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Martha’s Vineyard Books In Order

Publication Order of Martha’s Vineyard Books

Fall From Grace (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Loss of Innocence (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Eden in Winter (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Martha’s Vineyard is a series of psychological mystery thrillers from Richard North Patterson which follows the exploits of the Blaine family as they struggle to make sense of a life-changing tragedy.

+The Story
When readers first meet Adam Blaine in ‘Fall From Grace’, the first novel in the series, the hero is a man whose life has begun to unravel.

Adam was a CIA operative based in Afghanistan. As complicated as his espionage work got, though, it pales in comparison to the chaos that assaults the character when he first arrives on Martha’s Vineyard, a New England Island.

Adam is forced to return home when his father, Ben Blaine dies. Ben was famous for all sorts of reasons. He was a charismatic writer who led the Blaine clan with a firm hand. People also knew him for his all-consuming passion for the good things in life, not just the wine and the sailboats but also the women.

To the outside world, the Blaine family could not have been more perfect. But Adam knew better, and when he makes his obligatory appearance at his father’s funeral, the rigors of his childhood come rushing back.

Clarice, Ben’s wife, was well aware of his sexual proclivities. But she turned a blind eye to her husband’s affairs because she wanted to maintain their sham of a marriage and the solid image their friends and neighbors saw when they looked at the family.

Only Adam’s uncle and his brother Teddy saw the misogyny and ego that drove Ben’s life. Only his closest and dearest knew Ben for the horrible man he had become.

So when Adam comes home, he isn’t particularly shocked to learn that not only is Ben dead but he gave most of his fortune to the enigmatic Carla, a television personality and his mistress.

Yet the death of their patriarch is only the start of the Blaine family’s trials. Adam finds evidence suggesting that his father might have been murdered. And unfortunately, the police are not too far behind.

And the fact that the entire family was disinherited in Ben’s will tells Adam that the police will more than likely turn an accusing finger at his mother and siblings.

The Martha’s Vineyard series, also known as the Blaine Trilogy, initially focuses on Adam Blaine’s attempts to control the wave of chaos that arises in the wake of his father’s death.

Adam takes it upon his shoulders to resolve his father’s murder, using his CIA training to collect clues, interview suspects and solve the mystery at hand. The protagonist also works quite hard to obscure the investigation into his family, certain that none of them had anything to do with Ben’s death and making it his duty to impede the work of the police until the real killer is caught.

Adam also fights to protect the family’s fortune, having determined that Carla, the mistress could not be allowed to gain control over the Blaine estate.

Over the course of Adam’s investigation, many secrets come to light, secrets that leave the Blaine family even more broken. The first novel is often categorized as mystery suspense because the murder investigation surrounding Adam’s father drives the plot.

The sequel changes things completely. ‘Loss of Innocence’ is a prequel. It takes readers back to the 1960s. There, readers meet a young and ambitious but mostly underprivileged Benjamin Blaine as he arrives on Martha’s Vineyard and forces his way into the life of a young, sophisticated, impressionable lady.

‘Loss of Innocence’ is more family drama than anything because it is primarily concerned with adding new layers to the character of Ben Blaine.

The third novel in the trilogy finally gets the story back on track. It deals with the aftermath of Ben’s death and the consequences of the revelations that emerged in the first book.

Adam returns to the spotlight as he continues fighting to keep his family out of prison. However, the hero’s work is further complicated by his burgeoning relationship with Carla, his dead father’s mistress.

The Martha’s Vineyard novels generally draw mixed reactions. Some people love the intricacy of the Blaine family drama, the layers surrounding the characters and the investigative effort that goes into revealing all the lies and secrets.

Other people think the books are too slow. Very little happens and too much time is spent providing dense information dumps.

+The Author
Richard North Patterson is an American author of fiction that begun his adult life as an attorney. Patterson attended Ohio Wesleyan University and the Case Western Reserve University.

His foray into fiction writing came during his stint at the University of Alabama in Birmingham. Patterson wrote a short story that a magazine published. This achievement encouraged him to write a novel which won an Edgar Allan Poe Award.

+Fall From Grace
Ben Blaine’s death was as mysterious as it was violent. Now his son, Adam, has come to the Island of Martha’s Vineyard to attend the funeral. Adam and his father did not get along. To the outside world, Ben was just another charismatic writer with a love for the good things in life.

To the people who knew him best, Ben was sexist and egotistical and he loved women a little too much. When evidence proving that Ben was murdered emerges, Adam realizes that his family might suffer the consequences.

Ben left all his money to his mistress, so it would only be natural for the police to look at Adam’s mother and siblings as prime suspects. Adam tries to use his CIA training to protect his family from the probing of the police even as he attempts to find the real killer.

+Loss of Innocence
It was 1968 and Whitney had everything she could possibly want. She was smart, educated and rich. And she was about to marry the man of her dreams. But then they migrated to Martha’s Vineyard to escape the unrest in the city and everything changed.

Whitney met Benjamin Blaine, an underprivileged but ambitious figure who suddenly moved in next door and began to awaken Whitney’s sexual curiosity, unaware of the drastic consequences his actions would have on both of their lives.

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