Cover image for Falling / Christopher Pike.
Title:
Falling / Christopher Pike.
ISBN:
9780765317186
Edition:
1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Forge, 2007.
Physical Description:
368 p. ; 25 cm.
General Note:
"A Tom Doherty Associates book."
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Summary

Summary

In "Falling," Christopher Pike explores the depth and breadth of human emotion through two brilliantly etched characters: Kelly Feinman, who pays a terrible price to understand the nature of true evil; and Matt Connor, a classic anti-hero who captures the reader's sympathy.
Kelly Feinman: Once a brilliant FBI profiler and field agent, Kelly went rogue on her last case, hunting the serial killer known as the Acid Man. Now, still recovering from the madman's brutal assault, regarded by her fellow agents as a weak link, Kelly struggles to find her footing on a new case: the kidnapping of an infant, Jimmy Techer. Making matters worse, Kelly's husband has taken their daughter and left. Kelly fears she cannot even trust her own instincts.
Matt Connor: Deeply in love with his girlfriend, Matt is devastated when Amy leaves him for another man. He plots a diabolical revenge that begins with his apparent death. By the time Matt is through, Amy--Jimmy's mother--will know the intensity of Matt's pain, because it will have become her own. And Matt Matt will pass through the fires of hell and, in the eyes of baby Jimmy, will recover his soul.
Matt Connor is a kidnapper. Kelly Feinman is the agent on his trail. They should be enemies. Instead, they become friends, and together, they help each other become whole. "


