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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Try Not to Breathe

ISBN: 9781101885864

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 2/23/2016

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 4 Stars

For fans of Gillian Flynn, Laura Lippman, and Paula Hawkins comes Holly Seddon's arresting fiction debut—an engrossing thriller full of page-turning twists and turns, richly imagined characters, and gripping psychological suspense. Some secrets never die. They're just locked away. Alex Dale is lost. Destructive habits have cost her a marriage and a journalism career. All she has left is her routine: a morning run until her body aches, then a few hours of forgettable work before the past grabs hold and drags her down. Every day is treading water, every night is drowning. Until Alex discovers Amy Stevenson. Amy Stevenson, who was just another girl from a nearby town until the day she was found after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for fifteen years, forgotten by the world. Who, unbeknownst to her doctors, remains locked inside her body, conscious but paralyzed, reliving the past. Soon Alex's routine includes visiting hours at the hospital, then interviews with the original suspects in the attack. But what starts as a reporter's story becomes a personal obsession. How do you solve a crime when the only witness lived, but cannot tell the tale? Unable to tear herself away from uncovering the unspeakable truth, Alex realizes she's not just chasing a story—she's seeking salvation. Shifting from present to past and back again, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer until its heart-stopping conclusion. The result is an utterly immersive, unforgettable debut. Advance praise for Try Not to Breathe “A razor-sharp, fast-paced plot and wonderfully complex characters . . . Not since The Girl on the Train have I been so captivated by a work of suspense.” —New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen

My Review

A special thank you to Random House, LiraryThing Early Reviewers, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Holly Seddon delivers a powerful debut TRY NOT TO BREATHE --two women connect under extraordinary circumstances, each fighting for a second chance as they overcome tragedy and loss. Amy Stevenson was only fifteen years old when she was attacked, leaving her in a coma. A girl with everything to live for. Two best friends and a boyfriend. She had taken the long way home. She was still a virgin until this night. The attacker was never found and now years later, she is pretty much in a vegetative state in a hospital. Amy had a secret. The ongoing mystery, why her ex-boyfriend Jacob, still secretly visits Amy daily. Alex Dale is a young journalist. She has her demons which have pretty much destroyed her career. Her battle with alcohol. Alcohol had ruined her marriage and it had been nearly two years since the divorce. At least once a week she planned her own death, drafting a farewell letter to Matt and the child she’d never planned, the child she would now never have. She finds out about Amy and is intrigued by her story. These patients at Bramble Ward had their lives –they were still in there somewhere. Very few ever recover. Alex had a story and it was far more interesting than the one she had been sent to write. They are the same age. She could not shake the thought of Amy. Who had left school one day and never made it home. She had grown up thirty minutes from Amy. She had been the biggest news story of 1995, lying in a human archive. When Alex asked her detective ex-husband Matt for help, he is not happy; however, agrees to provide her with some documents to further her investigation. He still does not trust her. He is getting married to someone else and having a baby- to further depress Alex. There are many secrets and lies. Someone visits Amy daily in secret. Amy may be able to communicate; however, she could name the attacker? Alex is determined to uncover who did this to Amy and why? She needs Amy’s help do so and Amy needs Alex’s support and determination. We flash back and from Amy and Alex, as we get tidbits of Amy’s life before the attack. Readers also learn of Alex’s continuous struggle with alcohol. However, will both women find strength in one another, as they battle to rise above their circumstances? The more Alex becomes personally involved in Amy’s case, the more determined she is to attain justice for her, and at the same time, Amy saves Alex. Two women are afraid to face the truth alone. However, in the process she crosses dangerous territory. Seddon slowly unravels the layers of the mystery, while delving into honest flawed human emotion, fears, despair, and addiction for a compelling suspense. Redemption. –loved the epilogue. Looking forward to reading more from the newfound author.

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About the Author

I write novels under cover of darkness.My first book, Try Not To Breathe, will be published in the UK and Commonwealth by Corvus (Atlantic), in Germany by Heyne (Random House) and in America by Ballantine Books (Random House), dates TBC.I’m represented by the awesome Nicola Barr at Greene & Heaton.I’ve been in love with the online world since I first dialled up to the internet and looked at Red Dwarf quotes on a fansite (that was 1995).

What a dork.In 2003, I helped launch an online community for Adoption UK, which won Charity Website of the Year just nine months later. The experience shaped me and the community is still one of my proudest achievements. My book, Adoption and Fostering: A Parent’s Guide, was published in 2008.Back in 2003, I also launched my own music website, Muso’s Guide, from the kitchen of my tiny house. Unfortunately I’m too old and square to run it editorially anymore, and I passed it on to the next generation at the end of 2012. Since 2005, I’ve been privileged to work in some amazing online newsrooms (including Daily Mail and The Sun) and written features on everything from colonic irrigation (straight up) to robot butlers.

As a freelance writer, I have been published on national newspaper websites, magazines and leading consumer websites. From 2010 to 2012, I wrote Mumblings an irreverent column on motherhood for award-winning Vine magazine. Website Twitter

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