The Fall (Muchamore novel)
First edition cover
|Genre||Children's, Thriller, Spy novel|
|Publisher||Hodder and Stoughton|
|15 March 2007|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|ISBN||ISBN 0-340-91170-0 (first edition, paperback)|
|Preceded by||Man vs Beast|
|Followed by||Mad Dogs|
The Fall is the seventh novel in the CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore. In this novel CHERUB agent James Adams is trapped in Russia before being investigated by the MI5, while his sister Lauren faces danger from human traffickers.
|James' seventh mission|
|Mission controller(s)||Ewart Asker|
|Location(s)||Aero City, Russia|
|Lauren's first solo mission|
|Mission controller(s)||John Jones|
An MI5 operation goes wrong when two agents working with James try to murder their prime suspect, Denis Obidin, and James is trapped in the fictional Aero City in Russia. James is unable to contact campus and when he attempts to steal a phone he is beaten by a group of skateboarders. The skateboarders, having heard of a reward offered for James' capture, call the hotline and within a few minutes one of Obidin's men arrives, pays the skateboarders and arrests James. However, the henchman reveals himself to be an undercover CIA agent, and he takes James back to his flat. After treating James to the best of his ability, he challenges him as to why he was there and why Obidin was killed. When James protests that their intentions were peaceful, he is shown CCTV footage of the murder. The agent lets James call CHERUB campus before he leaves, telling him not to go to sleep at any cost.
Mission controller Ewart Asker arrives and takes James to an airfield where two British service people are to help with their escape. The Russian authorities appear, though, and they are forced to take the couple with them. On the flight, James passes out when air trapped in his broken nose expands due to air pressure changes and the pilot ends up making an emergency landing in Helsinki, Finland. Half a week later, James wakes up in hospital on CHERUB campus to the relief of Lauren and Kerry. However, Ewart and his wife, CHERUB chairwoman Zara Asker, reveal to James that they have been forced to suspend him pending an investigation into the agents' death.
Once he is up and about, James is made to choose between helping junior CHERUBs preparing for basic training or a course in socioeconomics. James chooses the PE training, and is asked to help a red shirt, Kevin Sumner, who is scared of heights. Bruce Norris helps, but breaks his ankle falling from the height course. However, while this freaks James out, Kevin gains confidence and soon decides to try the height course alone. He succeeds, and James is rewarded for his work by having his history GCSE pass guaranteed.
Meanwhile, Lauren gets her first solo mission, a brutal solo mission about human trafficking. Her mission is to befriend Anna, a young Russian girl that is suspected to be a victim of human trafficking. Lauren befriends her immediately.
Meryl Spencer and James' friends get together and organize an outing to celebrate his fifteenth birthday, taking him to a motor carting track and a spa hotel. The cherubs get drunk and James tries to pressure his girlfriend Kerry to have sex with him. She refuses and leaves in tears, but forgives him the next morning.
Lauren begins to befriend Anna, but the two of them are picked up by a human trafficking gang. Lauren tries to resist, but is ultimately captured. She is nearly raped by a paedophile named Keith, but she stabs him with a knife hidden inside her pants. She rallies the other trapped girls but is pepper sprayed. She manages to make a call to her mission controller John Jones. He calls the police and escapes with Lauren.
After a talk with head instructor George Pike, James suspects that Ewart has betrayed him. James is hurt further when Kerry, enraged at him for spilling coffee on her history homework, claims that he screwed his mission. James later asks Kerry to help him investigate, but refuses, so James goes alone. While looking through Ewart's office, James is caught by Dana Smith, another CHERUB agent, who decides to help. From investigating some papers they found in the office, they find out that Ewart has been lying about how much evidence he had. After, Dana admits that she fancies James and they end up kissing. Then it leads to stripping and Dana allows James to see her breasts. However, as things develop Lauren walks in and sees James with Dana's bra in his hand. James tries to wiggle out of trouble by saying it was an accident. Lauren is upset and as James tries to comfort her she says to James that he thinks humping is like eating chips.
The next morning Dana and James take one of the CHERUB's pool cars and follow Ewart who meets an old reporter who used to write stories about Lord Hilton, a rival of Denis Obidin (James' mark from the Russia mission) and uncovered links that suggested that Lord Hilton was having people who endangered his son's political career and his own aeroplane business assassinated. He had arranged for Ewart to be killed but James and Dana saved his life for which Zara is very grateful. She apologises for keeping James in the dark and awards him and Dana the black shirt. By now, James had decided that he wants to date Dana. When the new couple go to dinner, Kerry (who found out about their kiss from Lauren) starts a fight with Dana. A food fight breaks out as James sits there, grinning as the fight erupts around him.
The Fall received an average rating of 4.2⁄5 stars on Goodreads.