Sunday, January 13, 2019

Book Review: "Freefall" by Jessica Barry

I don't know about you, but sometimes when I'm reading a book, something about the title triggers a song (or even two) in my brain, something that keeps running through my head the entire time. Needless to say, I was glad I devoured Jessica Barry's Freefall in one day, because I don't know if I could have handled Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" running through my head longer than that! (If it gets stuck in your head, you're welcome.)

"Here are the facts: I am alone. I am on a mountain. The plane I was on has crashed. My body is covered in bruises and cuts and my left leg has a wound that will soon become infected if I don't clean it. My finger is strained or broken and quickly swelling. I have very little food and water. The sun is still high but it will be dark in a few hours and my only shelter is a twisted hulk of metal that could, at any minute, explode."

Allison Gardner survived the crash of her fiancé's plane in the Colorado Rockies. But even though she is battered and bruised, she knows the last thing she can do is wait at the crash site for someone to rescue her. If they know she's alive, they will find her and kill her. She has to force herself to get as far away from the crash as possible, because she's come too far to die now.

When Allison's mother, Maggie, learns that Allison is presumed dead, she is devastated, confused, and shocked. She and Allison have been estranged since a family tragedy two years ago, so she had no idea why Allison would be on a private plane, nor was she even aware that Allison was engaged, much less to the handsome CEO of a successful pharmaceutical firm. Maggie wants to understand the woman her daughter became in the two years since they've spoken, and the more she starts digging into things, the more she realizes things in Allison's life weren't what they seemed.

Two headstrong women are determined to succeed, Allison in trekking across the mountains in order to find a safe place to hide before she is found, Maggie in uncovering the secrets no one is telling her about Allison's life the last two months. Maggie has no idea of the danger her daughter was in, and has no idea of the risks she is taking looking for answers.

Freefall alternates in narration between Allison and Maggie, and most of Allison's chapters flash back to her life before getting on that plane, and why she needs to keep alert and keep going. It's a fascinating, fast-moving story that has some twists you can see coming if you've read any thrillers, but some twists surprise you. Barry keeps you hooked on both of their stories, and keeps you hoping that both women will be successful in their quests.

I really enjoyed this book, and as I mentioned, I read nearly the entire thing in one sitting. Barry has a great talent for teasing out the suspense and unfurling secrets little by little, almost in real time as Maggie starts looking into what happened to Allison. This was a great thriller for a snowy day, and I look forward to seeing what Barry comes up with next!


  1. Not a Petty fan? I had to turn Only Love Can Break Your Heart spine-in on the shelf after having that stuck in my head for a month straight.

  2. I love the song, but after a while of hearing it in my head nonstop it gets a bit draining...