Turning her hand to a novel after years of successful journalism, Holly Seddon has come up with a captivating story which will tear at your heart strings. Amy was only fifteen when she failed to come home, and was found some days later close to death. She had been savagely beaten, and left in a ditch. She survived, but her brain was damaged, so that she was bed-ridden and cared for in a special ward for those with Neuro-disability. Her attacker had never been found. Free-lance journalist, Alex, becomes interested in her case, fifteen years later, hoping to write an article for The Times about her present condition. Had there been any development at all in those silent years? Alex herself has a problem with alcohol, and with the fact that she still loves, desperately, her ex-husband Matt. Matt’s new love is having their baby, and they intend to marry. There’s another fine character in this absorbing story, named Jacob, who, in his teens was Amy’s boy-friend, Jake. He continues to visit Amy, but in secret, for his wife, Fiona seems jealous of his previous life, and he doubts she would understand. The narrative unfolds through these three people’s observations, with Alex, every little while discovering something about the crime. If she were to solve the mystery, would it help Amy’s tenuous realization of the world around her? Would she remember anything at all? And, after fifteen years, who cared anyway? Those answers will haunt you, as Alex meets with Amy’s school friends, and finds out about their competition, and their disparate thoughts regarding Amy during their school days. She meets Jake, and his family, probing all the while to uncover yet another tiny interesting fact which would lead her to a solution.
Holly Seddon knows how to spin the tale out, only introducing another voice close to the conclusion of the novel. This new voice belongs to Sue, Jake’s mother, and the story goes up another notch.
Try Not To Breathe is Seddon’s first novel, so she is well worth watching for in the future she will surely write more, possibly not on this controversial theme, but probably something else equally gripping. The pace of this work makes the reader think that now she has begun she will not be able to stop let’s hope she breathes deeply before plunging into the world of fiction again.
TRY NOT TO BREATHE by HOLLY SEDDON
PUBLISHED by CORVUS for a recommended $29.99