Adam Hamdy’s Freefall, the second book in a planned trilogy, is solid but doesn’t quite live up to the hype created by the first book, Pendulum.
Set eight months after the ending of Pendulum, Freefall opens with an emotional, heart-breaking scene that shows Sylvia Greene, a newspaper editor, follow through with her plan to hang herself. It’s haunting and painful, and Hamdy writes the heck out of it, though readers are left wondering why, exactly, the woman killed herself.
Meanwhile, journalist John Wallace has accepted an extended assignment in Afghanistan, where he’s laying low and still healing from the wounds — most of them emotional scars — caused by the events that took place in the last book. His thoughts are never too far from his old nemesis, Pendulum. He is, for all intents and purposes, a tormented man searching for answers and looking for an escape. Whatever peace he’d hoped to find in Afghanistan alludes him, and soon he finds himself up against an assassin who nearly succeeds in taking his life.
Hamdy offers the first twist of the book when it’s revealed that the assassin sent to kill Wallace has a connection to Pendulum, which stuns the main character. Not knowing where else to turn, Wallace reaches out to FBI agent Christine Ash for help. The two begin investigating a string of brutal murders, chasing leads and following clues, all of which leads to a group calling themselves the Foundation, a secret organization of powerful men and women who have agents in place all across the globe.
As Wallace and Ash plot their attack against the rogue cabal who’s successfully infiltrated the highest levels of governments around the world, they quickly discover that even in their worst nightmares, neither of them had a clue as to what they were truly up against.
Adam Hamdy is a prolific writer. I mean, he can really, really write. The way he’s able to mix deceit, corruption, and murder into the free-flowing story is quite impressive, as is his character development that builds on the success of Pendulum. The first couple hundred pages are top-notch, which makes the slight decline in the second act a real head-scratcher. The second half of the book isn’t altogether bad, but it does feel slightly rushed as if the author lost his focus for a moment before regaining it at the book’s end.
Solid, but not a game-changer. . . still, readers will enjoy Freefall and look forward to seeing how Adam Hamdy brings his trilogy to a close next time out.
Author: Adam Hamdy
Series: John Wallace #2
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Release Date: June 5, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 6.5/10
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.