I found the plot of THE FALLEN uneven, slow to get going really as several threads of unequal interest were set up, including a somewhat confusing tal..Show More »e about Jade trying to find the grave of her mother who died when Jade was a baby. For me the pacing was thrown off by the terribly obvious and drawn out clue-hunting, and then at one point I thought the book had finished and was rather astonished to find there were still 6 and a half chapters (a couple of hours) of the audio book left . The thread that deals with what happens after the diving instructor’s body is found – and the truly horrible plan Jade uncovers – was for me the best part of the book; responsible for a genuine OMG moment when it became clear what was going on.
In the end it felt like the book didn't quite know what it wanted to be.A major thread dealing with jade's on/off romance with a married bloke took the book in a romantic direction that didn't interest me at all. At times it read like an old-fashioned whodunnit, though with De Jong making a bit of a fist of the kind of denouement that Holmes or Poirot could perform with aplomb. I cannot possibly, for example, be the only reader to have been internally screaming “there are more than passengers on an airplane you dolt” as Jade very slowly worked this out as if for an audience of dim-witted third graders. At other times the book read like a modern thriller with loads of action and heroine-in-peril scenarios. Personally I think this aspect of the book worked better, especially as it allowed the author to depict several aspects of modern South African life which was a real strength of the novel.