Today is my stop on the A Breath After Drowning blog tour hosted by Titan Books. I have a review to share with you all. Alice Blanchard has created a superb novel that sticks in the mind long after reading. Enjoy the review and pick up the book as soon as you can. Please take the time to visit all the other blogs on this tour for plenty of interviews, guest posts and other reviews.
Sent To Me By Titan Books In Exchange For An Honest Review
10.04.2018 / Titan Books / Suspense-Thriller / Paperback / 441pp / 978-1785656408
Target Audience: Psychological Thriller and Suspense readers who like immersive fiction and plenty of detail.
About A Breath After Drowning
Not All Secrets Can Be Buried
Child psychiatrist Kate Wolfe’s world comes crashing down when one of her young patients commits suicide, so when a troubled girl is left at the hospital ward, she doubts her ability to help.
However the girl knows things about Kate’s past, things she shouldn’t know, forcing Kate to face the murky evidence surrounding her own sister’s murder sixteen years before.
A murder for which a man is about to be executed.
Unearthing secrets about her own family, and forced to face both her difficult relationship with her distant father and the possibility that her mother might also have met a violent end, the shocking final twist brings Kate face to face with her deepest fear.
Pick up a copy: Titan Books / Amazon UK / Amazon US / Goodreads
A Breath After Drowning is a suspenseful, slow-burning yet turbulent story of Kate Wolfe and her search for answers in the face of crippling uncertainty and hidden danger. Kate’s younger sister Savannah was brutally murdered, buried alive in her neighbour’s backyard. Henry Blackwood was arrested and sentenced for the crime and now sits on Death Row. A Breath After Drowning follows Kate during the week leading up to Henry’s execution and her closure on a death that has caused her so much self-inflicted pain and suffering over the years. Kate feels responsible for Savannah’s death as it was her actions that put Savannah in danger.
Kate is now an award winning psychiatrist in Boston and she is dedicated to her patients. When a 15 year-old patient kills herself spontaneously even though her treatment with Kate is going well, Kate struggles to process why this could have happened. During the young girl’s funeral Kate is reunited with Palmer Dyson, a detective on her sister’s case, and he has information that causes Kate to spiral even further into the despair. Dyson believes that Henry Blackwood is innocent and Savannah’s murder is just one of many performed by an insidious serial killer. Kate decides to follow this thread of events and in doing so unviels secrets that can’t be forgotten and puts herself in the sights of a seasoned and sadistic murderer. As the tension surrounding Kate’s conflicting investigations increases her psyche stretches far beyond breaking point and beyond.
I enjoyed A Breath After Drowning because it continuously morphed and warp between genres and kept it fresh with erratic developments, twists and changes in atmosphere. There is suspense, psychological thriller, crime and drama all infused together inside Alice Blanchard’s enigmatic, vivid, immersive and unsettling prose. I was deeply intrigued by Kate’s story and the many possibilities of how this book could play out. This is a novel you sink into, get to know the characters and try to piece the chain of events together yourself before the writing does it for you. There are plenty of both light and dark moments to experience.
I thought Kate was a great central character with plenty of complexity, depth and intellect surrounding her. Kate is haunted but also fiercely devoted to helping others. Dealing with broken minds and constantly observing and diagnosing those around her. I liked the relationship between Kate and James (boyfriend); their cheeky and fun dialogue brought a refreshing calm to an otherwise absorbing, and at times difficult to swallow, narrative and dialogue. Maddie’s story, a young, abused and mentally fractured individual, is an example of the harsher side to Blanchard’s writing with dark themes, tones and realities that echo through the rest of Kate’s story. My favourite part to this novel has to be all the subjects that Blanchard explores within the story. Delving into the ever-changing developments within modern psychiatry, child psychology, criminal profiling and mental health management. I was amazed by it all and it even made the longer stretches of the novel feel important and valuable.
The fundamental themes that Blanchard included are also hugely important such as vulnerability, child abuse, mental health, family connections and paying attention to those around you. It takes a good look into the exploration of mental health over the years and Blanchard encapsulates everything that goes with the subject really well. I found A Breath After Drowning seemed to be a lot longer than it actually was. Only 430+ pages but the depth made it feel at least twice that. If you like your novels punchy and fast-paced then I would say that ABAD is not going to be your thing. Alice Blanchard is all about creating a story you can invest in, that you can delve into and take each twist and turn alongside the characters. I thought the ending was well crafted and it answered a lot of my burning questions about the who, what, why and whens of the plot line.
There are a lot of over-lapping story threads present in the story, connections that are either obvious or included for eagle eyed readers and it makes for a seriously good read. My only evident issue with ABAD is that it a tad cliche at times and I did find myself thinking that I’ve heard it all before but those moments were few. It does share common themes with other novels within the genre but Kate’s story is certainly unique and seeing her story unfold was, though sad, engrossing. I highly recommend A Breath After Drowning for those readers who love complex suspense, immersive thrills/chills and intriguing characters who could surprise you at every turn.
About Alice Blanchard
Alice Blanchard won the Katherine Anne Porter Prize for Fiction for her book of stories, The Stuntman’s Daughter. Her first novel, Darkness Peering was named one of the New York Times Book Review’s Notable Books. Her second novel, The Breathtaker was an official selection of the NBC Today Book Club. Alice has received a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, a New Letters Literary Award and a Centrum Artists in Residence Fellowship.
3 thoughts on “A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard (Review) @TitanBooks @AliceBooks333 #Blogtour #Suspense #TitanBooks #ABreathAfterDrowning”
Well, I definitely like the idea of Easter egg connections! I’m always trying to guess little things going on in books like this! 😁
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Reading this one really soon and it looks amazing!!
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Hey Annie, I hope you enjoy it 😀