Sunday 28 February 2016

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

An unusual choice, creating a main character with an alcohol problem, but it works.

Seddon gives a superbly accurate insight into alcoholism, especially the minutiae planning of a so-called functioning alcoholic. Alcohol, alcoholism and alcoholics are often written in a stereotypical way.

Pretty much typecast in certain scenarios, dialogues and situations. Seddon has obviously done her homework and focused on one of the sub-categories or rather one of the five types of alcoholics.

Alex plans her entire day around the next drink, the next hit of alcohol and next release from her inner hell. How many bottles at what time and how to deal with the consequences of her consumption, everything revolves around those key factors. Her job, her personal life and her day to day life.

Just how structured the planning can be for a functioning alcoholic becomes clearer, as Alex tries to get a better grip on it. So far everything and everyone around her has fallen prey to her disease.  In an effort to pick up the remnants of her career she starts investigating the cold case of an attack on a young teenage girl.

Amy is with the reader throughout the story, albeit in a very unusual way. Her memories, her emotions and her perceptions are a pivotal part of this tale.

The story flits from past to present with occasional visits to the years in between. The reader follows
Alex as she tries to control her life and solve the mystery of the attack. Simultaneously the reader hears Amy's inner dialogue, which is also exceptionally well written and described.

Overall this was an innovative approach to a crime story with an anti-heroine as the main character, and it was an excellent read.

Buy Try Not to Breathe at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @hollyseddon and @Atlanticbooks

Read Don't Close your Eyes by Holly Seddon

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