A Breath After Drowning by Akice Blanchard ** Review**
Today's post features Alice Blanchard's latest thriller, A Breath After Drowning. Alice is an award winning author and it is her first book for 10 years.
Not all secrets can be buried...
Not all secrets can be buried...
Sixteen years ago, Kate Wolfe’s young sister Savannah was brutally murdered. Forced to live with the guilt of how her own selfishness put Savannah in harm’s way, Kate was at least comforted by the knowledge that the man responsible was behind bars. But when she meets a retired detective who is certain that Kate’s sister was only one of many victims of a serial killer, Kate must decide whether she can face the possibility that Savannah’s murderer walks free.
As she unearths disturbing family secrets in her search for the truth, she becomes sure that she has uncovered the depraved mind responsible for so much death. But as she hunts for a killer, a killer is hunting her…
PRAISE FOR ALICE BLANCHARD
“A gale force thriller.” – New York Times
“Splendid…riveting and addictive.” - Chicago Tribune
“Brilliant…a dark and stormy novel.” - New York Daily News
I often see psychological thrillers described as 'gripping' or 'riveting' but it is not often that I actually completely agree that that is what they actually are! In A Breath after Drowning, we have a masterclass in thriller writing, where the tension ratchets up with each chapter and the reader is kept on their toes, never quite sure who to trust. Nothing can be taken at face value. I went around and around in circles, eyeing up various suspects, never quite sure which one was hiding in plain sight.
In Kate Wolfe, we have a fascinating central character. Full of her own demons, she has chosen a path in life where she can try to heal the issues which she was unable to help in her own family. She is a meticulous professional. Highly qualified in her field of adolescent mental health, she follows all the correct procedures and yet at times, we see how human she is, when she reacts to the heart-wrenching details, her patients share with her. She carries the guilt for putting her sister in the vulnerable position which led to her murder. As secrets from the past are uncovered, we see her trying to come to terms with this.
This is a dark novel which bowls along like a stormy night and gathers the reader up with it. The focus never leaves Kate because after all, in a way, this is her story as she finds out the secrets within her own family. At times, the details are gruesome but just like Kate, we cannot look away.
In short: A horrifying and dark tale which is never predictable.
About the Author
ALICE BLANCHARD won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction for her book of stories, The Stuntman’s Daughter. Her first novel, Darkness Peering was named one of the New York Times Book Review’s Notable Books. Her second novel, The Breathtaker was an official selection of the NBC Today Book Club. Alice has received a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, a New Letters Literary Award and a Centrum Artists in Residence Fellowship.
Thanks to Alice Blanchard and Philippa Ward of Titan Books for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.
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