Friday, January 18, 2019

Freefall by Jessica Barry

A big thanks to Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this novel. I probably wouldn't have read it otherwise. Sometimes being presented with a book is a good thing; it's nice to have someone else say "Here! Read this!" instead of me always deciding what to read next. 

Freefall is a fast paced novel about a plane crash, a woman's struggle to survive the wilderness, and a mother's struggle to understand the reasons her daughter was on a small plane with her fiancĂ© that crashed in the mountains of Colorado. Told in the voices of Allison and her mother Maggie, the novel has short chapters that lend to the increasing urgency of uncovering the mysteries of Allison's life in San Diego. Back in her hometown of Owl's Creek, Maine, Maggie is grieving over the loss of her daughter and having a hard time believing she's dead, since her body has not been found in the plane wreckage. 

You, as the reader, know Allison survived the crash, and although injured, is moving through the Colorado wilderness in search of safety. She knows someone is after her and wants to kill her. 

The plot unfolds over a few weeks, and I have to give a shout out to the author for making Maggie's former career as a librarian an important part of the plot. Feeling restless and needing answers, Maggie returns to her former library to do some investigating online. As she slowly uncovers bits of Allison's life in San Diego, she has more questions than answers, and her feeling that Allison was involved in something dangerous keeps growing stronger. But was Allison involved in something that puts her mother in danger, too?

There's more to the story, of course. Maggie and Allison haven't spoken to each other for over two years, after Maggie's husband and Allison's father died of colon cancer. Maggie has no idea what Allison's been doing with her life, and while we are on Allison's journey with her, we learn what's happened to her, and the downward spiral her life took after her father died. How did Allison go from a bright, ambitious magazine writer to the brittle, controlled finance of a pharmaceutical genius? Her journey is pretty fascinating, and it's also fascinating to see what Maggie uncovers in her quest to understand her daughter's life. 

This is a pretty good thriller, with plenty of moments of high tension. You'll find yourself cheering Allison on as she doesn't give up, but keeps moving forward. Her reflections on her life, her growing terror that her mother is also in danger, and her transformation from a fragile controlled woman to one of independence and strength are all strong elements of the plot. The bad guys in this novel are definitely bad and ruthless. 

Rating: 5/6 for a thriller that grabs you from the first page and keeps you engaged and rooting for both women. As the plot unfolds, danger creeps closer, and you won't be able to put it down. 

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 


  1. Great review! I had trouble putting this one down, too!

  2. This sounds like a good one, and as a retired librarian, I like the library aspects.