THRILLER//Freefall- Jessica Barry*

Against the odds, Allison survives a plane crash- but her fight for survival has only just begun. Meanwhile, her mother Maggie refuses to believe that her daughter has died. Both become entangled in a journey to discover who they can trust- and to find each other before it’s too late.

It’s an interesting premise and one that unfolds through the dual narrative of both Allison and Maggie, as well as through flashbacks through the difficulties the women faced in their relationship after a traumatic event changed everything. The reader is taken through Allison’s attempts to re-build her life and her engagement to a handsome, wealthy CEO. It all reads like a fairytale- but as anyone who’s read the Brothers Grimm knows, there’s always a darker undercurrent just waiting to bite the heroine. 

Allison’s life in particular is the focus here- her progression from the depths of grief and drugs in a seedy bar to the gilded cage of being the future wife of an extremely rich man is explored in contrast to the danger she finds herself as she attempts to survive not only the wild, but someone on her tail determined that she will be silent. After all, what is a beautiful lifestyle worth if it comes on the back of deceit and dishonesty?

This novel feels a bit different from the slew of thrillers we’ve had in the last few years; here women carve out their own survival, rather than being passively at risk from men (although there is an element of this, neither Allison nor Maggie are victims in the way we’ve become used to in a post-‘Girl’ thriller era and both actively choose a path that is risky for the sake of others). It gives me hope that thrillers are evolving and giving readers stronger female protagonists.


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