From three-time New York Times bestselling author Christopher Rice--whose novels have been called "bold and ambitious" by The New York Times, "chillingly perverse" by USA Today, and "shocking, sexy...intricate" by Glamour--comes this startling psychological thriller about an Iraq War vet who seeks redemption and revenge when a fellow Marine he failed to protect during the war is brutally murdered.
John Houck became a Marine to become a hero. But his life changed when he failed to notice an explosive device that ended up maiming the captain of his Force Recon Company, a respected Marine who nearly sacrificed himself to save John's life.
Home from Iraq, John pays a visit to his former captain, only to discover the captain has been gruesomely murdered. John pursues a strange man he sees running from the scene, but he discovers that Alex Martin is not the murderer. Alex is, in fact, the former captain's secret male lover and the killer's intended next victim.
When it becomes clear that local law enforcement has direct connections to the murder itself, John realizes that to repay his debt of honor, he must teach Alex Martin how to protect himself, even if that means teaching Alex to kill. In the process, John confronts the painful truth about the younger brother he was unable to protect and the older sister he always felt he failed.
Blind Fall is a story of honor and integrity, of turning failure into victory. It is a stunning departure for Christopher Rice: the story of two men, one a Marine, one gay, who must unite to avenge the death of the man they both loved--one as a brother-in-arms, one as a lover--and to survive.
A Letter from Christopher Rice
Dear Amazon.com Reader,
Authors hate answering the question "what is your book about?" because deep down most of us are arrogant enough to believe that our books are about everything. Birth, death, love, grief. You name it, I probably think it's in there somewhere, albeit sometimes only in the form of a throwaway character, like a wisecracking gas station attendant who pops off a few good lines about living in the present as my main character bounces on the balls of his feet, impatient to be rung up so he can race to his next car-chase. But the longer I write for a living, the more it becomes clear to me that while arrogance is a helpful tool for dealing with one's own negative reviews (or the death threats that have been posted alongside your promotional video on YouTube), the question "what is your book about" is one that I better have a coherent answer to long before it's posed to me by anyone besides the ever-present critic who lives in my head. Otherwise I find myself writing entire chapters about the shape of a certain box hedge because I've lost my way and fallen prey to that childish belief that writing is about nothing more than filling up a page. (It is, kind of, but only when you're past deadline.) That said, I can say with confidence that my latest thriller, Blind Fall, is a novel about self-acceptance. It's about how we are often forced to let go of something we believed to be an absolute truth before we can treat ourselves with the same respect we would grant our closest friend. And in that sense, it is also a story about how our own visions of our past, of where we came from and what made us who we are, become incomplete and deceptive if we turn away from of those who walked the path with us and the insights they have to offer into our own personal history.
Phew! Got that out of the way. How was that, Amazon.com editors? Did I win over some Jonathan Franzen readers with that one?
Please note that I referred to my own novel as a thriller. I did so with pride. As I've said now in numerous interviews, Blind Fall was intended to be lean, clear and forceful, a suspenseful story about gays in the military that might appeal to the broadest audience possible. That doesn't mean I dumbed down or cleaned up a more "literary"--God, I hate that word--story that's still sitting in my desk drawer. It means I chose to tell the entire story from the point-of-view of the character facing the greatest personal challenge of any in the book--John Houck, the battle-scarred Marine who discovers the comrade who saved his life in combat was secretly gay. Anything that didn't serve John's character, that didn't ring true to who he was, didn't make the cut. That was a challenge. I love the guy as much as I do any of my protagonists but let's just say we probably wouldn't end up voting for the same candidate in the Presidential election this coming November and we certainly have different CDs in rotation. (To get into character sometimes I would depart from my usual film score montages and get amped up on a little Coheed & Cambria and Incubus. Don't laugh! It's not that big of a stretch. I went to a Mottley Crue concert when I was twelve.)
I also chose to tell you who the killer was about 70 pages in. Why? Because this novel is not a whodunit. This novel is a what-the-hell-are-they-going-to-do, but that's got a few too many words in it so we call those thrillers. Don't get me wrong; there are some twists and turns along the way, but I didn't want the reader breaking sweat over who was responsible for the murder that starts off the action. I wanted the reader's heart to become invested in the relationship between John, the straight (and more than a little homophobic) Marine, and Alex, the secret gay lover of the man who saved John's life. How are these two very different men going to come to accept one another, if at all? This is the question that dominated my thoughts while I was writing the book, and if you decide to give it a read, I hope it dominates yours as well. Sometimes the best suspense comes not from the revelation of a previously concealed detail that's been skillfully foreshadowed, but from wondering how a character you have come to know intimately over the course of many chapters is going to react to a seemingly insurmountable set of obstacles. That's what I was shooting for with Blind Fall.
So there you have it, along with a few unsolicited personal details about yours truly. (Like the fact that I went to a Motley Crue concert when I was twelve.) At the very least, I hope Blind Fall keeps some of you up late at night. For the next month, my late nights will all be spent in hotels as I cross the country to promote this puppy. Maybe I'll get to meet some of you along the way.