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So Say the Fallen

(DCI Serena Flanagan #2)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  921 ratings  ·  136 reviews
A Boston Globe Best Book of the Year

Belfast, Northern Ireland: A man left horrifically maimed by a car accident appears to have taken his own life. It should be an open-and-shut case, but something doesn't feel right to DCI Serena Flanagan. Flanagan ignores advice to close the case, call it a suicide, and be done with it. As she picks at the threads of the dead man's
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 20th 2016 by Soho Crime (first published July 7th 2016)
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  921 ratings  ·  136 reviews

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Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stuart Neville's crime stories set in Northern Ireland are always excellent. DCI Serena Flanagan is struggling, she is undergoing counselling to get over feelings of guilt over deaths in a case sometime ago. She is living under the fear that her family might split, with her husband Alistair having recurring nightmares over another of Serena's cases and her children are far closer to him than Serena. She finds herself in the unexpected position of praying that her family stays together. Despite ...more
Diane S ☔
Nov 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Serena Flanagan, still dealing with the left mover effects of her previous case, attending counseling, her marriage in jeopardy is called to the scene of an apparent suicide. Henry Garrick, severely injured, bedridden since a horrific auto accident, has apparently taken a fatal overdose of morphine. But did, he? Serena, has her doubts but they are shared by none of the other officers involved in the case.

Serena, is a character who is very easy in which to relate, trying to balance her job which
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: penguin
What a nice surprise this was!

I don't normally read Crime Novels and certainly not in a series but was surprised by how much I enjoyed So Say the Fallen.
This book is the second in the new crime series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Serena Flanagan, by Stuart Neville and while I hadn't read the first in the series and thought I was going to be at a disadvantage, but I found quite quickly that this book can certainly be read as a stand alone.

The fallout from DCI Serena Flanagan’s last major
Susan Johnson
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vine
This is Neville's second Serena Flanagan, Belfast Chief Deputy Inspector, novel and it is a winner in every sense of the world. Flanagan is a nuanced character who tries to balance her demanding job and her family. She feels like she is failing at both and yet keeps trying to find some way to have a satisfactory life in both aspects. The marriage is still reeling from a traumatic event from the first book but it is not necessary to have read it to enjoy this one.

Flanagan is called in to
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another solid crime piece from Stuart Neville, who happens to be one of my favorite crime writers.

I’ll leave the plot summary for the book blurb because here is something else that I want to discuss. Neville has created an authentic character in DCI Serena Flanagan, who faces challenges on the job and at home. Like many women in the workforce, she is conflicted between the need to do her job and also be present for her husband and children. Her family is not always understanding of the notion
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
So Say The Fallen – A Compassionate Heroine

So Say The Fallen is the second in the new crime series featuring Detective Chief Inspector Serena Flanagan, from Stuart Neville all based in Northern Ireland. She is a determined, hardworking detective, who has to work in a tough part of the UK, where the guilty are not necessarily locked up but walking free.

Serena Flanagan is having a crisis in her life and even more so with her family, who rarely see her due to her job. She is having counselling
Nov 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.

Good story and good characters. You really get to know DCI Serena Flanagan as a real person and human being, policewoman, wife and mother, trying to keep all the balls in the air. It's exhausting work and Serena struggles to keep her family together.

She is called out to the apparent suicide of a severely disabled man and asked to sign off on it quickly. She can't put her finger on the reason but she has niggling doubts about his death. The widow, Roberta Garrick, seems altogether too
DCI Serena Flanagan shares the characteristics we often associate with detectives and cops in fiction, film and television. She has a strong streak of defiance which sends her off to find answers contrary to the orders of her superiors, and has difficulty balancing her job and personal life. In the second DCI Serena Flanagan novel, Serena has alienated her husband and two young children. While there are references to events in the first novel, not much detail is provided, and readers who haven't ...more
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid police procedural from Neville, the second in a series, involving the death of a man crippled in an automobile accident, apparently from a self-induced overdose of morphine. His wife and the local minister attend to the death and, soon after, DCI Flanagan suspects foul play. There's not much mystery here as to what really happened, as that is revealed in full detail early on. The real mystery involves the motivations behind the wife and her secret past. Strong characterizations, the norm ...more
The first book in this series blew my socks off so I couldn't wait to get my hands on this one. It felt like a great deal of anticipation with no payoff. You know who the villain is from the beginning so there was not much suspense. I still very much like the DCI Flanagan character so I will likely read the next by this author where Flanagan is the main character. For such a strong female protagonist, her husband is a bit of a namby-pamby and I don't enjoy his churlishness at all. Overall a good ...more
Nick Davies
Oct 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
This was a really interestingly different slant on the 'police procedural' - there was a certain quiet determination about it, a refreshing simplicity and groundedness about the nature of the plot, and characters which generally behaved in a more believable and realistic manner than many of the more 'seat of your pants' crime thrillers I've read. This isn't to say it is cosy in any sense - not at all.. it was actually really quite depressing and sad, desperate people in desperate circumstances, ...more
Rob Twinem
Jun 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's always a pleasure to write a review of a book so exciting and well written that it consumes you in its storyline and loses you in its content. "So say the Fallen" is also of special interest to me as I am a Northern Ireland ex pat living on mainland UK and it's great to enjoy a story not centred around the troubled history of the province rather a well written and well crafted police thriller.

