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Fall From Grace

(The Blaine Trilogy #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,647 ratings  ·  363 reviews
The mysteriously violent death of a prominent New England patriarch exposes a nest of dark family secrets in bestselling author Richard North Patterson’s twentieth page-turning novel.

The mysterious, violent death of a prominent New England patriarch exposes a nest of dark family secrets in bestselling author Richard North Patterson’s twentieth compelling novel.

Adam Blaine
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Scribner (first published March 2012)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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Mahoghani 23
You ever see a family, their interactions with each other and wish that you belonged to that family? Looks can be deceiving. Take the Blaines; Ben (the father), Clarice (mother), Jack (the uncle), Teddy (brother) & Adam (younger brother). This family has secrets on top of secrets and they're all about to be exposed because Ben Blaine was a maniacal, self-centered, egotistical and manipulative man. He's brought destruction to every member of his family and enjoyed doing so. Now he's died and to p ...more
Apr 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Patterson moves away from his traditional legal and political thrillers to bring readers the first in a trilogy of stories about a wealthy New England family. Ben Blaine is dead and the family has gathered for his final farewell. His younger son, Adam, returns after a decade's hiatus, only to discover that this is more than a funeral. A new and controversial will leaves everything to Ben's apparent mistress and Adam's one-time flame. Questions surround Ben's death, a fall from a cliff; could it ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it it was ok
I'm a fan of Richard North Patterson, and he can do so much better. Yes, I was drawn into the story and stuck with it until the (not-so-surprising) end, but now that I've finished it, I have the sense that he just mailed it in...and I feel like I need a shower.

This is the story of an estranged son, drawn back to his broken family due to the circumstances surrounding the death of his wealthy father. Was it a result of natural causes? Or was it an accident? Suicide? Murder? Have you read this one
Feb 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: seriously?
Shelves: audio, tried-to-read
Yes I'm rating and reviewing without having read. At least without fully completing it. I think i'm justified having read 70% of this to say: No More.

This was my first exposure to R.N. Patterson and I have a hard time believing that had this been his first novel it wouldn't also be his LAST. I'm not done with this author but i am absolutely done with this book.

The setup was a very traditional whodunit mystery; Agatha Christie would be so proud! Death, could it be suicide? Money, old and new. Cel
Apr 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Always love a book about a famous author with secrets hidden. Benjamin Blaine is a famous author who mysteriously falls off of cliff to his death. Accident? Suicide? or ... Murder??

His son, Adam Blaine, comes back after throwing away his family ten years earlier, for the funeral of the man that pushed him away. Ben's will comes to light, and reveals a game set in motion by the author himself. Adam has to discover what really happened to his father, before his family loses everything they have.

Apr 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Richard North Patterson is one of my favorite authors. I loved "Eyes of a Child" and "Final Witness." I felt he had a way of writing courtroom thrillers that kep t me on the edge of my toes. Then he decided to write some political and international based thriller books to talk about his views. It went downhill fast. I almost made a decision not to read him anymore because it was so boring. Mr. Patterson wrote a courtroom book about two years ago, "In the Name of Honor" then I decide that I could ...more
Adam Blaine returns home after being estrainged from his father for years. Now he's there for his father's funeral.

Soon after the funeral, Adam learns that his famous novelist father changed his will and excluded his wife and Adam's brother, Teddy, who is gay. Instead, the estate goes to an actress thirty years younger that he (Benjamin). Another chunk of money goes to Jenny Leigh, a struggling writer and former friend of Adam.

Adam had been away in Afghanistan working for the CIA. He's now in th
Hans Brienesse
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought; "What a great book!" I really do not see what all the negative reviews are about. I found it engaging, relative to the situations that seem to be the norm these days for a large percentage of the population and the key, as in all of his books, is found in the end notes where the author explains the concept for his book and acknowledges his help. As for the story itself I found it interesting seeing the interactions between all the players and exactly how they meshed in the process of ...more
Danita L
May 10, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Nobody
Unlike most of Richard North Patterson's novels, this book is shallow and trite. There is no depth to the characters or the plot. The 'secrets' are obtuse, there is no smooth transition from one paragraph to the next and no details except the one graphic sex scene.

