Bethany House Publishers
Imagine a fear, a notion, so intense that you know you need to run. Imagine dragging yourself instinctively through dangerous mountains and treacherous waters to safety, not sure of where you are. Now imagine that not only do you not know where you are, but who you are. In Kristen Heitzmann’s Freefall, Jade, later identified as the newly risen star, Gentry Fox, encounters these exact thoughts, feelings, and experiences.
Freefall will capture readers with its intensity, honesty, and believability. Heitzmann emphasizes the importance of these attributes throughout her novel. Her use of Gentry’s traumatic memory loss as a tool to lead us through every page, to give us important glimpses into the story, is phenomenal. A simple anecdote or experience tells us everything necessary about Gentry and her relationships with those around her.
The relation of one character to another deeply impacts the plotline as a whole. (It is evident that Heitzmann understood the importance of character bonding when she wrote Freefall.) Cameron, “Kai,” and Gentry develop such a natural and connected relationship, overcoming their past and present, that we could easily meet them at the restaurant down the road or the church on the corner. The detail so meticulously put into every character and every scene allows us to identify with, and truly understand, the characters Heitzmann has brought to life.
When Gentry Fox awakens in the mountains of Kauai, she has no idea who she is. She experiences severe pain, and she knows nothing beyond her need for safety. In order to find that safety, she walks with determination to the nearest home, which belongs to a Hawaiian local named Monica. When Monica sees this downtrodden young woman approaching her yard, she fears that once again someone has come to her to find peace but then will pass on to a better life. Despite this fear, she lets Gentry in, and she calls her brother, a fraud investigator, to help identify her. With the presence of Cameron comes some of Gentry’s memory; at first, just enough for her to remember that she was not traveling alone. In time, more and more of her memories open up. As they reveal themselves and events unfold, Gentry realizes that someone was out to kill her uncle, whether or not she was in the line of fire.
The reality of the characters throughout Freefall adds an element of closeness, a bond with the readers. The bond allows readers to view Cameron, Gentry, Monica, and all of the other characters as personal friends—not as fictional people only existing on paper. Heitzmann uses flaws and setbacks that we are all familiar with in our own lives to help us relate to the characters’ lives. They have broken hearts, broken families, and even broken bodies. The characters experience and overcome real issues, through which they encourage others to do the same.
Kristen Heitzmann will engage your heart, mind, and spirit with this well-written novel. A blend of drama, mystery, romance, and humor, Freefall satisfies the yearnings of many different types of readers. Whether folks read avidly or infrequently, for education or entertainment, all will be swept away by this incredible book. – Heather Nash, Christian Book Previews.com
When a young woman stumbles out of the Hanalei Mountains on the island of Kauai with no memory of who she is or how she got there, Cameron Pierce reluctantly agrees to investigate the mysterious circumstances surrounding her arrival. As pieces begin to fall into place, he suspects her injuries were no accident, but he’s far from convinced she’s an innocent victim. And there’s that nagging feeling he’s seen her somewhere before.... Now known as Jade, the woman begins to recall fragments of what led her to this place, and she realizes the danger isn’t over. Jade and the cynical Hawaiian investigator attempt to reconstruct the threads of her identity, but the stakes are far higher than either expected.