With the holiday season past us, it’s now a great time to bundle up in a bulky sweater, blanket or, let’s face it, a snuggie and settle down with a good book. Many people tend to feel the winter blues around this time and why not escape a little bit into someone else’s thoughts for a bit? The Trial of Fallen Angels by James P. Kimmel Jr. is a novel about what happens when our physical life is over and we move beyond this world. Most of us have some idea of what we would like to happen once we go, whether we believe in Heaven and Hell, Purgatory, Reincarnation or the cessation of existence. James Kimmel Jr. asks us to believe that we may have to not only deal with our own afterlife, but fight for that of those around us. It’s an intriguing premise and one that kept me interested throughout the book.

Brek Cuttler, a lawyer, wife and mother in life, begins the novel in her afterlife, where she finds out that she will now be in charge of helping others meet their afterlife fate. If it were not complex enough, the people that she meets in this new “career” are tied to her in compelling, unexpected ways that overwhelm Brek and threaten her peace in the afterlife. Brek attempts to discover how she died and what has happened to her family following her demise and the tone of the book is tense and well-paced.

At the end of the novel, I found myself continuing to consider Brek’s situation as well as my own thoughts on the afterlife. When Brek discovers the truth about her afterlife mission, the twist in the novel is well worth the wait and left me curious as to my own beliefs and how I might have responded in a similar situation. This is not an easy beach read. No, it is a fleshy read full of what-ifs that will have you considering your own future.

Not bad for a mid-winter leap.