essentially a suspense thriller, and it kept me engaged, certainly more engaged than Girl With The Dragon Tattoo did!

Robbie Brownlaw is a cop who's life is good on all counts. He enjoys his job, is married to the love of his life, everything is hunky-dory till he is thrown out of a window on t
Nora Peevy
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Normally, I don't read traditional crime fiction, but I picked up T. Jefferson Parker's The Fallen at my local library book sale and I loved it! The main character, Robbie Brownlaw, is a cop with a unique ability; he's a synesthesist. He sees colored shapes while people are speaking, allowing him to tell if they are lying or not. This is a result of a nasty fall he took while trying to save someone from a burning building. The strain of his recovery and his new gift has worn thin for his longtim ...more
Bookmarks Magazine

Although critics could not decide whether Brownlaw's synesthesia was a gimmicky element or not, they agreed that The Fallen is a riveting read__perhaps, claimed a few, not as good as the Edgar Award?winning California Girl and Silent Joe, but nearly so. This stand-alone classic police procedural, replete with its portrait of big-city crime and power-hungry politicians, follows a recognizable storyline. However, its lively writing, well-paced plot, rounded characters (from call girls to shady pol

Nov 12, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, suspense
After being thrown from a sixth floor window, Robbie Brownlaw lives with a rare neurological disorder called synethesia which enables him to “see” the speaker’s emotions. This primitive lie detector comes in very handy when he is asked to investigate the suspicious death of Garrett Asplundh, a detective working with the San Diego Ethics Authority Enforcement Unit. Corruption, secrets, scandals and deception galore are uncovered when the investigation get underway.

Typical police procedural: ther
Richard Thompson
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
San Diego homicide detective, Robbie Brownlaw and partner McKenzie Cortez. After being thrown out of a six story window and surviving Brownlaw has developed the synesthetic ability to read a speaker’s emotional state from coloured shapes that come out of his or her mouth when a person talks to him. Brownlaw and Cortez are investigating the death of a former police officer now employed by the city in the Ethics Enforcement office is found shot in his SUV. Lots of suspects tied to the victim’s inv ...more
Michael Mallory
Dec 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Fallen" is four-fifths one of the best books I've ever read, and one-fifth a shaggy-dog story that doesn't quite pay off what has come before. Even so, it is a gripping page-turner. The protagonist is Robbie Brownlaw, a San Diego cop who cheats death after being thrown from a high window, and emerges not so much with scars, but with something extra. In Robbie's case, the extra is the ability to see someone's emotions as visible, colored shapes. In this way he can tell if a witness is lying. ...more
Barry Hammond
Apr 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of T. Jefferson Parker since reading "The Blue Hour" a few years back, which I heartily recommend to anyone who likes a well-written, realistic police procedural with terrific characters. Since then, I haven't liked everything he's written but he's had more hits than misses. This one is right up there with The Blue Hour. I particularly liked the idea of a detective with synesthesia, as it's a subject that interests me a great deal since first reading about it in one of Oliver Sac ...more
Mar 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Updated review:
Okay on second reading, I loved this book. T. Jefferson Parker lets you into the heart and soul of his characters so I must've been drinking too much coffee when I first read this novel.

His settings are so vivid and as a San Diego native, I can almost smell the eucalyptus trees in Balboa Park.

Original review:
When I have to flip through parts of a story to get to the good stuff, the story isn't working for me. Or maybe, I'm your typical Gen X-er and watched too much MTV growing up.
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a bit longer to truly get into the story than I thought I would but ultimately it was a satisfying read. I liked the main character, the pacing was lively, and the mystery kept me interested. I picked it up because I'm fascinated with the mystery sub-genre involving detectives with synesthesia. On one hand, I like how Parker manages to incorporate the condition, making it a part of the character's life, instead of the primary thing that defines him. On the other, I wanted more of it. ...more
Sep 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was written and takes place in 2006 in San Diego, for whom the narrator is a homicide detective at age 29. He is assigned to find the murderer of an ethics investigator for the police department while he tries to save his marriage. Along the way he uncovers massive corruption among the city's politicians involving a call-girl ring and figures the murder is connected to what the victim knew. Many sympathetic characters cross the detective's path, and at the end of the case he has discovered ...more
Tim Warner
Jan 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this a few months back and for some reason forgot to give my review. I like T Jefferson Parker very much. He is like a subtle slow warm and comfortable burn that captivates the reader unbeknownst and without resistance... very, very good. Parker is also a writer who demonstrates tremendous skill at his craft. I so appreciate writers who are willing to write a very good book rather than a very big seller at the expense of quality writing. I love writers who love to write. Here is another a ...more
Jun 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: So Cal people - especially San Diegans
Another So Cal stunner from T. Jefferson Parker. This one is set in San Diego and again the author captures the graft and backroom deals that seem to keep San Diego afloat. In this story, a cop who works in the ethics division is murdered and a new homicide detective is assigned the case. He discovers the dead cop had an investigation in the works that will bring down several big names in San Diego. At the same time as his first big case begins, the detective's wife leaves him. Who knew what and ...more
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T. Jefferson Parker is the bestselling author of 20 crime novels, including Edgar Award-winners Silent Joe and California Girl. Parker's next work is a literary novel, Full Measure, to be published in October. He lives with his family in Southern California
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