Saturday, August 20, 2016

Suspicious Airplane Crash, Feisty Investigative Reporter: FREE FALL from Rick Mofina Hits the Thriller Buttons

Rick Mofina's FREE FALL is the fourth in his Kate Page series (1, Whirlwind; 2, Full Tilt; 3, Every Second; 4. Free Fall), and should absolutely not be read during high-speed travel!

With 18 books under his belt, Mofina's a pro at pacing his thrillers and picking out the areas where readers will echo the disturbance and mounting fear in the story, thanks to ordinary experiences we've all had: hearing the airplane captain talk about oncoming turbulence, reading a report of a bus with mechanical malfunctions, realizing how rapidly today's trains take the curves of the tracks.

This time, Mofina places journalist Kate Page in a frightening position personally as well: A hostile internal takeover of the newsroom at the paper where she works is threatening her reputation and her job. When Kate hears the police scanner report a jet landing with a mysterious malfunction, she almost gets the entire story stolen from her. Malicious colleagues want her slot. She knows darn well she's good -- and that she's given a piece of her soul to each major story and the victims she's interviewed. Can she be forced out?

Luckily, the just-in-time return to Newslead of a former boss who knows Kate's skills gives her a chance to jump back into the story. Her investigations soon have her chasing across the country to pull together tips, interviews, and enormous possibilities, in collaboration with the very worried FBI agents on the case.

Mofina's pace is rapid, and FREE FALL reads best if it's not interrupted often. His writing has earned praise from Michael Connelly and Tess Gerritsen, although it differs from both of these -- closer to an early James Patterson. No need to read the books in sequence, although, as always, it's a good way to appreciate a character's growth (and the author's). This one is from MIRA; Mofina is himself a former crime reporter, and I'm betting he has a dozen or more plots already spinning for sequels!

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