Today I am delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan. My thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me to join the tour. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the book in just a moment, after I’ve shown you what the book is all about.
About the Book
TOO SOON TO SEE
Polished. Professional. Perfect. Dead. Respected scientist Dr Eleanor Costello is found hanged in her immaculate home: the scene the very picture of a suicide.
TOO LATE TO HIDE
DCS Frankie Sheehan is handed the case, and almost immediately spots foul play. Sheehan, a trained profiler, is seeking a murderer with a talent for death.
TOO CLOSE TO BREATHE
As Frankie strives to paint a picture of the killer, and their victim, she starts to sense they are part of a larger, darker canvas, on which the lines between the two blur.
When I started to read this book I have to be honest, I was wondering quite where it was going to take me. A Detective called to the scene of a suspected suicide, it seems innocuous enough. And yet there is something amiss, something which makes this scene seem a little too perfect. And so the story begins, one which has so many twists and unexpected turns that you may be surprised to learn that this as a debut novel.
I don’t want to go too far into the plot, other than to say what should have been a routine call very quickly escalates into something far more sinister. This is no simple case as DCS Frankie Sheehan begins to uncover the victims home life, it becomes clear just how complicate and intense this story truly will be. Now it touches on some very dark subjects, not just that of suicide, and as more victims are discovered you have to wonder just how depraved this killer may be and just what their motivations really are.
Frankie Sheehan is a fascinating character. Just back from a period of sick leave having been injured in the line of duty, she is a trained profiler. Sheehan has her own demons to fight, if only because the cause of her absence, and her ongoing battle with pain, is about to go to court. She is feisty and not easily swayed in her opinion and her determination to draw and end to the investigation is driven by both personal and professional pride. She is a difficult character to judge, her past clouding her judgment at times but ultimately there is something about her that holds the readers attention throughout, which is just as well as the story is told in first person from her perspective. It is a difficult balance, one which the author manages to pull off, engaging the reader and drawing them into Frankie’s world even if she is someone you may not always like.
This is not a particularly fast paced novel, and is set over several months as the Detectives on the investigation hit a series of frustrating dead ends which trying to identify and locate their suspects. There are moments of true jeopardy, especially towards the end as the killer is in their sights, but there is more contemplation and investigation than there are full on action scenes. Whilst some of the deaths included are violent, it is kept off the page although heavily alluded to, the level of violence and, in some cases torture, clear without being spelt out to the reader in any graphic way. In fact some times is feels as though scenes are jumped over, looked at in retrospect by the Detectives rather than the reader being present during an interview for example, which is perhaps one of the few niggles I had with the book. I can understand in some scenes, one in particular in which Frankie is heavily involved, but it does have an impact on the narrative, giving it a very unique, almost jumpy rather than natural flow. As a profiler, I’d have like to see the interviews covered in a little more depth. It is an interesting idea perhaps not fully explored in this book.
As I alluded to earlier, this is a very assured debut and I am intrigued to see how the author develops these characters moving forward. Frankie and her team, especially Baz and Emer who I found fascinating, certainly have scope for developing into a key series, the next book being released in 2019.
My thanks to the publisher for providing an advance copy of the book for review. Too Close To Breathe is available now from the following retailers:
About the Author
Olivia Kiernan is an Irish writer living in the UK and author of crime thriller, Too Close to Breathe. She was born and raised in County Meath, near the famed heritage town of Kells and holds an MA in Creative Writing awarded by the University of Sussex. Olivia’s second book, The Killer In Me, will publish in April 2019.
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