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Review – Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Review – Try Not to Breathe by Holly SeddonTry Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon
Published by Ballantine Books on February 23rd 2016
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


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.
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.

Alex Dale stumbles across Amy Stevenson in a routine article on people in vegetative states. Amy disappeared when she was fifteen years old. She was found in a vegetative state. No one knows what happened to her. Alex makes it her mission to find the truth. While she searches she’s battling her own demons of Alcoholism. Will Alex be able to ward off her troubles and help Amy?

In ” an Oyster Shell –  A compelling mystery.

The Pearls –  The writing was concise and clear. The word choices were done in variety. The pace though slow at first picked up to a good steady one. It wasn’t a narrative with a lot of action in it. Yet there was a lot of drama that made up for that.

The POV was the third person. It was set with several POV’s but they never got confusing. It was good to have multiple POV’s in this story because you got more of the story. The POV I found most interesting was Jacob. Jacob was Amy’s old teenage boyfriend. He was instrumental in solving the mystery. Seeing it from his POV made the story a lot more clear.

The mystery was not as much compelling as much as it was interesting. Given that the mystery takes place years before the narrative does. The mystery is told mostly in the backstory. This being the case it was intriguing.

Alex was a great character. She was fatally flawed and had to work through that in the story. Her battle with alcoholism was real and added depth to the story.

That the Author gave Amy a POV in her vegetative state was really interesting. It kind of sold the theory that though fairly non-responsive, there can still be some consciousness of sorts going on.

The Sand – The pacing was a little slow in the beginning.

4 Pearls!

4 Stars

About Holly Seddon

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 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 (Corvus/Atlantic), USA and Canada (Ballantine/Penguin Random House), Australia and New Zealand (Allen & Unwin), The Netherlands (Ambo Anthos) and Germany (Heyne). Coming soon in Russia, Poland, Taiwan, Turkey and Italy.

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