Title: A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard
Published by: Titan Books
Publication date: 10th April 2018
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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 on death row. 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 face the possibility that Savannah’s murderer walks free.
Unearthing disturbing family secrets in her search for the truth, Kate becomes sure that she has discovered the depraved mind responsible for so much death. But as she hunts for a killer, a killer is hunting her…
A huge thank you to Titan Books for sending me an ARC of this book for review and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour! Make sure to check out the other bloggers taking part in the image above!
I can definitely see this being my favourite book of the year! It’s going to be a hard one to top because it was just so amazing! I was already expecting it to be good but it just went above and beyond and blew me away! Alice Blanchard is a remarkable author and is so talented! I can’t wait to see what she writes in the future because this book had me hooked from start to finish! Definitely one of the most exciting thrillers and one that cannot be missed! If you love thrillers, you need to pick this one up! I finished it and instantly wanted to flip back to chapter one and lose myself in the story for a second time.
I fell in love with the main character, Kate Wolfe. She’s such a likeable character and I just instantly felt like I could relate to her. She’s been through a lot and has suffered with the death of her sister but instead of letting that drag her down she only got stronger. She used her own experiences to try and help people get through their suffering. There’s a lot of focus on mental illness as Kate tries to help her patients get better and there’s quite a few therapy sessions which I really enjoyed. Fortunately I haven’t had to experience anything related to mental illness and I felt like this book helped me to understand it a bit more. I was impressed with how it was portrayed. Alice really goes into a lot of detail and revolves a lot of scenes around mental illness. It wasn’t something that was used as a story filler that was just buying time until the big reveal at the end. It was all connected to Kate and her tragic past. Alice actually took her time with these scenes and I was really interested in finding out more about each character that was affected by mental illness. You could also appreciate how much time and effort psychiatrists pour into helping their patients get better and how hard it is when sometimes no matter what they do, they aren’t always able to help some people.
Another character that I simply adored was Kate’s boyfriend, James. He’s probably the cutest character ever. I just want to pluck him right out of the book and have him for myself because he was just so adorable. I loved Kate and James’s scenes together. They were such a cute couple and I was making heart-eyes at them for the majority of the book! I loved how much time and effort Alice took into fleshing out each character and building their relationships. She takes the time to really introduce you to the characters and their strengths/weaknesses and I just really appreciated that. It’s a psychological thriller but she also draws away from that and focuses on every day scenes like the interaction between someone you love. I loved Kate and James’s flirtatious scenes and how much they joked with one another.
The plot is relatively slow paced at times and to be honest, it’s another one of those slow burner thrillers but it’s got enough going on that intrigues you and keeps you turning the pages. Nearly every chapter ends on a cliff hanger and I couldn’t stop turning page after page because I just had to know what was going to happen. It completely sucked me in. It gave me chills when you found out how her sister died and what had happened to the other victims. It’s such a disturbing way to die and I thought it perfectly matched the serial killer aspect. If a book is about a serial killer, you instantly expect it to be disturbing and to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. This book ticked all of those boxes and it really gave me the creeps!
Towards the ending of the book my heart was racing because I could feel it building towards this explosive ending. The big reveal at the end caught me by complete surprise! I felt like it was leading me down all these different paths and it was so hard to pinpoint which was the correct one. There were different suspects and Alice did a fantastic job of leading me down the wrong path. I never even saw the big reveal coming and I could have kicked myself. But I was very happy to not have guessed the ending and to have been left with my mouth hanging open.
Even though this book is mainly character driven, it has a solid plot and one that keeps building and building towards that eruptive ending and because of that, this book was just so deserving of my five star rating. I completely fell in love with this book and I am so excited for other readers to discover it! It’s such an amazing book and deserves so much attention! I love the story and the characters so much! Honestly favourite book of 2018 right here! Please go read this book if you haven’t already, you will definitely not regret it!