Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

February 23rd, 2016 Kimberly Review 60 Comments

23rd Feb
Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon
Try Not to Breathe
by Holly Seddon
Genres: Suspense Thriller
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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

twisted SUSPENSE mystery WTF?

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon was an interesting psychological thriller that shares the story of Alex Dale a young journalist who battles alcoholism.  In Try Not to Breathe,  Seddon delivered a suspenseful thriller that kept me engaged.

Alex is a barely functioning alcoholic who lost a job most in her field would covet. It has destroyed her marriage and she battles daily to keep the monkey under control. In Try Not to Breathe, a coma patient with a tragic story becomes the catalyst for Alex.

During the school year of 1995, fifteen-year-old Amy Stevenson disappeared after school. She was later discovered left for dead in a field not far from her home. Since that time, Amy has been in a coma. A new study where doctors communicate with coma patients by watching their brain patterns brings Alex to the hospital for a freelance piece. When visiting the coma ward she sees Amy and remembers the case. Curiosity drives her to figure out what happened and Seddon took us on a suspenseful journey.

Try Not to Breathe is told from multiple perspective. Most are Alex, but we do get a few from Amy in the form of flashbacks and those of a few key characters. I felt the story unfolded rather well, and the different perspectives helped me piece together what happened. It is dark, gritty and felt completely plausible. The author did an excellent job of developing the characters. They had depth, their actions felt genuine and I became invested.

Seddon not only told a fantastic thriller but through her protagonist, she shared a glimpse into the life of a functioning alcoholic. We witnessed Alex’s daily struggles. The bargains she makes with herself and the unpleasant sides to the disease. It was brutally honest, and insightful. At first I was repulsed by Alex, but as the story unfolded, I felt compassion for her, admired her journalistic skills and was cheering her on as she began to piece together the mystery.

The author took us along with Alex as she interviews friends, family and suspects. Despite all of Alex’s issues, she really is quite the Nancy Drew. Along the way, she meets Jake, Amy’s childhood boyfriend and he begins to help her. Subtle clues, red herrings and intuition led to the big reveal. While I figured things out early on, it did not deter my enjoyment.

Try Not to Breathe is perfect for fans of noir, mystery, suspense and well spun tales.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

60 Responses to “Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon”

  1. Tiffany

    Another great review 🙂 I also liked this one. I agree with you about being initially disgusted with the protagonist. I didn’t think I’d ever like her, but as the story progressed, I also felt sorry for her situation.

  2. Eva

    I wasn’t a big fan of this one but I can see why it has a lot of appeal! I’m just looking for something more in suspense lately and can’t see to find it! Glad you liked this one and great review!!

  3. Jen

    I loved this one! The mystery behind Amy was great but I think I was even more fascinated by Alex and her ability to cope as a somewhat functioning alcoholic. Her rituals and justifications to herself were fascinating to read & I too was really rooting for her to get it together, by the end I just adored her 🙂

  4. Naomi

    Good to see that throughout the story you grew to like Alex. It sounds like an addictive read. You have me intrigued about the multiple perspectives.

  5. Kathy

    OMG, this one is on my capsule shelf, and I’m so glad it works for you! I’ve been checking for early orders from library every day but so far, nothing. 🙁 I may end up just ordering the book for myself instead of waiting.

  6. Lekeisha

    Seems very chilling. I love psycho-thrillers, but I can’t read a lot of them at the same time. Remember, I’m paranoid. I’m gonna add this to my “maybe” list. Great review!

  7. Lover Of Romance

    oh this one sounds really interesting, I especially like the idea of multiple perspectives. Must really make for some depth you don’t get normally.

  8. Lorna

    Sounds like it was a good thriller for you. Really different premise with a functioning alcoholic as the main character. Glad you liked it even if you figured it out early 😉

  9. Katherine

    This sounds different! The mystery of what happened to Amy sounds really interesting and something I would enjoy and through in the complexities of Alex and the fact that this is just a solid mystery and there’s no way I can resist!

  10. AngelErin

    Wow! This sounds SO GOOD! I love a good thriller. I definitely will be adding this one to my to read list. Thanks!

  11. Heidi

    Sounds interesting for sure, and the alcoholic detective certainly adds another layer. I always love a good thriller that just sucks you in.

  12. Angela

    I’ve been wondering about this one. Now, you’ve completely sold me on it. I love a good a thriller and this one sounds like it has a few interesting plot devices.

  13. kindlemom1

    Glad the flashbacks and different perspectives worked well for the story and actually added to it, that doesn’t always happen. Great review Kim!

  14. Sophia Rose

    That is an interesting situation with the functioning alcoholic acting as detective and getting the story through flashbacks.
    Good to know that the storytelling is so good that it doesn’t matter that you figured it out and still were vested to the finish.

  15. Bookworm Brandee

    This is the second good review of Try Not to Breathe I’ve seen, Kimberly. It sounds very well done, particularly in that Seddon was able to make you feel compassion for a character that repulsed you in the beginning. I also like a good thriller and I’m very curious about Alex’s journey in solving the mystery surrounding Amy and maybe also learns something about herself. Lovely review, my friend!

  16. Jenny

    Love when an author can make me change my opinion of a character over the course of a book Kim! I’m glad Alex became someone you could really root for by the end, she definitely sounds like a tricky character in the beginning:)

  17. Silvia

    I usually figure things out early on, but I’m glad you had such a great time with the read despite that. This is a new title to me and since I like psychological thrillers, I’ll definitely keep it in mind 🙂

  18. Kristin

    This is the kind of story where I couldn’t help but cheer for Alex and pray for a happy/satisfying ending for her. Alcoholism is such a terrible burden and so complex, I don’t wish that on anyone. The story sounds fantastic!

  19. Christy LoveOfBooks

    Ooo well, doesn’t THIS sound interesting. At first I wasn’t sure if I’d want to read about her struggle, but the whole thing with the mystery sounds pretty good!