Freefall by Jessica Barry (ARC Review)

Freefall by Jessica Barry
Publisher: Harper Books (January 8, 2019)
Description from the publisher:
When her fiancĂ©’s private plane crashes in the Colorado Rockies, Allison Carpenter miraculously survives. But the fight for her life is just beginning. For years, Allison has been living with a terrible secret, a shocking truth that powerful men will kill to keep buried. If they know she’s alive, they will come for her. She must make it home.
In the small community of Owl Creek, Maine, Maggie Carpenter learns that her only child is presumed dead. But authorities have not recovered her body—giving Maggie a shred of hope. She, too, harbors a shameful secret: she hasn’t communicated with her daughter in two years, since a family tragedy drove Allison away. Maggie doesn’t know anything about her daughter’s life now—not even that she was engaged to wealthy pharmaceutical CEO Ben Gardner, or why she was on a private plane.
As Allison struggles across the treacherous mountain wilderness, Maggie embarks on a desperate search for answers. Immersing herself in Allison’s life, she discovers a sleek socialite hiding dark secrets. What was Allison running from—and can Maggie uncover the truth in time to save her?

Thrillers are not normally my go-to genre, but the description and buzz around this debut novel had me intrigued. I'm really glad I picked it up, as it was a perfect way to kick off the year in books: engaging and fast paced!
The plane crash Allison survives hooked me into the book immediately, and Barry does an excellent job of 'show, don't tell' as we gain clues about her life, which become increasingly sinister and sordid, and the circumstances in which she finds herself. There is a good deal of food for thought on feminism, and how women often find their worth tied up in beauty that gave the story more heft.
Meanwhile, her mother Maggie's storyline stuttered a bit in the beginning. However, I am a sucker for a dual narration and I warmed to her as the author lent a good deal of authenticity with her inner thoughts on motherhood and grief.

"Being the mother of a grown child seemed to be a twinned experience, simultaneously loving the person she had become with all your soul while mourning everything she had not."

I turned the pages furiously to reach the conclusion of this story. Even though I was able to piece together a few twists, I was surprised at several turns and rather satisfied with how the ending came together. It was well plotted had a very cinematic feel. I wouldn't be surprised (and sorta hope) that this will inevitably become a film. Now I am thinking about perhaps picking up some more thrillers that I've noted had similar buzz, since I enjoyed this one a great deal - definitely recommend.
Many thanks to the folks at Harper Books for a complimentary advance copy in exchange for my honest review! 


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