Review

Downfall: An Intervention Novel

by Terri Blackstock

"She tried to stuff the fear back into its dark chamber at the back of her mind. Just because Emily had skipped the test didn't mean that she was up to anything. She had been doing well. The late nights weren't about drugs. They were just about a college kid testing her wings. Weren't they?"

"Blackstock takes time to thank those who work in the field of substance abuse counseling and shows understanding and sensitivity for addicts without being judgmental. Her character and values are clearly demonstrated in her protagonists."

Barbara Covington asks herself this question following some rough years and eventual rehab with her daughter, Emily. It is a question that any parent who had dealt with a loved one’s addiction would be able to answer. And the most honest answer would be "maybe." For every person who successfully completes rehab and continues in sobriety, there are many more who continue the cycle for years before they recover. So it is not unusual for Barbara to be vigilant where her daughter's behavior is concerned.

In addition to worrying about Emily, Barbara is under pressure at work being responsible for obtaining a huge contract for her firm. Also, her younger child, Lance, is having problems in his new high school and seems to be drifting toward some unsavory kids just to have a friend or two. Meanwhile, her friend, Detective Kent Harlan, is carrying around an engagement ring in his pocket. He is patiently waiting for the dust to settle so he can propose to her at just the right time.

Terri Blackstock is the author of seven series and numerous stand-alone novels. Reading any one of them will provide an understanding of why she has sold more than six million books worldwide and has been a New York Times bestselling author. Her series always have an interesting angle around which she builds her stories. In the case of DOWNFALL, the theme is addiction and recovery, and the rippling effect it has on those involved. A past selection, the Restoration series, revolved around the premise that something could cause all electronic equipment to fail at once, around the world. How people would deal with that and what such an event would trigger in their character made for an excellent story.

Into these straightforward stories, Blackstock places ordinary people who do extraordinary things based on their love, compassion and faith in God. They are not superheroes; they frequently make poor choices and often suffer consequences for them. But they are good-spirited and motivated to do the right thing. In DOWNFALL, the Covingtons and the police are determined to find out who placed a homemade bomb under Emily's car. It is the same person who broke into her house and stole one of her necklaces that was later found at a murder scene...effectively making her the prime suspect. While the search for the real killer continues, other bodies turn up and the reader is kept guessing until the murderer is revealed. One by one, my suspects were eliminated!

Blackstock takes time to thank those who work in the field of substance abuse counseling and shows understanding and sensitivity for addicts without being judgmental. Her character and values are clearly demonstrated in her protagonists. DOWNFALL also has a section devoted to discussion questions that would provide an interesting topic for a small group or book club.

Reviewed by Maggie Harding on April 22, 2012

Downfall: An Intervention Novel
by Terri Blackstock