Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Try Not To Breathe" by Holly Seddon

"Amy, I'm a journalist. I saw you in here awhile ago when I was speaking to Dr. Haynes and I wanted to get to know you better. I grew up in Tunbridge Wells and we probably went to a lot of the same places because we're about the same age. I've spoken to Bob and read a lot about you and I sort of feel like I know you. I know that you can't answer me, but I was hoping to ask you some questions, as I don't know really what else to try. Did Alex just imagine the tiniest flutter of an eyelid?..."

Taking place in England this suspense story starts with a teen aged Amy and her secret love and the day Amy went off alone with him. The day Amy disappeared and became national news. The day her beaten body was discovered, comatose. 

Alex is working on a freelance writing project. She's looking into the work Dr. Haynes does with patients believed to be brain dead. While visiting the hospital ward she sees a comatose Amy. Alex and Amy are the same age and look alike. Intrigued by Amy's story, Alex takes an interest in this 15 year old case.

Alex's life is a carousel of alcohol and work and a disintegrated marriage. Her new found interest in what happened to Amy gives her life a purpose. The story parallels  between 1995 and Amy, and the life for people she knew, and Alex's present life.  Can Alex spread some new light on this mystery? Who attacked Amy? Perhaps this person is closer than anyone realized and still around 15 years later.

I found the characters intriguing and the story line unique. Alex pursues old clues on the premise she's writing this follow up article. Old habits are hard to break though. Can Alex discover the truth? Can it change Amy's life or her own?  Is she ever going to stop drinking?

Alex manages to piece together enough with the help of Amy's friends and family to get somewhere. Can she see it through? Can she find justice for Amy? Can she find balance in her own life? With the help of Amy's high school boyfriend Jacob, Alex finds a way through the maze that was Amy's past.

Thank you Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine Books