Try Not To Breathe by Holly Seddon

Amy doesn’t return home from school one day in 1995. She meets a man who she has kept a secret and is then found a few days later and is hospitalised. Fifteen years later Alex, who grew up nearby, finds her in a hospital bed staring at the curtains with no awareness of her surrounding. Amy is locked into her own body and unable to communicate. Alex is a (barely) functioning alcoholic who has clearly gone through some rough times but decided to maintain her drinking habit regardless. She is trying to write an article about the hospital, but finds herself drawn to Amy’s story instead. She meets with Dr Peter Haynes who is interested in the idea of unlocking silent communication in those who do not respond.

Alex isn’t a particularly likeable character at first but I started to warm towards her in the end. The story is told from multiple points of view as the truth starts to unravel and the suspect is revealed. I admit I guessed the conclusion, but I think that’s down to the number of crime thrillers I’ve read rather than the story being too obvious. There are certainly a few red herrings spread amongst the truth to keep the reader on their toes, and the short chapters make this easy to read over a weekend.

I really enjoyed reading sections of a disfunctional marriage with a baby on the way. The hormones and the suspicion worked perfectly. Alex’s drinking habit added a dark and uncomfortable reality to the book without overshadowing Amy’s story. I found it to be a strong thriller with plenty of characters to add depth and uncertainty to the story.


I received a copy of this book from real readers.

Try Not To Breathe is available to preorder now ready for publication on 7th of January in the UK ( and on 23rd of February in the US (

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