... heart-wrenching ... Wilkins, who grew up in rural Montana where this story is set, details the pair’s growing bond and sense of hope with vivid, heartfelt strokes—before, just as powerfully, pulling the rug out from under them.
... propulsive ... Mr. Wilkins charts that course with skill and concision, if perhaps an over-reliance on coincidences. And though he too stresses the persistence of kindness and community, the enduring depiction in Fall Back Down When I Die is of a small-scale civil war pitting towns, neighbors, childhood friends and family members against one another.
Wilkins crafts a subtle, tightly plotted, and slowly unfolding narrative told through three characters’ points of view ... Through these characters, in a prose that can hum gently, then spark like a fire, Wilkins fashions a Western fable which spirals down to a tragic end ... Following in the literary roots of Montanans Jim Harrison and Rick Bass, Wilkins packs a lot of story and stylistic wallop into this gripping, outstanding novel.