The entire book reeks of the author needing to quickly publish another best-seller.

It is more than frustrating to read, it is annoying. Anyone with half a brain can deduce early in the pages not only the murderer but also the reasons
Katharine Ott
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: woohow-read
Richard North Patterson (Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishop!) is a seasoned professional who brings psychological intrigue into many of his books. My previous experiences were his political stories, so I enjoyed the different approach of a murder mystery in his latest, "Fall from Grace." Patterson introduces us to the moneyed life on Martha's Vineyard as Adam Blaine arrives after learning that his father Ben has died. Did he jump, was he pushed, or was it an accident? What caused him to cr ...more
Diane S ☔
Apr 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
3.5 I first started reading this author many years ago when he wrote mystery suspense. I remember being blown away by Eyes of a Child. He than started writing political novels often with a moral dilemma and I absolutely loved his Protect and Defend. In Fall from Grace he writes about the psychological peeling of a narcissist, the sons who hate him, a murder or suicide and the secrets of a sorely dysfunctional family. Found this novel to be absolutely fascinating.
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Great plot: father dies [murder/accident/suicide?] and estranged son returns home after 10 yr. absence. Father's will names actress girlfriend to inherit almost everything leaving out his wife and oldest son. Returning son is named executor and proceeds to discover the reason of the will, cause of death, and unearth all the family secrets. On top of this it takes place on Martha's Vineyard, one of my favorite places.

So why did it fail for me??? It started out 'great guns' and I thought this is g
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-rc-goal
A Goodreads giveaway win! Adam Blaine returns after 10 years receiving word of his estranged father's death. As executor of the estate, he is torn between executing said will leaving his mother and brother disinherited. Realizing that his death may be the result of murder, he begins to unravel the secrets of everyone involved while reliving the past he had chose to leave behind. The ending unwraps leaving the reader satisfied but wanting a bit more - more so what the future holds for the Blaine ...more
Kate Sherwood
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Audio version, and the narration wasn't strong - I tried not to let this influence my feelings about the book itself, but maybe it did.

Mostly, I found the characters in this book flat. The MC is apparently some super-cold spy, but then he spends most of the book whining about his mommy and daddy issues. Women were only valuable for their sex appeal or reproductive ability, gay characters (one and maybe another) are treated as weak or driven to cruelty by their sexuality, and overall, the MC trea
Jenni Ogden
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Richard North Patterson is possibly my favourite thriller writer and I read all his books as soon as they come out. This is quite different from his previous books; not a political thriller, but more of a quiet (relative to his usual stories), relationship novel. It does have a possibly murder in it but it is more about a character than plot. I didn't like it as much as many of his other books, which is probably in part because I read him for a certain type of story. If I try to ignore this and ...more
Jun 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Heavy and burdensome at times. The Fall from Grace is founded on lies, lies and more lies. I thought early on that I had it figured out - never dreaming the real reasons would be darker. Reminiscent of his book "The Spire" perhaps because of the sexual tones. Good book in keeping you guessing, but definitely not a favorite of his and wouldn't recommend it as a first time read of this author. Very little action - all dialogue. I didn't like any of the characters and overall left me with an "ick" ...more
Every so often i need to rip through a nicely paced mystery and RNP is usually pretty reliable. Though i kept the pages turning I found this one disappointing. Its a paint by numbers 'prodigal son returns to solve mysterious death and uncover old family secrets', in which the big reveals come as no great surprise. Similarly the characters are pretty one dimensional, which is funny as there are repeated references to people as archetypes. Also funny that nearly every character has a secret, but e ...more
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love Richard North Patterson! Usually his books are very wordy and can drag on, but they are worth reading. This one wasn't wordy at all and it didn't drag on. It tells the tale of a family and the father that everyone hated. His ultimate death makes them all come to grips with the hold he had on the family. And they must confront the love and hate they had for him. Very quick and good read! ...more
Stacy Bearse
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
An outstanding novel woven from the threads of family dysfunction and legal gymnastics, and mixed with a dash of espionage. I had forgotten how meticulously Patterson crafts plots and characters. He's back on my "must read" list. ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
my favorite kind of read - fast paced, exciting, mystery, murder(?), intrigue, family secrets.
Caryn Zdan
May 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not my cup of tea. Took forever for me to listen to it and I kept falling asleep.
Jun 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Intriguing procedural fronted by a almost attorney w a secret life. All about the mystery. Can't wait to read the rest in the series. ...more
Jim Melko
I need a character I like

I read each new book from Richard North Patterson eagerly, and would generally always give a 5-star rating. This time, I am relieved I’ve finished reading the book.

