cover image Freefall


Adam Hamdy. Quercus, $26.99 (512p) ISBN 978-1-63506-000-3

Hamdy’s unapologetically brutal sequel to 2017’s Pendulum, the second in a trilogy, suffers from middle-book syndrome. London photojournalist John Wallace, who has been on an extended assignment in Afghanistan, narrowly escapes an assassination attempt. In the course of seeking his would-be assassin, Wallace joins forces with FBI agent Christine Ash. Together they follow a trail of vicious killings linked to a seemingly unstoppable clandestine group known as the Foundation, which has operatives in the highest levels of governments around the world. Hamdy has a knack for creating emotionally complex and authentic characters, as well as visually stunning and memorable sequences (like the arresting opening scene, which depicts a newspaper editor’s last moments before she appears to hang herself). But the convoluted story line—which only reveals solid information about the Foundation’s real motives toward the end—quickly becomes tiresome. The disappointing conclusion, essentially a respite before book three, will leave many readers less than thrilled. That Pendulum is being adapted for TV by NBCUniversal International Studios bodes well for the series’ long-term success. Agent: Hannah Sheppard, DHH Literary Agency (U.K.). (June)