Published by Atlantic Books on January 4th 2016
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Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she's cut herself off from everything but her one true love - drink. Until she's forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy. Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park not far from her house. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She's as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands. Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma...
Crime thrillers are the in genre at the mo, and Try Not To Breathe is my first one of 2016, and boy was it a good one. It took me three days to complete, but I never stopped thinking about the story and probably my only disappointment is I knew very early on who the baddie was. Was that intentional? Did anyone else guess, who knows? I reckon Alex might have twigged sooner if she was a little less drunk.
The novel was told in a very interesting fashion, third person, but from the perspectives of Alex, the interested journalist; Jacob, Amy’s childhood boyfriend and Amy herself. Alex was obviously the main character, but it was young Amy who struck a chord, because how awful must that be? Stuck in your own body, with no way to communicate with the outside world, and no idea what’s actually going on. That is so, so scary. Of anything, that’s what scared me most reading the book, imagining being in Amy’s shoes, and I loved that Jacob visited her, and then so did Alex. It made me want to run out to my nearest hospital and just start talking to patients like Amy, it was that profound.
Alex was such an intriguing character. She’s your typical thriller heroine, drunk chic, for reasons unknown (it was never actually explained, which was a shame), with very little to be happy about because she’s lost everything, until she latches on to Amy’s tale. It was so good to see Alex pull herself away from the brink, to use Amy’s story and Amy’s life as a way to try and get her life back together, because it wasn’t a good life. Jacob was also very interesting, because you do wonder why someone would still be so attached to someone who’s been stuck in a hospital bed for so long, but it was very nice of him to care, even if it did seem a teensy bit strange.
This was such a good read. Sure, I guessed who did it, but the story itself was so gripping, it was great seeing into Amy’s thoughts – and sad, too and watching Alex and Jacob unlock the puzzle, because hey, they didn’t have the full picture, they didn’t know what Amy was thinking and they had to work it out pretty much for themselves and seeing it all come together was something special. I really enjoyed Try Not To Breathe, Holly Seddon has a fantastic storytelling voice, and hopefully this is the first of many books from her as this was amazing, I really enjoyed it and even when I wasn’t reading the book, I was still thinking about it.