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Jeff Berney
The Fall of Faith
Jeff Berney, author

Lust. Kills.

“The Fall of Faith” is a gritty domestic thriller about lust, love, faith and the consequences of doing whatever it takes to survive.

How far would you go to regain your faith in something bigger than yourself?

That’s the question Jimmy grapples with when his truck breaks down in Eden, Missouri, and he learns the hard way that the isolated little town is nothing like its biblical namesake. As he interacts with the colorful and crazy townsfolk, he soon finds himself falling in love with a local woman while danger closes in on him from every angle.

Will he find love at long last? Will he make it out of Eden alive? Or will he lose his life along with his faith?

Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 7 out of 10
Prose: 7 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 6.75 out of 10


Plot/Idea: This small-town crime thriller presents an interesting premise with a sardonic tone, discomforting encounters, and a fresh twist. Though the pacing can be somewhat sluggish, readers will be invested in the sinister circumstances and the world-weary protagonist.

Prose: The prose is strong, with a fine balance struck between exposition, dialogue, and the protagonist's introspection. Dialogue is energetic and snappy. Moments of uncomfortable humor may jolt some potential readers out of the story.

Originality: Although stories of outsiders encountering danger or potential salvation in an eccentric small town are familiar, Berney brings a unique sensibility to the story, filling the setting and circumstances with visceral unease.

Character/Execution:  Jimmy, a decent man who finds himself thrust into unfamiliar circumstances, is a largely relatable character. The environs of Eden, Missouri are decidedly unsavory and peopled with a cast of deeply flawed individuals. While the primary characters are well-established, some slip into small-town stereotypes, while several female characters may strike readers as oversexualized.  

Date Submitted: April 03, 2023

Indies Today

“Dark, twisted humor punctuates a weirdly gratifying story with brilliant dialogue, unforgettable characters, and several consequential themes. An erratic pace and the stubborn illogic of the scenarios is deliberately disorienting, giving readers a true taste of the ‘Hotel California’ Jimmy has checked into. Yet, even in this baleful ambiance, the author works beauty into tragedy.”

Midwest Book Review

“Berney’s story is anything but the usual genre read. Its characterization, plot progression, and the detailed, realistic atmosphere of Missouri and Kansas that come alive under Berney’s hand lead readers into realms which are entirely unpredictable….Metaphors and insights permeate a tale replete with the unexpected…in a plot that revolves around sin, survival, redemption, and death….highly recommended for readers seeking surprises in powerful writing.”

Online Book Club

“The Fall of Faith by Jeff Berney is a book about love, hidden pains, faith, and friendship. I like how the author used some idioms to express himself….his creative writing skills carried me through the book’s pages and always made it exciting….it was easy for me to picture and feel the emotions.”

The Prairies Book Review

”Dark and addictive…Berney delivers a fine blend of thriller, beguiling romance, mayhem, and human drama in his latest novel….The overarching plot and absorbing narrative voice make this an intriguingly immersive read. Heartbreaking and satisfying at once.”