Freefall by Jessica Barry

FreefallFreefall by Jessica Barry
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Freefall is so much like The Wife Between Us and The Last Mrs. Parrish that I can’t give it a higher rating, although it is slightly better than either one. The author has a knack with words and I think she could write something worth reading if she would just apply her talents to something with a decent plot. This is not such a book. The plot is hackneyed, and, as I said, a familiar formula.

The main character, Allison, is a beautiful young woman in a bad place emotionally and financially. A rich, handsome man “saves” her, but a vacuous life of Prada dresses and supercilious “friends” who look down their noses at her turns out not to be the salvation she had hoped for. Prince Charming isn’t what she thought, either. The story begins with a plane crash. Allison survives a crash in the Rocky Mountains. We don’t know the back story at that point, but it slowly unfolds, largely through the narration of Ally’s mother. Mother and daughter have been estranged for years. Each blames herself for the estrangement. From there it becomes sappier and soapier than a week’s worth of daytime TV. One of my chief gripes is present here, too, and that is the totally inaccurate portrayal of law enforcement. Police ignore and dismiss every piece of compelling evidence and they, and their coroners, are all incapable of determining that someone was murdered. The author at least has a mastery of grammar and a good vocabulary, one that appeals to the reader’s intelligence, even though the plot does not. The language descends into the gutter toward the end, too, making the main characters unlikable.

I listened to this on audiobook, and that was a mistake. The multiple readers all overact terribly. The director should be fired. The good people and bad people are instantly recognizable by their venom-dripping sneers and sarcasm or kind words and friendly voices, so there is no suspense. They are all the most implausible stereotypes imaginable.

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