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The Fallen

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  1,363 ratings  ·  160 reviews
My life was ordinary until three years ago when I was thrown out of a downtown hotel window. My name is Robbie Brownlaw, and I am a homicide detective for the city of San Diego. I am twenty-nine years old.

I now have synesthesia, a neurological condition where your senses get mixed up. Sometimes when people talk to me, I see their voices as colored shapes provoked by the em
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Published February 21st 2006 by Brilliance Audio (first published 1980)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,363 ratings  ·  160 reviews

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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 al
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*
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.
Heidi Pedersen
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very unusual book by having the detective suffer from synesthesia - it's a neurological condition that mixes up your senses. In his case, he can see a person's emotions by the 'colors' and 'shapes' of words when people are talking. Not only was the mystery interesting, I found myself intently searching for the next mention of a red square, or a yellow trapezoid. Loved the twist with this!!
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
Lukasz Pruski
Sep 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Although we call ourselves America's Finest City, there is a long tradition of collusion and corruption here in San Diego. Some of it once reached high enough to taint American presidency - Richard Nixon's. Some of it is low and squalid and oddly funny - a mayor in bed with a swindler, councilmen taking bribes from strip-club owners [...]"

I have been a San Diegan since January 1983 so I love reading books that convey the locales, moods, and feel of this beautiful city. T. Jefferson Parker's The
Al Stoess
Nov 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: T. Jefferson Parker fans.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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
The cover blurb of this book had me intrigued;
"There was nothing special about San Diego detective Robbie Brownlow, until he plunged six storeys from a burning hotel. He was left with broken bones, a large scar, and synesthesia - a condition where words take on shapes and colours that indicate the speaker's emotions. "

.....but I'm sorry to say it's not lived up to expectations. For me, the Synethesia angle was really underplayed. While I didn't want chapter & verse on what colours & shapes Rob
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
Jan 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-to-read, mystery, nook
Fairly pleasant police procedural set in San Diego, California. The twist of having the protagonist detective be affected with the psychological disorder of being able to see the emotions behind people's words was oddly dispensible. Such an interesting quirk could have been much more integral to the plot.

Otherwise, the writing was top-notch. Characters were distinct and well developed (except several of upper-level cops that sort of mushed together). Settings were sometimes nicely done, other ti
I like to read books by local authors. According to my goodreads pages I read my first Parker book 6 years ago and also gave it 2 stars. So I don't think I'll read anymore. The author lives half an hour north of me and writes about the city an hour south of me. I don't spend much time in the city and was disappointed that I could only picture one of his landmarks. I liked the homicide detective protagonist and his female partner, and wanted them to find the murderer with a minimum of pain and fo ...more
Jun 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed silent joe so much I decided to read more by the same author. This one was not quite as good, but still entertaining. Detective is thrown from 5 stories up and when he recovers he synsythese (forgive the spelling). Still haven't had time to check if this is a real condition. When people speak he sees colored shapes coming from their mouth and certain colors mean they're being untruthful or mean or innocent.He's investigating who called an Ethics Investigator.
Apr 23, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable read. Has a nice gimmick of having the detective have a form of synethesia where he can see colors and shapes when people talk. The shapes correlate to emotions, and more importantly for a detective...lies. He doesn't overuse the gimmick either, so it just nicely adds some info for the reader without giving up the game too quickly.

I'd definitely read another by him when in the mood for something light.
Sep 27, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
Once again, Parker plumbs the seedy world of Southern California politics and corruption in the context of the execution of an ex-cop, ethics investigator, who appears to have been murdered for what he has uncovered in respect of a local prostitution ring. The detective uses the case to help resolve his own inner demons (synethesia) and abandonment by the wife he adores.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 / 5 stars. My second book by this author. The audio version for both books. Slow moving, good ending very light on action. Kind of wanders and quite a few characters to keep track of. Worth reading but no as good as The Famous and the Dead. Will still be reading more books by this author and was still glad that I read this book.
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another terrific story by T. Jefferson Park. Wonder if a series will continue with Detectives Robbie Brownlaw and McKenzie Cortez . . . Hoping so!
Suspense and entertainment with depth and style, Parker has penned another winner! Captivating plot, fully human characters, all against the authentically reproduced background of San Diego, America's Finest City. Parker, however, through his main characters, peels back the city's layers to reveal something far from "fine" in the city's leadership, as he travels the twisting trail to solving a baffling mystery.

This is not your average whodunit, it has a totally readable style, a wide range of li
Frederick Tan
Oct 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
Robbie Brownlaw is a lucky man who survived a fall from six stories high. Now a homicide detective in San Diego PD he has to investigate the death of a former cop Gerrett Asplundh who was employed by the Ethics Authority of San Diego. His job to monitor the city workers for improprieties in their work place. At first it was thought to be a suicide but when it was clear that Garrett was murdered, Robbie along with his partner McKenzie Cortez swing into action.
Somewhere along the line Robbie has t
Nov 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my first book I've read in English (with more than 100 pages).
I gave it five stars, mainly for the plot. I am not really a fan of books that don't have a lot of dialogues, they are boring to me, and sometimes I also skip parts where there's a lot of describing and etc.
Something like this happend to The Fallen. So for the writing style, I give it 4/5.
Besides that, I loved the plot, I like how detective Robbie's new ability helps them around and the way he finds out which colour and shape
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
Tom Maseth
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robbie Brownlaw is a good cop. He 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 called synesthesia. Synesthesia is a neurological condition that results in a mixing or blending of the senses; it is a rare condition. In Brownlaw's case, he occasionally sees shapes and colors when people speak and has learned that these shapes ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What this book has: a homicide detective with a special talent, his flighty spouse, his partner who puts on a show of being tough, a murdered ex-cop turned anti-corruption investigator, his wife, corruption, and San Diego

In writing The Fallen, Parker came up with a truly unique twist to the detetcive novel - the protagonist, Det. Robbie Brownlaw has synesthesia, a disorder that enables him to see words as colors and shapes, each with their own meaning. As such, Brownlaw is able to tell whether s
Jean Boobar
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable read with unique challenges faced by the protagonist, Robbie Brownlaw, a police officer assigned to the ethics investigation team. Robbie suffers from synesthesia, a brain disorder that causes him to see colored shapes as others speak. He can "read" the shapes as lies, truth, sympathy, etc.
With the apparent murder of another officer who had been looking into illegal actions with prostitutes by police officers, Robbie and his partner McKenzie, fine themselves being very challenged by h
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I enjoyed this mystery and particularly liked the first person perspective. The synesthesia trait seemed unnecessary and a little annoying as a plot device to reveal who was lying or telling the truth - too much tell rather than show. Anyway, I loved the main character, Det. Brownlaw, and the way the plot details unfolded. The large crew of overlapping suspects and government higher-ups became cumbersome to navigate at times. Still, I was kept guessing until the final chapters, and that ...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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