Freefall by Jessica Barry – review

Published by Harvill Secker

Publication date – 7 March 2019

Source – review copy

Surviving the plane crash is only the beginning for Allison.

The life that she’s built for herself – her perfect fiancé, their world of luxury – has disappeared in the blink of an eye. Now she must run, not only to escape the dark secrets in her past, but to outwit the man who is stalking her every move.

On the other side of the country, Allison’s mother is desperate for news of her daughter, who is missing, presumed dead. Maggie refuses to accept that she could have lost her only child and sets out to discover the truth.

Mother and daughter must fight – for survival and to find their way through a dark web of lies and back to one another, before it’s too late…

Maggie’s daughter Allison was on  a plane that crashed into the mountains. She’s been told there’s no hope of Allison having survived but Maggie won’t be fobbed off. She’s determined to find out the truth behind the accident. Meanwhile Allison emerges from the wreckage and begins the trek towards civilisation, all the while trying to avoid the man stalking her even from the ruins of the plane.

Allison is no longer the person Maggie would recognise. A combination of bad luck and bad choices has meant that Allison has become a person she can barely associate as being her. Her journey back from the plane crash is also a journey back to her old self, though she is not unscathed by the process. Maggie is lost since the loss of her husband. She has not spoken to Allison since his death, over two years earlier. She soon discovers that she doesn’t really know her daughter at all.

I liked that the story switched between Allison and Maggie’s stories. This allowed the narrative to develop in layers, especially as Maggie’s investigations progress. I’ll admit my attention did wander sometimes, particularly on Allison’s parts. I didn’t really warm to her, her poor decision-making had led her to her current situation and so I didn’t feel particularly sorry for her. That said she did redeem herself as the story progressed. I much preferred Maggie’s story. She too was a flawed character yet her flaws came from selfless decisions rather than selfish ones.

The battle for survival is at the heart of this novel. There is the literal survival of Allison, making her way across the country so that she can save herself from the past she is running away from. Then there is the survival of memories and of hope that Maggie wages. She is sure that there is more to the plane crash than appears.

I had guessed what had happened soon into the story. However, the journey on getting to that reveal was an enjoyable one.

An enjoyable thriller. I’ll look out for more books from Jessica Barry in the future.

About the author

Jessica Barry is a pseudonym for an American author who has lived and worked in London for the past fifteen years. Freefall, her debut thriller, has sold in more than seventeen territories around the world and has also secured a major Hollywood film deal.

*I received a copy of the book from the publisher for review purposes. I have not received any payment for reviewing this book*

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