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Try Not to Breathe Shocking. Page-Turning. A Breath-Taking Psychological Thriller by Holly Seddon

Try Not to Breathe Shocking. Page-Turning. A Breath-Taking Psychological Thriller

Thriller / Suspense   Crime / Mystery   Debuts of the Month   
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One of our Books of the Year 2016.

July 2016 Debut of the Month

Penetrating and intense, ‘Try Not to Breathe’ is a chokingly dark debut thriller. Amy and Alex are the same age, Alex is divorced and drinking herself to an early grave, while Amy is trapped inside her own teenage mind in a hospital bed, 15 years after a brutal attack. Alex begins to investigate the assault, at the same time as she struggles to deal with her own demons. Fast moving chapters are headed with characters names and dates, and slide around in time from 1995 to 2011. Holly Seddon writes with a sharp intensity, casting at times a desperately sad shadow, yet there is still an element of hope that struggles for survival. There is more than one jigsaw with missing pieces here, which creates a balance to the storyline. Enough information is given to allow suspicions to grow, and flourish. As each piece slots into the jigsaw, and a clearer picture starts to emerge, the writing begins to feel lighter, just as the story moves on with a harsh and bleak intensity, ensuring this is a thought provoking and riveting read. ~ Liz Robinson

Click here to read an interview with Holly Seddon about this book.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Nicola Brennan - 'This book was phenomenal...It is well researched, perfectly paced, has complex characters that draw you in, nice short chapters and flips back and forth between past and present with ease.'
  • Zara Kazi - 'A great psychological thriller that you just cannot put down.'
  • Anne Rhodes - 'The pace is fast, the plot fires your thoughts – you ARE that person as you read about them – whether it is Amy, or Alex or those who knew her!'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'Try Not To Breath, is a tense that you will be so engrossed in, you’ll lose track of time, making you forget your coffee, until the final page. Excellent!'
  • Alexandra Harper-Williams - 'What a fantastic first novel! An intelligently written insight into the human mind from many different perspectives. Highly recommended!'
  • Suzanne Marsh - 'Holly Seddon has written a page turning suspense that kept me glued to every page.'
  • Teresa O'Halloran - 'Wow! This is the best psychological thriller I've read since The Girl On The Train and this was better.'
  • Michelle McKernan - 'A brilliant, riveting read that I couldn’t put down.  Cleverly written with twists I didn’t see coming.'
  • Phylippa Smithson - 'This is as gripping a story as they come.  Highly recommended if you love a psychological suspense plot with a TOTAL difference.'
  • Judith Waring - 'I enjoyed reading this book but unfortunately didn't find it that gripping.'
  • Sheila Dale - 'The characters in this book were well drawn and easy to relate to and the storyline was unusual. I found the book easy to read and a real page turner.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'From the opening chapter of this book I could see that I was not going to be able to read just one or two chapters of this book then get to sleep, no this book is worth staying up to finish!'
  • Melanie Rose - 'Captivating thriller - you won't want to put it down.'
  • Katherine Stewart - 'Interesting premise, but didn't quite live up to the promise.'
  • Aoife Kelly - 'This book had a very interesting and promising premise, but it was slow to develop and I found myself not fully caring about any characters.'

Win Books from the Manon Bradshaw Thriller Series!

Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


Try Not to Breathe Shocking. Page-Turning. A Breath-Taking Psychological Thriller by Holly Seddon

You won't be able to put it down. Just remember to breathe. Alex is sinking. Slowly but surely, she's cut herself off from everything but her one true love - drink. Until she's forced to write a piece about a coma ward, where she meets Amy. Amy is lost. When she was fifteen, she was attacked and left for dead in a park. Her attacker was never found. Since then, she has drifted in a lonely, timeless place. She's as good as dead, but not even her doctors are sure how much she understands. Alex and Amy grew up in the same suburbs, played the same music, flirted with the same boys. And as Alex begins to investigate the attack, she opens the door to the same danger that has left Amy in a coma...


'A razor-sharp, fast-paced plot and wonderfully complex characters. Not since The Girl on the Train have I been so captivated by a work of suspense.' -- Tess Gerritsen

'Such a grippy book.' -- Marian Keyes

'Try not to breathe, try not to make plans, try not to commit to anything till you've finished Holly Seddon's debut novel, because we must warn you now - you'll be fully hooked from page one...a brilliant, gripping, must-read.' Glamour

'Forget girls on trains and girls who are gone, you will not be able to put Try Not to Breathe down. It's that good.' Goodreads

'A top-notch psycho-drama Independent A gripping psychological thriller' New

'Seddon's storytelling skills are strong and the book engrossing... the world she's constructed is fascinating' Kirkus

About the Author

Holly Seddon

Holly Seddon is a full-time writer, living in the middle of Amsterdam with her husband James and a house full of children and pets. Holly has written for newspapers, websites and magazines since her early 20s after growing up in the English countryside, obsessed with music and books. Her first novel Try Not to Breathe was published worldwide in 2016 and became both a national and international bestseller. Don't Close Your Eyes is her second novel.

Click here to read an interview with Holly about her book Try Not to Breathe.

Author photo © James Seddon

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Book Info

Publication date

14th July 2016


Holly Seddon

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Atlantic Books


384 pages


Thriller / Suspense
Crime / Mystery
Debuts of the Month

Thriller / suspense



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