Try Not to Breathe

Try Not to Breathe                    by Holly Seddon

Alex Dale is a dead woman. Or she will be within the year if  she doesn’t stop drinking. Her drinking has wrecked her marriage,  her career as a journalist, and her life. She is trying to “manage” her drinking but she isn’t having much success.  In a last ditch effort to salvage her career, she  is writing an article about doctors who are working with brain injured patients.  While doing this, she finds Amy Stevenson, a young woman about her age who has been in a coma for fifteen years. Amy’s story was in the news because she disappeared when she was fifteen only to be found savagely raped and beaten. But signs indicated that Amy had consensual sex before her attack. Amy had a steady boyfriend but they weren’t sexually active so did she willingly have sex with her attacker?  Alex feels connected to  Amy because they are about the same age but, unlike Alex, Amy is stuck in 1995.

Alex starts on a quest to solve this cold case and discover what happened to Amy. She begins visiting Amy in the hospital and talking to her. Is it her imagination that Amy seems to be responding to her when she plays music that she loved and talks to her about her attacker? As Alex interviews Amy’s high school boyfriend and other friends, she begins to figure out  what happened to Amy and in trying to bring Amy’s attacker to justice, Alex finds her own redemption

This is the debut effort by the author and she did a great job of making us understand Alex and her need to drink. We can feel her pain. The story is told in multiple viewpoints and goes back and forth between time periods.  There were  plot twists and I didn’t guess who was responsible for Amy’s attack. The ending did bring tears to my eyes. I look forward to more books from this author.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the ARC for an unbiased review.

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