Freefall by Jessica Barry ~ Survival Suspense Thriller @jessbarryauthor #AudiobookReview

Author: Jessica Barry

Performed by Karissa Vackers, Hillary Huber, MacLeod Andrews

Category: Psychological Thriller, Suspense, Mystery, Audiobook, Review

Published by Random House and released on Audible February 2019

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.

The story opens with Allison Carpenter, injured and alone on a mountain. She survived the plane crash in the Rockies that killed her fiancé, but everyone assumes she also died.

Gathering together a few essentials, she knows her only chance is to keep moving and stay ahead of whoever is after her. This is apparent almost from the start, with the occasional chapter from an unknown man. Allison knows too much and has come too far to fail and now her life is on the line. Her battle for survival against the wild terrain and unpredictable weather, with the barest of supplies, begins.

I feel sick with fear. I want, very badly, to lie back on the bank of grass and let my heavy eyelids close. I wonder what it will be like to die. Will it be like the tilt and drop of sleep? Will there be light to follow, or just the dark?

Meanwhile Maggie, Allison’s mother, is being informed of her daughter’s death and, even though they haven’t found her body, the investigators are certain she couldn’t have survived the crash. Maggie is devastated. She and Allison have been estranged since Allison’s father died two years ago. Maggie has no idea of the life her daughter has been leading or that she was engaged to a successful businessman. Unable to accept the investigators’ verdict, Maggie sets out to find out all she can in order to understand her daughter’s life during the past two years.

“All right. All right.” My mind kicked into gear. My baby was missing in the mountains. Scared and alone and maybe hurt. But not dead. “What can I do to help? We get a search party together, right? Should I make calls? Fly out?”

Told in alternating chapters from Allison’s and Maggie’s perspectives, a picture gradually forms giving an insight into the mother/daughter relationship, as well as revealing Allison’s past through flashbacks. The survival aspect of the story, not surprisingly, has the most action and is set against the emotional drama of a mother’s grief and search for answers, totally unprepared for what she is about to discover. 

The convoluted plot, rife with corruption, deceit and betrayal, is well paced with short chapters keeping up the momentum and tension building progressively. The underlying corruption thread is sadly believable. There are moments when belief has to be suspended but apart from that it’s a very good debut. I certainly didn’t expect the surprise twist.

The combination of narrators worked well, giving Allison and Maggie their own individual voices, although sometimes I wanted to speed up Maggie’s sections, and adds the menace of the man following Allison.

Book links ~ Amazon UK | Amazon US

About the Author

Jessica Barry is a pseudonym for an American author who grew up in a small town in Massachusetts and was raised on a steady diet of library books and PBS. She attended Boston University, where she majored in English and Art History, before moving to London in 2004 to pursue an MA from University College London. She lives with her husband, Simon, and their two cats, Roger Livesey and BoJack Horseman.

  Author links ~ GoodreadsTwitter

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