Author Notes

Christopher Pike is the pseudonym of Kevin Christopher McFadden, one of America's most popular young adult fiction writers. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, on November 12, 1954, but grew up in Los Angeles, California. He took on various jobs before writing Slumber Party, Weekend, and Chain Letter, all of which became bestsellers. His other works include The Last Vampire series; the Final Friends trilogy; The Lost Mind; Witch; Whisper of Death; Alosha; The Yanti; Bury Me Deep; and Fall into Darkness. He also writes the children's series Spooksville and adult novels including Sati; The Season of Passage; The Listeners; The Cold One; The Blind Mirror and Falling.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Bestseller Pike's gripping thriller pays homage to Thomas Harris's Hannibal Lecter novels, particularly in the character of FBI agent Kelly Feinman, who fills the Clarice Starling role. An unlikely law-enforcement agent, Kelly was an academic drafted by the bureau as a consultant based on her graduate thesis on mythology. Kelly puts her expertise to use on a particularly savage case, that of a man dubbed "the Acid Killer," who has sent the Feds DVDs of his sadistic murders of women he believes have been unfaithful. Her research leads her to a promising suspect, but her desire to solve the case on her own places her life in jeopardy. Pike (The Cold One) deftly interweaves this plot with the elaborate, Edmund Dantes-like revenge scheme of Matt Connor, a California man who was himself betrayed by the woman he loved. While some of the action sequences involving Kelly strain credibility, the intricate, thoughtful plot offers enough fresh variations on the serial-killer theme to keep readers turning the pages. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One The first sensation Matt Connor felt when he awoke that morning of all mornings was pain. For a long time he had come out of unconsciousness to a feeling of loss in his chest, and he had come to accept it as inevitable. It was ironic that the pain was quickly followed by a wave of love. Thoughts of her smile and hair caught forever in a yellow ray of sunshine. He still loved Amy Techer, always would, and he hated her more than words could say. That morning was special because it was the start of the day Matt planned to fake his death and disappear from the face of the earth. A bold plan, and he was not by nature a bold man. Yet Amy had changed him into something he was not. He had set the alarm for six but his eyes opened at five. He closed them and rolled over but sleep was lost. He felt unsettled on top of his pain. When he left his bed, he would never return to it. He would never see his apartment again--his stuff. Not that he had much. Thirty years old to the day, he thought grimly, and how little he had to show for it. The brief reflection hardened his resolve. His stomach was knotted and his heart pounded but he would go through with his plan. If he could not have love then she would not have it either. He wondered how many other men throughout history had come to the same conclusion. Matt got out of bed and took a hot shower. Tonight, if he was not careful, he would suffer a cold bath. He was an excellent pilot but an inexperienced skydiver. Of course, not many people riding a parachute to earth were required to hit a boat at night in the middle of the sea. Yet that particular challenge did not daunt him as much as others. Those other tasks would come later, after he was dead to the world, when he could no longer be blamed. Until then he just had to be systematic--do the job and not think. Still, he thought of her, of Amy. The name alone was a curse. He had scarce food in his apartment: a carton of milk, a loaf of bread, two overripe bananas. He made toast and spread jam and butter on it and wolfed down the milk while he dialed his mother. She lived in Santa Barbara, ninety miles north of his Santa Monica apartment. His mother had always hated that he never chewed his food. He supposed he had a streak of impatience in him, along with other things. Although early, his mother answered on the second ring. She was unhappy that he wouldn't be arriving for his birthday party until seven that night. The insignificance of that particular concern troubled him deeply. His mother would never see him again. "Why do you have to finish your scuba lessons today?" she asked after they had talked a minute. "I've wanted the certificate for a while. To get it on my birthday makes me feel like things are coming together for the next decade." "You already have everything going for you, Matt. Now that Cindy's in your life. Should I expect her early this evening?" "I'm not sure. I'm going to call her in a few minutes." "She didn't spend the night?" His mother was being coy. She liked Cindy, much more than she had liked Amy. None of his friends or family had cared for his ex-girlfriend. They saw what she had done to him; they thought they saw. He liked Cindy Firestone as well. A nice girl, but made of papier-mâché when touched by his wretched hands. He could not really care for her because she was not Amy. It was so unfair to her, but he continued to date her even though he saw she was falling for him. She was his insurance; she provided extra cover for his plan. He had a girlfriend, the police would say to themselves, he had a life for godsakes. His death would be seen as an accident, nothing more. "No. She didn't spend the night," he replied. He didn't know what to add. At this point, the less he said, the better. "How are you two getting along?" "Great." He had to take a breath to lie. "I care about her a lot." "She's excited about your party. She struggled over what to get you. You're going to be surprised." "I like surprises." He added suddenly, "I told you about that bathroom I have to finish in Orange County? I better get going." "You shouldn't be working Saturdays. On your birthday, of all days. You have to have more fun. You won't be young forever." "I'll have fun soon." He had a lump in his throat. The last time he would hear his mother's voice. She'd had him late, at forty, and his father had passed away the previous year. He had no brothers or sisters. He was the center of her universe. She had a weak heart--his death could kill her. He had thought about that endlessly. Yet the thoughts had not halted his plan. His pain cut deeper than blood ties. He had to say goodbye. He added, "We'll have fun tonight." His mother might have heard something in his voice. "Take care, son," she said quietly. "You too, Mom." He set down the phone and closed his eyes. His heart no longer pounded. Inside was cold. The icy sting of the ocean tonight--should he hit it--would be welcome. He deserved to suffer for the suffering he could not bear. Cindy slept late on Saturdays but did not mind being awakened. He had met her three months earlier at a coffee shop in Santa Monica. One of those late-night encounters that usually held more promise than substance. She was studying architectural diagrams, ones she had designed. They struck up a conversation about the Los Angeles skyline. Her knowledge of the city's major buildings was impressive. He did not remember who said hello first, but when they parted she was the one to offer her number. She liked to take risks. Later, she told him she was intrigued that he might be a dangerous character. The remark had amused him. It was rare that women hit on him. Six foot and well-built--with a shock of choirboy brown hair and intense dark eyes--he supposed he was handsome enough. But he was very shy; he did not invite casual attention. Cindy was the opposite. She would find out where the busboy who cleaned the table went to school. It was important for her to connect to people. She felt they were connected. But she was still trying to understand why they had not been intimate yet. She suspected Amy was a lingering problem. Matt had been vague when describing what had happened. Like his mom, Cindy was quick to answer the phone. He could imagine her sleepy smile. Red hair and freckles, she was a lanky doll stitched together with enthusiasm. She jogged five miles each morning before going to work at a design firm in the valley. One day, she swore, she was going to build the perfect home. She saw him living in it with her. He promised to help her put the pieces together, knowing it would never happen. Sometimes being with her made him think of Amy even more. Of course, the essence of their relationship would have been obvious to a first-year psychology student. He treated Cindy as Amy had initially treated him. Their bond was a sixties pop song--he kept her hanging on. Amy had not even let him kiss her for several months. When he made out with Cindy, he kept his eyes tightly shut. He knew what he did to her was wrong and he did it anyway. "I was just thinking of you," she said in a drowsy voice. "You were asleep." "Then I was dreaming of you." She yawned. "I'm glad you called. Hey, happy birthday. How does it feel to be thirty?" "Good." Nothing felt good. "How are you doing?" "Great. Looking forward to your party tonight. Wish I could fly over to Catalina with you. Why don't you take me?" "It's better you get to my mom's before me. You can keep her company." He was glad Cindy would be with his mother when she received the news that his plane had gone down. Cindy was strong; she would get his mother through the first dark days. She groaned. "You're so difficult. Hey, I need that guy's number who taught you how to fly. You said he might want to come with his girlfriend. Was it Clark?" "Yeah. I can get it for you later." He did not want Clark at the party. He did not want an expert--personally connected to him--going to the Santa Barbara Airport and studying the radar tapes that described the course of his plane before it crashed. Not that Clark should be able spot anything unusual, but one could never be sure. "When?" she asked. "I'll call you from the road with it." Another promise he would not keep. He did not want to contact Cindy again. If his cell phone records were later examined, they could show that he had not been in Orange County during the first half of the day. "Great." Her voice softened. "I miss you. I wish I was there with you now, lying beside you." They had slept together eight times and not had sex. He told her he opened up slowly--a favorite Amy line. The odd thing was that Cindy was every bit as attractive as Amy. But to lie naked beside her in bed did nothing for him. While the mere thought of being close to Amy filled him with longing. "You okay?" she asked when he did not respond. "Yeah. Just thinking about the day." "Do you miss me?" "Sure. But I'll see you tonight." She hesitated. "Can I sleep with you at your mother's house?" She wanted to make love. Normally, he would have responded with his standard, "We'll see." But now all his promises were moot. There was no reason not to leave her with a dream. Amy had not bothered to do the same for him. "That would be great," he said. She sighed. "I think I could love you, Matt." "I feel the same way," he replied, the worst lie of all. He had to get off the phone before he caused more harm. "I better go." He sounded too abrupt. He should not appear conflicted. "Are you sure you're all right, Matt?" she asked. "I'm fine." They exchanged goodbyes. Time to start the long day. Copyright 2007 by Christopher Pike. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Falling by Christopher Pike, Christopher Pike All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.