Although on introduction you may be forgiven for believing that this is nothing but a routine
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
Stuart Neville remains my favorite crime writer--I will never not pick up one of his books.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stuart Neville's debut book The Twelve, is possibly the best debut I have read. With his subsequent books I have not been disappointed and he is an author that I will have to read everything he writes.
So say the Fallen is the 2nd in the DCI Serena Flanagan series. A woman struggling to balance career and family. When she is called into what appears to be a routine suicide, Serena sees a different picture and feels something is off. Although the victim had been in a horrendous car crash that had
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This one was interesting because you get handed the bad guy about halfway through. Usually the suspense is in finding out who did it, right? Here the suspense is in building the characters and leaving you to wonder what they are all capable of, what will they do, what will happen?! I really liked the DCI. In general, I do have a very soft spot for female UK detectives struggling to keep their lives in balance. I don't think I'll go backwards and read the first in the series, but I'll read the ...more
Simon Maltman
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a sizzling DCI Flanagan thriller, set in Northern Ireland. The dogged detective doesn't buy the apparent suicide of a wealthy church- goer. She throws herself into the case, earning no thanks from her colleagues or understanding from her neglected family. What will break first- the case, or her family relationships?
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love all his books, very readable.
Rolando Barrientos
Stuart's books are full of suspense and a bit in the dark side. This one will stay with you after reading it, it is that good.
Sharon Williams
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
loved this book will definetly read the others in the series.
Simon McDonald
May 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Last year I called Stuart Neville’s Those We Left Behind “a true hallmark of the genre,” and have spent the months since its release desperate to read his next. You know what it’s like when the shadow of an absolutely brilliant crime novel casts over subsequent books in your reading stack: oh, there’s stuff there you’ll enjoy, but nothing quite matches up to the quality of that effervescent goliath. So when an ARC of the second Serena Flanagan novel dropped in my lap, it was very much a case of ...more
Gail Cooke
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

One of ace writer Stuart Neville's most complex, tough and endearing characters returns - DCI Serena Flanagan. She already has a plateful of problems - she's in mandatory therapy due to a recent case that went awry, her husband has not yet forgiven her for letting her career come to close to their home. He wants her to give up her job to save their marriage. She fears if she doesn't do this she'll lose her two children. However, Serena can no more give up being a cop than she can stop
Alan Taylor
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stuart Neville has found his niche. I loved his first novel, The Twelve (or Ghosts of Belfast) with its retribution and redemption plot but, while the supernatural elements worked well, they may have been difficult to sustain. The Jack Lennon series was good, particularly The Final Silence, but Serena Flanagan, the PSNI inspector heroine of Neville's last novel, Those We Left Behind, and who reappears here, is a more rounded character. Lennon was a bit stereotypical 'loner cop with a drink ...more
Stephen Terrell
One of the joys of reading is finding a new author who creates such engaging characters that you hate to see the book end. That's what I found with Stuart Neville, an Irish mystery writer who in Serena Flanagan has created a character who draws you into her life, her struggles to save her marriage, her frustration at the police bureaucracy, and her determination to see justice done, even if everyone else wants to simply write off the case.

So Say the Fallen begins with the suicide of a local car
Sep 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Neville's since his first book, The Ghosts of Belfast. This is the second book in the DCI Serena Flanagan series. The first one was incredibly chilling. This one was even more so. I often wonder how authors can envision the twisted characters they present in their books. So far Neville hasn't disappointed me. DCI Flanagan's husband was attacked in the last book by the suspects she was chasing. She also was being treated for breast cancer. This book finds her husband and ...more
Dec 03, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
So Say the Fallen by Stuart Neville is the second in Neville's DCI Serena Flanagan series, but the first I've read.

Serena Flanagan is not at first suspicious of the suicide of the severely disabled Peter Garrick. His injuries from an accident are terrible; his wife seems devastated. Yet some ambiguous, indefinite aspect of the death bothers Serena, and she finds herself unable to immediately sign off on the death as suicide. The Reverend Peter McKay, a close family friend, comforts
Detective Chief Inspector Serena Flangan didn't feel that she owed Colin Tandy's family anything. He set out to kill her. He failed. So Serena killed him. Serena was given a week of leave and three months of counselling. Serena Flanagan was called out to a sudden death in Morganstown. Flanagan hated suicides.
I confess I don't find the Serena Flanagan series quite as compelling as Jack Lennon, nevertheless this gains pace during the telling of a nasty tale.
John McKenna
May 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So Say The Fallen
Mysterious Book Report No. 270
by John Dwaine McKenna

An often explored mystery theme that never seems to get old, is the question of suicide or murder. What better way to get away with it than staging the death scene and making it look like the decedent took his or her own life? Do it artfully enough to foil detection, write up a goodbye note for the victim, wait a few days for the Medical Examiner’s confirmation, and bingo! The fortune is yours. Collect the insurance money and
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Explores 2 subjects I'm not particularly interested in, losing faith in God and a failing marriage. The plot revolves around Detective Chief Inspector Serena Flanagan, who pursues a case to the point where she's hardly ever home and a suicide by a wealthy man severely disabled in a car accident. Flanagan suspects it's murder because the photos that surround him in death can't be seen by him; not a strong case there. At one point her boss tells her frankly that with all the loose serial murderers ...more
Shari Wampler
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017

So Say the Fallen by Stuart Neville
325 pages

What’s it about?
Serena Flanagan is a detective in Belfast dealing with her own personal problems when she is called to the scene of an apparent suicide. Is it suicide or is it murder?

What did it make me think about?
This is a good old-fashioned crime novel. It is well-written and delivers just what you hope for when you read a crime thriller. Neville adds depth to his story with his writing- “This place rang with the kind of
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I have been a musician, a composer, a teacher, a salesman, a film extra, a baker and a hand double for a well known Irish comedian, but I'm currently a partner in a successful multimedia design business in the wilds of Northern Ireland.

I have published short stories in Thuglit, Electric Spec and Every Day Fiction. THE TWELVE is my first novel, and will be published in the UK and Commonwealth by

Other books in the series

DCI Serena Flanagan (2 books)
  • Those We Left Behind (DCI Serena Flanagan #1)