Thursday, January 3, 2013

Good Opening, But the Ending is Disappointing: We All Fall Down by Simon Wood

Hayden Drake is excited about his new consulting job and teaming up with his college roommate, Shane. Hayden is an engineer doing work on a contract basis for several firms. He's pleased to get a contract from Marin Design Engineering (MDE) because they pay well and seem to give good benefits to their employees, like a day at a Giants game.

His elation doesn't last long when two employees from the company commit suicide, one being Shane. In fact, he's there when Shane jumps off a bridge. The police naturally suspect Hayden. So does Shane's sister, Rebecca. After a rather rocky start, she and Shane decide to work together to unravel the mystery.

The first scenes in this book are very well done. I was especially drawn in to the scene where Hayden tries to keep Shane from committing suicide. However, after Hayden and Rebecca team up to solve the mystery of what's wrong at MDE, the plot becomes rather silly. It's hard to believe that two rational people would continually try to mislead the police when people are being killed all around them, particularly, since there's no good reason to dislike the police, except that Hayden was wrongfully accused of dealing drugs when he was in college.

My major concern with this book is that the author doesn't seem to understand engineering or technology very well. He makes a big deal of having Hayden sign a non-disclosure agreement before starting work at MDE. Non-disclosure agreements are perfectly standard in engineering and contractors have to sign them all the time. This is true in other industries as well.

The author also makes a big deal about drawings being destroyed. Generally engineering firms today work on CAD/CAM machines, so the files are available digitally and can be stored on line, or in some other major storage location owned by the company. Also, the file Shane ships Hayden that starts some of the action could be copied and stored on line. There's no reason to have only on copy on disc. I was very surprised that the technical details were so poor.

I can't recommend this book. There's lots of action, if you like that, but the story really degenerates after the opening and the characters are far from memorable.

I reviewed this book for the Amazon Vine Program.