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Try Not to Breathe

Holly Seddon

Average Review Rating Average Rating 7/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Corvus

Published : 2016

Copyright : Holly Seddon 20160

ISBN-10 : PB 1-78239-670-5
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-78239-670-3

Publisher's Write-Up

You won't be able to put it down. Just remember to breathe.

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. 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...

'Try not to breathe, try not to make plans, try not to commit to anything till you've finished Holly Seddon's debut novel, because we must warn you now - you'll be fully hooked from page one...a brilliant, gripping, must-read.'


'A gripping debut addictive as the best box sets.'


'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.'

Tess Gerritsen
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Ben Macnair (300419) Rating (7/10)

Review by Ben Macnair
Book Source: Not Known
Rating 7/10

Three narrators. A terrible crime. A central character with a close relationship to Alcohol. So far, so The Girl on the Train. There is, however, a lot more to Holly Seddon’s debut crime novel/psychological thriller than judicious good timing, and some lazy marketing hype.

Alex is a writer, recovering from a painful divorce. Amy has been in a coma for fifteen years, the victim of an unsolved crime. Jacob was Amy’s boyfriend at the time of her accident. He visits her every week, but his wife thinks he is having an affair. Into this complicated character stew, we see various similarities between the characters.

Alex, Amy and Jacob are all the same age, and would have known the same people, had the same cultural frames of reference growing up, and as Alex investigates the crime, selling the story to one of the few publishers her drinking didn’t disgust, she gains some momentum back. Amy has been in a coma, but her memories of the crime are still in there, and as Alex spends more and more time with Amy, she becomes convinced that she will soon come out of the comfort of her coma, and into a world that is full of brand new, frightening realities.

As Alex’s investigations continues, she places herself in more and more danger, her drinking in abeyance, even though her Doctor tells her if she doesn’t stop, she will be dead within the year, and when she finally pieces all of the facts together, both her life, and that of Jacob and his family will never be the same again.

The book moves along at a cracking pace, but with plenty of detail to take the reader further into the story. The trick of the three narrative strands is very well handled, allowing the stories to be seen from more than one perspective. Although at more than 350 pages, it could have been added down, with some superfluous padding removed, the characters, and the amount of medical research in the book means that Holly Seddon is a definite name to watch out for.
Ben Macnair (30th April 2019)

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