Freefall begins in the late 1940’s and spans the 1950’s. The story is set in the small Croatian community of Strawberry Hill, in Kansas City, Kansas and in Kansas City, Missouri. As a descendant of Croatian immigrants, it was important to me to weave that rich heritage into my first novel. I must admit Estelle Prebilica’s life, in Freefall, is a bit more colorful than the lives of my devout great-grandparents and grandparents. But, Freefall is an exciting read, and I believe they would have been proud. Linda Howell Betz
Estelle Prebilica, the daughter of devout Croatian immigrants, is desperate. She’s abandoned the tenets of her strict, old-world upbringing to pursue a forbidden outsider, and now her husband is gone and her parents are dead. With no place to go, she turns to the person she hates most, her mother-in-law—the Madam of a thriving brothel. The naïve teenage mother stumbles headlong into a terrifying journey through the lurid world of organized crime—drugs, prostitution, and murder. Her escape drives her into the arms of the charismatic Jerry Bradley and finally the mysterious Frank Moretti, but is it rescue or a trap more dangerous than the one she left behind? As her life spirals out of control, Estelle drags her innocent children along with her. Can anything stop the fall?