In Free Fall: Book summary and reviews of In Free Fall by Juli Zeh

In Free Fall

A Novel

by Juli Zeh

In Free Fall by Juli Zeh
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2010
    336 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

A rising star who has garnered some of Europe's most important literary prizes, Juli Zeh has established herself as the new master of the philosophical thriller. With In Free Fall, she now takes us on a fast-paced ride through deadly rivalry and love’s infinite configurations.

Against the backdrop of Germany and Switzerland, two physicists begin a dangerous dance of distrust. Friends since their university days, when they were aspiring Nobel Prize candidates, they now interact in an atmosphere of tension, stoked by Oskar's belief that Sebastian fell into mediocrity by having a family. When Sebastian's son, Liam, is apparently kidnapped, their fragile friendship is further tested. Entrusted with uncovering the truth, Detective Superintendent Schilf discerns a web of blackmail, while at the same time the reality of his personal life falls into doubt.

Unfolding in a series of razor-sharp scenes, In Free Fall is a riveting novel of ideas from a major new literary voice. With the recent success of works in translation, such as Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played with Fire, Zeh is poised to take off.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[A] memorable intellectual thriller." - Publishers Weekly

"Though genre purists will find Zeh's bold use of coincidence nothing short of monstrous, readers who can surrender to her radical rewriting of the rules of detective fiction and the physical universe will find it revelatory." - Kirkus Review

"Juli Zeh uses the structure of the detective novel like a composer uses his music book. And into this book she writes, with remarkable consistency, her musical score . . . Here’s a piece of literature that takes the liberty to develop its very own rules, and to impose them upon an obsolete form, coming indeed very close to a musical work in its tenor and thematic variation ... One might think that such perfection, such erudition must leave the reader untouched, bored even ... but it does not. For that, Zeh’s labyrinth is built too cleverly; its corridors are adorned with witty elements; her sentences are of extraordinary brilliance." - Die Welt (Germany)

"In Free Fall is the virtuosic presentation of an amazing narration. Juli Zeh steers through with confidence and ease." - Welt am Sonntag (Germany)

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Juli Zeh's debut novel, Eagles and Angels, won numerous prizes, including the German Book Prize. She has worked at the United Nations in New York and Krakow, and currently lives in Brandenburg. In Free Fall is her second book.

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