The Trial of Fallen Angels

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For fans of The Shack, Mitch Albom, and The Lovely Bones, comes a novel about a lawyer of souls in the afterlife.

Brek Cuttler has it all: a husband she loves, a daughter she adores, a successful law practice. And then one day everything she has ever known disappears. Brek finds herself standing on a deserted train platform, covered in blood. As she tries to comprehend what is happening to her, a man from her past approaches and explains that she has been chosen to join the ...

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The Trial of Fallen Angels

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Overview

For fans of The Shack, Mitch Albom, and The Lovely Bones, comes a novel about a lawyer of souls in the afterlife.

Brek Cuttler has it all: a husband she loves, a daughter she adores, a successful law practice. And then one day everything she has ever known disappears. Brek finds herself standing on a deserted train platform, covered in blood. As she tries to comprehend what is happening to her, a man from her past approaches and explains that she has been chosen to join the elite team of lawyers charged with prosecuting and defending souls at the Final Judgment.

As Brek struggles to find her way back to her husband and daughter, she will discover that her first client holds the shocking secret of her fate. That seemingly disparate events during her life have conspired to bring her to a single moment in time that will determine her eternity. And that every act of kindness and cruelty sets in motion things beyond our wildest imaginations.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A murder mystery becomes a lesson in forgiveness in this overblown spiritual tale by debut novelist Kimmel, who envisions a bureaucratic afterlife called Shemaya in which recently deceased Brek Cuttler, a lawyer on earth, is drafted “to make sure justice is served at the Final Judgment.” This involves Brek channeling her clients’ entire lives and presenting them in a celestial courtroom, first a surly, Nazi-obsessed mystery man, then a woman Brek once sued on Earth, neither of whom had any obvious impact on Brek’s life with her husband and their young daughter. As Brek absorbs experiences and navigates Shemaya’s courtrooms, she comes to terms with her own death and with what seems the unfair judicial process of heaven. Though a cluttered plot is eventually woven neatly together, any sense of suspense or momentum is stalled by bouts of weighty philosophizing, and any interest in resolution is deadened by the unrelated tangents. Kimmel (Suing for Peace: A Guide for Resolving Life’s Conflicts), a lawyer, is a deep thinker whose intelligence shines through, but his first foray into fiction fails as both a theological treatise and a page-turner. Agent: Jay Mandel, WME Entertainment. (Nov.)
Library Journal
From the time she was a little girl holding mock court sessions with other neighborhood children, Brek Abigail Cuttler was destined for the law. As an adult, her life is good. She's become a successful lawyer, new mother, and loving wife to a TV news anchorman. But suddenly she is sitting at a train terminal covered in blood and cannot recall what happened. Approached by a seemingly familiar older gentleman, Brek finds out she has died. Before she can fully move on, she has been assigned to represent other souls waiting for judgment. With each case, Brek finds connections to her own past life that will reveal the final choice she must make. VERDICT This powerful debut from lawyer Kimmel (Suing for Peace: A Guide for Resolving Life's Conflicts) explores a myriad of spiritual concepts expressed in various religions. He deftly unveils each new character and cleverly balances the positive and negative aspects of their lives. Building upon the memories of multiple generations, Kimmel has written a stirring spiritual thriller. [See Prepub Alert, 5/4/12.]—Joy Gunn, Henderson Libs., NV
Library Journal
Brek Cuttler walks into a store with her daughter—and suddenly finds herself on a deserted train platform, with only arrivals indicated on the timetable board. She has died and, as a crack lawyer, has been assigned to the special team that prosecutes and defends the souls of the dead on Judgment Day. Word has it that this debut is unlike anything you have ever read. With foreign rights sold to eight countries and a reading group guide.
Kirkus Reviews
Kimmel pays readers a supreme compliment here by inviting them to take seriously the theological question of the Last Judgment. Lawyer Brek Cuttler wakes up one day to find herself in Shemaya, the land of the dead, where she's not only been called to account, but has been chosen to put her post-mortem legal skills to work. The circumstances of her death are hazy, even to her, but as the story unfolds, some dense and troubling images, as well as some kind and soothing ones from her past, assault her. She aches at the loss of her husband, Bo, a television reporter who's recently been doing undercover work and has infiltrated a white supremacist organization, and she grieves her separation from her one-year-old daughter, Sarah. Kimmel's narrative weaves together four generations of Brek's family both in life and in death. She also finds out that in Shemaya, she is able to inhabit the consciousness of other people, so she feels their lives subjectively, from the inside. Particularly troubling is her inner experience of Ott Bowles, a young white supremacist who kidnapped Brek and her daughter, an event that, it turns out, led to her death. Along the way, we have extended discussions about issues of justice, mercy and most of all, forgiveness. We learn, for example, that Noah's Flood "changed...the very essence of God's relationship to man, not man's relationship to God. God changed His ways. We didn't change ours." Much of this theological and moral framework is provided by Luas, the High Jurisconsult of Shemaya and mentor of Brek in these shadow lands. Although occasionally overly discursive, Kimmel presents here an intriguing, intricate and metaphysical novel--not your typical fare.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399159695
  • Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam
  • Publication date: 11/8/2012
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.18 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

James Kimmel, Jr., received a doctorate in jurisprudence from the University of Pennsylvania and is a lawyer who focuses on the intersection of law and spirituality. This is his first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

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(3)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2012

    Pleasantly INTRIGUED

    Very well written. I look at my life differently after reading.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2013

    I found this book incredibly interesting, very unique. I can und

    I found this book incredibly interesting, very unique. I can understand how someone might have a difficult time following this story. I had a difficult time explaining it to a friend. Ultimately, the overall "moral" to the story is unmistakeable and it will have you thinking for days. I enjoyed the story telling, like nothing I've ever read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Really liked this book. It made me think about how you really d

    Really liked this book. It made me think about how you really don't know about people's lives before judging them. I see a comment about violence. I don't think the author went out of his way to be violent. It surely was not graphic, and just went along with telling the story. Which was important.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    I thought it was very good. I couldn't wait to read the next cha

    I thought it was very good. I couldn't wait to read the next chapter, though at times it was just to figure out what the previous chapter had to do with anything. It was put together well in the end and it certainly gives one a new perspective on the way we interact with those around us.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

    Enjoyable and thought provoking. I did not have a problem follo

    Enjoyable and thought provoking. I did not have a problem following story like others reported. And yes you will think about this book long after you read it. A wonderful lesson in forgiveness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 25, 2013

    Publishers weekly review is correct - cluttered plot, overblown.

    Publishers weekly review is correct - cluttered plot, overblown..... I found this  difficult to wade through.  Could not wait to finish reading this, and not in a good way!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2013

    I also look at life differently after reading this book. Very th

    I also look at life differently after reading this book. Very thought provoking, as  I have continued to think about this book long after reading.  I would have given 5 stars, but I was a little confused about the end.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2012

    Poor read

    Very violent and graphic and in my opinion unnecessary. Not worth reading and not sure why it was written.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    The subject and plot for this story was extremely unique. I'd li

    The subject and plot for this story was extremely unique.
    I'd like to give it 3-1/2 stars. With so many characters and their interwoven lives, it
    could be difficult to follow at times, but the over-arching message was thought-provoking.
    This was some heady material, but worth the read if you are willing to invest the time.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 2, 2012

    This novel was previously published as "Forgiving Ararat&qu

    This novel was previously published as "Forgiving Ararat" by Gita Nazareth.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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