For fans of Gillian Flynn, Laura Lippman, and Paula Hawkins comes Holly Seddon’s arresting fiction debut—an engrossing thriller full of page-turning twists and turns, richly imagined characters, and gripping psychological suspense.
Some secrets never die. They’re just locked away.
Alex Dale is lost. Destructive habits have cost her a marriage and a journalism career. All she has left is her routine: a morning run until her body aches, then a few hours of forgettable work before the past grabs hold and drags her down. Every day is treading water, every night is drowning. Until Alex discovers Amy Stevenson. Amy Stevenson, who was just another girl from a nearby town until the day she was found unconscious after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for fifteen years, forgotten by the world. Amy Stevenson, who, unbeknownst to her doctors, remains locked inside her body, conscious but paralyzed, reliving the past.
Soon Alex’s routine includes visiting hours at the hospital, then interviews with the original suspects in the attack. But what starts as a reporter’s story becomes a personal obsession. How do you solve a crime when the only witness lived but cannot tell the tale? Unable to tear herself away from her attempt to uncover the unspeakable truth, Alex realizes she’s not just chasing a story—she’s seeking salvation.
Shifting from present to past and back again, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer until its heart-stopping conclusion. The result is an utterly immersive, unforgettable debut.
Praise for Try Not to Breathe
“A brilliant, beautifully written thriller.”—Augusten Burroughs, New York Times bestselling author of Running with Scissors
“A razor-sharp plot and wonderfully complex characters . . . Not since The Girl on the Train have I been so captivated by a work of suspense.”—New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen
“A fast-paced debut about long-buried secrets and tangled truths.”—New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight
“Engrossing . . . Seddon’s storytelling skills are strong. . . . The world she’s constructed is fascinating and slightly dark.”—Kirkus Reviews
The crippling alcoholism of freelance journalist Alex Dale, the heroine of British author Seddon's impressive first novel, has cost her nearly everything her husband, a baby, and her job. Her current assignment writing about health issues takes her to the neuro-disability ward at Tunbridge Wells Royal Infirmary, which treats patients in long-term comas. New research shows that some patients, while unable to communicate outwardly, are still able to communicate using brain scans. Alex becomes interested in one patient in particular, Amy Stevenson, who was brutally attacked at age 15, in 1995, and has been in a coma for the 15 years since trapped inside her body, but unable to tell her story. Alex becomes determined to solve the mystery behind Amy's attack, convinced that breaking this story will resurrect her journalism career. Told from alternating perspectives and alternating decades, this gripping thriller about family and redemption will keep readers engaged to the very end.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Try Not To Breathe
Beautifully written novel which captures the heartbreak, strength, and endurance of suffering and recovering alcoholics. With brilliant clarity and compassion Alex reaches deep challenging one's perception about love, honesty, and quality of life. Anyone suffering loss, chronic illness, or the horror of abuse can find hope and strength here.
Great storytelling; hard to put down; the type of novel one searches for.
Try Not to Breathe
Stunningly creative book. Even though it was too easy to guess who did it, the flow of the book kept me riveted til the very end. Excellent read!!!