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Freefall    by Jessica Barry order for
by Jessica Barry
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Freefall by first-time novelist Jessica Barry introduces mother Maggie Carpenter and daughter Allison who have been alienated for almost two years after a family tragedy. Allison survives a plane crash while the small plane-pilot, Allison's fiancÚ, pharmaceutical CEO Ben Gardner, does not.

Realizing that she is in for a long trek, Allison gathers what she can carry and begins an arduous journey over a mountain. Allison is sure that Ben was involved in some nefarious scheme to make large amounts of illegal money. She fears that others might be involved and are looking for her to prevent her from going to authorities. She feels she must not be found, that her life is in danger!

In the meantime, Maggie is devastated to have lost Allison, whom she believes has perished in the crash. Her body, however was not found. Maggie is determined to find what Allison had been doing for the last two years. The last time Allison saw her mother and father, Maggie was doing something that Allison could never forgive.

Freefall tells its tale by jumping from one of the two women to the other, chapter by chapter. Barry does this so smoothly that the reader never has to check back to previous pages to keep the story flowing. Maggie suffers the anguish of not knowing where her daughter is and knowing that what she did drove Allison from her. Allison made a new life for herself which has apparently fallen apart. Readers quickly identify with the two women.

As Allison struggles from the mountain, we join her footstep by footstep. As Maggie tries to discover her daughter's last days, we admire her determination to find traces of the child she never expects to see again, though she won't give up trying. With suspense, intrigue, and possible murder, Freefall is a definite thriller. It reminds us that women are strong and capable of whatever task is put before them.

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