Try Not To Breathe – Holly Seddon

Amy Stevenson was the biggest news story of 1995. Only fifteen years old, Amy disappeared walking home from school one day and was found in a coma three days later. Her attacker was never identified and her angelic face was plastered across every paper and nightly news segment.

Fifteen years later, Amy lies in the hospital, surrounded by 90’s Britpop posters, forgotten by the world until reporter Alex Dale stumbles across her while researching a routine story on vegetative patients.

Remembering Amy’s story like it was yesterday, she feels compelled to solve the long-cold case.

The only problem is, Alex is just as lost as Amy—her alcoholism has cost her everything including her marriage and her professional reputation.

In the hopes that finding Amy’s attacker will be her own salvation as well, Alex embarks on a dangerous investigation, suspecting someone close to Amy.

Told in the present by an increasingly fragile Alex and in dream-like flashbacks by Amy as she floats in a fog of memories, dreams, and music from 1995, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer to a breathtaking conclusion.

For fans of Lianne Moriarty, Paula Hawkins, and Tana French, an arresting debut novel of psychological suspense: a young journalist struggles to keep the demons of her alcoholism at bay as she finds her purpose again in tackling the mystery of a shocking headline-making crime, still unsolved after fifteen years.

My Review: I am not a big fan of comparing books and especially lumping psychological thrillers together under the next “Girl on a Train” genre which is how this book is being hyped. The only similarities I found were several unreliable narrators and 1 barely functioning alcoholic.

Taking all that into account…. I loved this book. I was gripped from the start to to very end and devoured it within 2 days (even waking at 4am this morning to read more). With short chapters it was a case of.. Oh just one more chapter before I sleep/eat/work etc. The author made each characters version of events thrilling and managed to throw in the odd red herring here and there and I didn’t work it out prior to the reveal. A fantastic debut and I look forward to reading more by this author.

My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for allowing me to read this now.

About the Author: Holly Seddon was born and raised in the sleepy south-west of England and now lives slap bang in the centre of Amsterdam with her husband and four children. Throughout her 15-year career, Holly has been privileged to work in some of the UK’s most exciting newsrooms.

TRY NOT TO BREATHE is her first novel, published in the UK

Genre – Mystery / Thriller – Read November 2016

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