By Holly Seddon
Published by Atlantic Books (Paperback - 14 July 2016)
Try Not to Breathe is yet another book that I devoured in just a few sittings. It's an intense, beautifully written psychological thriller. It's very different from the usual trends of missing children/teenagers or unreliable narrators. It was like a breath of fresh air. It's so cleverly plotted.
Alex is a freelance journalist whose life is governed by alcohol. Due to her addiction, her marriage has crumbled, her ex-husband is now with another woman and she's lost her job. She's given a commission to write an article about a doctor who is working with coma patients - this is her chance to get her life back on track. When Alex visits the ward, she becomes intrigued by the story of Amy, a young woman who was left for dead following a brutal attack 15 years earlier. Amy's attacker has never been found. Alex is determined to discover Amy's story by delving into her past.
I was particularly intrigued by the medical background, and the author has clearly done her research into coma patients. In Try Not to Breathe, patients lying in a persistent vegetative state don't appear to interact with the outside world, but some doctors believe that some of them are still able to communicate - it's a case of discovering how.
Try Not to Breathe is a fantastic debut novel that keeps the reader guessing. I've had this book sitting on my Kindle for several months, and I'm now kicking myself as I should have read it sooner.
I received an Advanced Reader Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.