Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Book Review: "Free Fall" by Kyle Mills

Mark Beamon is the FBI agent created by Kyle Mills and is the main character in 5 of his 9 books and has to be one of the most interesting fictional characters created. You're never really sure if Beamon is on top of everything or if it's just a bunch of dumb luck. No matter what the case Mark Beamon is the one to turn to when wanting to find someone that can't or doesn't want to be found. Even the FBI top brass that don't like his ignore-the-rules methods, will pick Beamon to be the guy in such a situation.

In this book it seems more of a mix of both dumb luck and some smarts from Beamon that helps find an alleged murderer of a rock climber/government employee. At first tracking the murderer who is an expert rock/ice/mountain climber as well as being the ex-girlfriend of the victime. What at first could be a lover's tryst unfolds before Beamon to be a darker side of the run for the presidency.

Before I get too far ahead of myself in this review, let me first applaud Kyle Mills for creating an edge of your seat thriller that includes his personal passion/obsession of rock climbing. Mills spends his off time rock climbing in his native Wyoming (as well as other prime climbing sites). With 2 successful books under his belt ("Rising Phoenix" and "Storming Heaven") it was time to combine his passions; writing and climbing.

FBI agent, Mark Beamon is being held accountable for some leaked wiretappings that incriminate several prominent political figures. The recordings were discovered in his previous case and somehow leaked into the media. While he did not release the tapes, the political elite need a scapegoat and that's what Beamon is best at being. The FBI offers him a deal in which he will do minimal jail time if he confesses. They give him 3 weeks to decide. During that 3 weeks he is suspended. As he prepares for the political machine to mow him over, he breaks it off with his girlfriend so she can move on and not have to be wrapped up in this mess. But being Mark Beamon he can't just do nothing.

Trystan has pretty much given up the free life of rock climbing and is working on a law degree at Georgetown, he gets a job working for the government looking for newly declassified documents. Trystan runs across a file called "Prodigy," in which the Hoover era of the FBI kept tabs on promising upstarts in order to use against them in case they became too powerful, Kennedy is one such person that would fall under the Prodigy profile, with his affairs. What Trystan sees in this file is so amazing that he risks his job and takes the document from the storage house to hide somewhere.

Enter Darby Moore, the world class female climber, pop philosopher, Trystan's friend and once girlfriend. She convinces Trystan to go rock climbing for the weekend. During the night of the climb Trystan and Darby are abducted by men looking for the file. Trystan is injured, but he and Darby escape. They split up and plan to meet back up to evade their unknown pursuers. When Darby returns to her van the next morning she finds it surrounded by police and the body of Trystan hanging out of the van.

Turns out that 3rd party presidential candidate David Hallorin wants that file to use the information to guarantee his election bid. Now Darby is wanted for the murder of Trystan and is pursued by all the law enforcement agencies and Hallorin's men.

Someone wants Darby found and wants her found fast, and since the best man to do the job is not busy, Mark Beamon is hired by an unknown person and promised enough payment to cover his legal fees and get out of the frame job from the FBI.

So the adventure begins with Mark Beamon trying to track down a woman who can live in the mountains and not be dependent on society, while at the same time finding more and more that Darby is also being framed. To find out why he has to find Darby Moore.

The thrill of the chase and the constant twists and turns are what Kyle Mills is good at writing and he doesn't let off with this book. The descriptions of some of the climbs and the struggles made my knuckles turn white.

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