When your brother-in-law announces he has written a novel, your initial reaction of “Isn’t that cute?” is probably warranted. It’s certainly how I felt when my brother-in-law started talking about it several years ago.
I am not a literary critic. But I’m an avid reader and probably complete over 25 novels in any given year. My brother-in-law’s first novel, FALL OUT, is as promising of a first novel that I’ve ever read. The blend of his knowledge of the movie business combined with historical and cultural research results in a global and historical tale of murder, deception, and intrigue.
The characters are real; they are interesting and flawed. And the expanse of the book is compelling. If I have anything negative, it’s the sheer volume of characters. I needed the notes at the beginning of the book on more than one occasion to keep up with Mark’s great ambition in this book.
I saw that Piers Morgan commented it to be a blend of “The DaVinci Code and Get Shorty.” I’d add a couple of more including Robert Altman’s The Player and Robert Ludlum’s Pillars of the Earth, where ancient architecture comes alive for the reader. In the same way, FALL OUT draws you into a world few of us know, but all of us are influenced by.
This debut novel doesn’t let its themes of Hollywood define its story. The characters and plot arc do that. But it makes you feel as if you are “on the inside” of the movie establishment, from Los Angeles to Cannes, and all the aspects of that complicated business (financing, stardom, reputation, even stunts) that can lead to success or failure in the business so many of us see as a casual indulgence.
In writing this review in hopes that you, too, will take the leap of faith and take on a new author. I haven’t spoken with Mark (M. N. Grenside) prior to posting this review. As it’s positive, I’m sure he will be pleased, ha. But I want you to know that it’s sincere and a genuine reflection of my great admiration for what he has accomplished.
I hope you will take the opportunity to order on Amazon and enjoy this ride for yourself. Please let me know if you agree that it’s a great read. And please join me in never doubting someone just because they were naive enough to marry into your family.
Congratulations Mark. Job well done. I’m looking forward to your next book: THE BASTION, promised to be out next year. And I’ve heard there may be a movie in the works for this one. Not trying to be nepotistic, but I think I’d make a great Louis McConnell for the film. When people read the book, they’ll know that isn’t exactly a self compliment!