The problem is that I didn’t like or identify with any of the characters, including the protagonist. I also don’t like books where most of the book consists of finally revealing what the narrator knew from the start. Yes, I needed the mysteries to be solved so I plowed through to the end, and yes, I was surpr
Lorin Cary
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A nuanced psychological novel featuring Adam Blaine. He returns home to Martha's Vineyard from Afghanistan (his role there unclear) for his father's funeral. It's been 10 years and in chapters moving back and forth in time, Patterson presents a layered story of complex family relationships. Dad Ben was a famous novelist, a driven man, a womanizer, who had difficult dealings with Adam and his brother. Nasty man. His will threatens to rob Adam's mother of everything, and the circumstances of his d ...more
Roger Scherping
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a very complex and interesting book. There were so many legal, moral and family issues that the protagonist needed to sort out, all set against a backdrop of a very dysfunctional family. I can't believe how the author skillfully created the very difficult situation that Adam's father created for him to work out.

For a while I thought this was going to take a John Grishim turn, but the legal aspects were only there to make Adam's situation more difficult. They were never a critical part o
Jun 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As with "In the Name of Honor", Patterson revisits the scene of the crime over and over again until the final reveal. I suppose it was necessary, but sometimes I wish he'd skip some of the foreshadowing and just get on with the narrative.

This was a decent thriller, but also a family melodrama, and it left me feeling that that was one messed-up family. This appears to be the first of a trilogy. At the end, I was wondering what he could possibly do in two more volumes.

I'll probably listen to somet
K.E. Garvey
May 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book earned its 4-stars based on the actual writing, not so much the story. Although it wasn’t a bad story, I found it a bit predictable. The pieces all fell together a little too nicely. The Clarice-Jack-Adam relationship became an obvious guess early on, as was the Ben-Jenny relationship, sordid as it was. I didn’t get the urge to put it down, but I also wouldn’t rave about it. The best part of the book was the actual writing. Patterson is a proficient writer.
Tess Mertens-Johnson
Different than other Patterson books I have read (This is my first Adam Blaine book).
Putting aside the usual thrill and intrigue he writes; this was a sad family story. Sex, murder (suicide?), sexual orientation, adultery, PTSD, family splits…and then throw a much of money on it.
Just when I thought MAYBE someone had moral character, things kept sliding down- hill. Is this real? Does money, power and prestige cause humans to fail? It seemed to in this book.
Family Huston
Almost a duplication

A good fast read, however this is almost identical to “Eden in Winter” which is supposedly book 3 of the trilogy. This book “Fall from Grace” is the 1st in the trilogy. Disappointing that complete chapters are repetitive between the two books. I have not read the second yet, but will give it a try. I hope the second book of the trilogy “Loss of Innocence” will not be another replication.
Brendan Daly
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Thought I would like this one -- an intriguing mystery set on Martha's Vineyard -- but the writing is really flat. (How many times does he write "at length"? Dozens at least.) The main characters are tiresome and one dimensional -- just never found myself caring about any of them. Sorry, can't recommend it. ...more
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2015 Reading Chal...: Fall From Grace by Richard North Patterson 1 7 Mar 13, 2015 08:05PM  

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Richard North Patterson is the author of fourteen previous bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, Patterson served as the SEC’s liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups dealing with gun violence, political reform, and women’s rights. He lives in San Francisco and on Martha’s Vineyard.

Other books in the series

The Blaine Trilogy (3 books)
  • Loss of Innocence (Blaine Trilogy, #2)
  • Eden in Winter (Blaine Trilogy, #3)

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