Nancy Mehl’s third book in The Quantico Files, Free Fall, has released and (I believe) wraps up the story of FBI profilers Alex Donovan and Logan Hart. This book should come with a warning that you’ll have the song “Bicycle Built for Two” in your head for days. 🙂
What at first seems like a somewhat simple missing person’s case for Alex and Logan turns into a search for a serial kidnapper and–most likely–murderer. As Alex focuses on profiling the person responsible for a woman’s disappearance, Logan deals with a personal crisis. Both ponder the wisdom of telling the other how they feel about their relationship.
There were a number of things I liked about the book: the suspense, of course; the creepiness of the “dates;” the seriousness of Logan’s problem (no spoilers); the push/pull of the relationship; and even the scenes from the point-of-view of the intrepid missing woman, Tracy. They all added suspense and made the story into a “must find out” page turner. Good job!
If not for a couple of issues, though, I’d give this story a full five stars.
First, I think to be classified a Christian book, it should reflect a Christian worldview and characters who renew, discover, or struggle to live out their faith. This book has all that in spades. But, for me, that was the problem. While I want to see the characters grow spiritually, I felt that aspect was overplayed and leaned into being unrealistic. Someone else would consider the faith thread to be perfect. So take my opinion for what it’s worth to you. Otherwise, the theme of trusting God in times of trouble is a great one.
Second, the ending was rushed. Free Fall is one of the few Nancy Mehl books with a somewhat strong romantic thread. Yet, at the end, that ever-important proclamation scene was missing, a scene I wanted to read. Also, the bad-guy takedown was a bit anticlimactic as far as the speed in which it was done. As a writer, I understand the necessity for word counts, but another 5-10 pages of a detailed wrap up on both counts would have provided a more satisfying ending for me. On the plus side, there was a great cliffhanger to that takedown scene.
Overall, it’s a winner, but the rushed ending knocked my stars down to 4.4.