Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

breatheSome 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 unconscious after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for fifteen years, forgotten by the world. Amy Stevenson, 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 her attempt to uncover the unspeakable truth, Alex realizes she’s not just chasing a story—she’s seeking salvation.

I received this book from the publishers for an open and honest review.

Marketed towards fans of ‘The Girl on the Train’ and ‘Gone Girl’, I had very high hopes for this debut thriller from Holly Seddon. Unfortunately, the hype and comparisons left me expecting more than the book itself delivered.

‘Try Not to Breathe’ started off very well with a fast paced expedition through the following unanswered questions: Who attacked Amy and why? Was it someone she knew? Who was she seeing behind her boyfriend’s back? Could it have been him? As with all successful crime writing, there were lots of red herrings along the way and I found myself suspecting anyone and everyone. Holly Seddon told the story from different character’s points of view, including Amy’s unconscious state, and this worked well to set up a variety of suspects in the reader’s mind.

However, for me, the story lost pace towards the middle and I found myself increasingly uninterested in the result. I had assumed Amy would never wake up from her coma, so why did it matter who put her there? When the real culprit was finally revealed, I couldn’t even remember who they were and had to flick back through the pages to find out. A disappointing anticlimax.

Rating: 2/5 

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