The Fall of San Diego By Liza Djanogly
Liza Del S Sierra’s debut novel, Only Tonight is a fast paced mystery/ suspense story that picks up after the events of The Fall of San Diego. The story begins in the city of Escondido, California where Anna Heymans, an attractive, nineteen-year-old freelance journalist is called away from a family holiday to cover the Republican National Convention in San Diego. Along with her friend and photographer, they also travel to the resort town of Chula Vista, California to interview delegates. Things go bad almost immediately, though when Anna gets a lead on a questionable affair in a hotel room, the two are out of there in the heat of the moment before she realizes something isn’t quite right. Now she’s faced with protecting her career, her reputation, and the future of her son while dealing with a killer from the darkness that wants her gone forever…
I enjoyed this fast paced action/adventure book. I really like the way Del S Santa works in the later portions of the book to build up tension. Sometimes I felt she was stretching out the character of Anna and making her a bit more sympathetic. I especially liked the way she kept adding details to the plot, which added realism and made the story more believable. I especially like how she kept us in suspense throughout the book with Anna’s gradual demise.
I think the biggest disappointment I had with the book was the portrayal of Santa Barbara as a dangerous city. There were many scenes depicting people biking and cruising around on their motor cycles, but at the same time it seemed like most of the violence was taking place off of the beaten path and that wasn’t mentioned. I felt that the depiction of a murder in a fancy hotel was over-done, but then again maybe I’m just being a snob. If you don’t mind a bit of over-jet-lighting, then maybe The Fall of San Diego would interest you.
If you enjoy reading mystery novels, then The Fall of San Diego should interest you. I did, however, find that the ending could have been left a little more open. The book can be a bit confusing at times, so I suggest you read it as you normally would. My suggestion is that if you plan to take this particular title with you when you go to a book club, pick up a copy before you read it so you can compare the cover and scene descriptions.
I found that The Fall of San Diego took me right back to when I was a kid. It seems that Santa Barbara always seems so realistic compared to places I have lived. I especially loved the description of the old RVs. I can remember my parents’ RV parked across the street from our house and my brother and I would spend hours camping out underneath it. That’s a pretty cool touch! I definitely recommend giving The Fall of San Diego a read.
I will probably add The Fall of San Diego to my list of favorite mystery and suspense novels. I am looking forward to reading it again. I am sure I will enjoy The Fall of San Diego just as much as I enjoyed The Necromancer. If I were in a book club, The Necromancer would have been my choice. I think I will also try The Fall of San Diego since I really liked the scenes Djanogly has immortalized. I’m looking forward to seeing where Djanogly takes us next.