Freefall: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This is not your typical mother-daughter story. Maggie and her daughter Allison have been estranged for two years. Allison left her childhood home in Maine upon the death of her father, and Maggie had not heard a word of her until the news came that Allison had been one of two people to have crashed in a private plane in the Rockies. Allison's body had not been recovered. Why not? Maggie works from her end to try to learn the details of Allison's life once she left home. Allison, on her part, did survive the crash but now needs to survive long enough to reach her mother before Maggie uncovers secrets that will get an attempt made on her life as well. The story builds to a race-against-time tense conclusion. Jessica Barry is the pseudonym for an American author now working in publishing. Whoever she is, she is talented and writes gripping novels.

— Sandy

January 2019 Indie Next List

“There used to be a carnival ride where you would stand against a wall and as and the ride spun faster and faster, the floor would drop out but the force of the spin would keep you pinned to the wall. I got the same feeling when reading Jessica Barry’s Freefall. The plot moved faster and faster until I felt myself holding my breath, right up until the final page. Clear your schedule and order takeout before you start this thriller!”
— Mary O'Malley , Anderson's Bookshop (La Grange), La Grange, IL



Entertainment Weekly | USA Today | Parade | Cosmopolitan | New York Post | PopSugar | Goodreads

“Jessica Barry’s Freefall is not only an enthralling, impossible-to-put down mystery that keeps the pages flying, but it is also a gorgeous, resonant tale of a mother’s unconditional love for her daughter. I could not recommend this more!”
   — Aimee Molloy, New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Mother

“An absorbing treat.” – PEOPLE Magazine

“The corporate malfeasance and shady conspiracies of John Grisham, with the frank feminism of two rounded female protagonists.” — Entertainment Weekly

They say your daughter is dead.

You know they’re wrong.

When her fiancé’s private plane crashes in the Colorado Rockies, everyone assumes Allison Carpenter is dead.

But Maggie, Allison’s mother back home in Owl Creek, Maine, refuses to believe them. Maggie knows her daughter – or she used to, anyway. For the past two years, the two women have been estranged, and while Maggie doesn’t know anything about Ally’s life now – not even why she was on a private plane to begin with – she still believes in her girl’s strength, and in their love for each other.

As Allison struggles across the treacherous mountain wilderness, Maggie embarks on a desperate search for answers about the world Allison has been involved in. What was she running from? And can Maggie uncover the truth in time to save her?

Told from the perspectives of a mother and daughter separated by distance but united by an unbreakable bond, Freefall is a heart-stopping, propulsive thriller about two tenacious women overcoming unimaginable obstacles to protect themselves and the ones they love.


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.


Praise For…

“Jessica Barry’s Freefall is not only an enthralling, impossible-to-put down mystery that keeps the pages flying, but it is also a gorgeous, resonant tale of a mother’s unconditional love for her daughter. I could not recommend this more!”
— Aimee Molloy, New York Times bestselling author of The Perfect Mother

“Jessica Barry’s debut novel opens at full throttle and never lets up...Set aside a few hours before you open this book...once you start reading, you won’t want to stop.”

— International Bestselling Author, Karin Slaughter

“Most debut thriller writers would be happy to have one amazing story to tell. Jessica Barry’s come up with two, and the way she weaves them together will have you on the edge of your seat. Freefall is an electric mix of action and emotional drama that never stops, never slows down.”
— Liv Constantine, national bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish

‘A gripping page-turner. Freefall is exactly what a great thriller should be.’

— Renee Knight, International Bestselling author of Disclaimer

“A brilliant, addictive page-turner with sharply drawn, dueling mother-daughter narrators who you will root for and empathize with as they struggle to survive their harrowing present, come to terms with a troubled past and fight to find their way home.” 
— Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and Where They Found Her

“A daring tightrope walk of a novel. Exhilarating, emotional -- a thriller charged with genuine depth and raw power.”
AJ Finn, author of the #1 NYT Bestselling The Woman in the Window

“An absorbing treat.”
— People

“The corporate malfeasance and shady conspiracies of John Grisham, with the frank feminism of two rounded female protagonists.”
— Entertainment Weekly

“Hold on to your hats. Freefall is sure to take one on the ride of a lifetime ... This is a gut-wrenching suspense thriller in which both the mother and daughter’s only thoughts are to endure, reunite, and make amends while taking the reader on a heartrending journey of trepidation and nail-biting apprehension.”
— New York Journal of Books

“This psychological thriller is perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty and Clare Mackintosh.”
— Publishers Weekly

“Written in a fast-paced style, each chapter offers new twists as motives are brought to light and secrets that Allison struggled to hide are revealed. Barry’s debut novel will keep readers guessing to the end, and fans of Lisa Jackson and Lisa Scottoline will enjoy this thriller written with a focus on family relationships...this debut will be everywhere.”
— Booklist

“Pseudonymous author Barry spins a great tale using familiar tropes but adding a surprising amount of heart to the mystery showing the fierce bond between mother and daughter.”
— Library Journal

“This tightly paced thriller also deftly examines the complexity of the mother-daughter bond.”  
— Crime Reads

“A scintillating thriller that breathes life into every word.”
— Independent

Freefall begins as an action-packed/heart-stopping thriller as it logically and smoothly leads into the self-examination of two women estranged from each other but still united by love.”
— Associated Press

“Jessica Barry’s debut novel is not only a thriller but the story of a mother-daughter relationship that fell apart, as so many do, after one misstep. With feelings so raw, neither one reached out until it was almost too late. But bonds formed over so many years ultimately prove unbreakable and the two women come together to save each other in the final moments.”  
— Woman Around Town

“A stunning triumph of both form and function.”
— --Jon Land The Providence Journal

“As Freefall alternates between the two women’s points of view, and between the past and the present, it combines Allison’s suspenseful fight for survival with a mother’s faith in her daughter, something that refuses to be extinguished even when situations turn dire. Pacing is fast, and Allison is resourceful without turning into a superhero in this riveting thriller.”
— Shelf Awareness

“Alternating chapters between the two women, Barry seizes the reader from the first page, slowly raises the temperature—and the tension— to the boiling point, and maintains interest through Allison and Maggie’s physical, emotional and mental journeys. With expert pacing, gradual reveals and cinematic storytelling, Barry scores on multiple levels. She delivers a stunner that even astute thriller fans are unlikely to foresee and offers a fiery read for a frigid night.”
— --The Freelance Star

“Told in alternating chapters, the reader follows Allison as she struggles to survive and stay ahead of a ruthless killer, and Maggie, as she anguishes over her loss and her determination to find out the truth of her daughter’s life and death.  Tension-filled, . . ..  Freefall puzzles together both women’s secrets and their complicated love for each other as it gains speed toward its climax. An excellent debut.”
— Mystery Scene Magazine
Product Details
ISBN: 9780062874832
ISBN-10: 0062874837
Publisher: Harper
Publication Date: January 8th, 2019
Pages: 368
Language: English