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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Gillian Flynn, Laura Lippman, and Paula Hawkins comes Holly Seddon's arresting fiction debut - an engrossing thriller full of shocking twists and turns, richly imagined characters, and gripping psychological suspense.

Some secrets never die. They're just locked away.

Alex Dale is lost. Destructive habits have cost her a marriage and a journalism career. All she has left is her routine: a morning run until her body aches, then a few hours of forgettable work before the past grabs hold and drags her down. Every day is treading water, every night is drowning.

Until Alex discovers Amy Stevenson. Amy Stevenson, who was just another girl from a nearby town until the day she was found unconscious after a merciless assault. Amy Stevenson, who has been in a coma for 15 years, forgotten by the world. Amy Stevenson, who, unbeknownst to her doctors, remains locked inside her body, conscious but paralyzed, reliving the past.

Soon Alex's routine includes visiting hours at the hospital, then interviews with the original suspects in the attack. But what starts as a reporter's story becomes a personal obsession. How do you solve a crime when the only witness lived but cannot tell the tale? Unable to tear herself away from her attempt to uncover the unspeakable truth, Alex realizes she's not just chasing a story - she's seeking salvation.

Shifting from present to past and back again, Try Not to Breathe unfolds layer by layer until its heart-stopping conclusion. The result is an utterly immersive, unforgettable debut.

©2016 Holly Seddon (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"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." ( New York Times best-selling author Tess Gerritsen)

What listeners say about Try Not to Breathe

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I lost sleep!

This book grabbed and held on. The characters voices, as written by Seddon were amazing. The narration held true to the amazing. the flawed characters made the book more real. it has characters you want to love and those you hate and love hating. the phrase 'gripping tale' is overused, but this story really did grip. Definitely worth a credit. or more.

60 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not exactly as suspenseful as I had expected.

I found the story hard to follow for the first half of the book and the second half didn't make up for it. I dislike it when an author pulls a villian out of a hat with no foreshadowing or without a dribble of story until bam! the person is guilty. it felt like it began and ended on a pretty blah note. The narrator did a good job. it wasn't a bad book and it wasn't a good book.

59 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Couldn't stop listening

Fabulous story. Wonderful writing and use of words to tell this story. Great performances! Recommend it to all readers.

51 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Very suspenseful, but depressing

A very suspenseful story, although the ending was a bit dragged out. The characters are all rather sad, desparate people, especially Alex, a self-distructive alcoholic. Narration was very good.

38 people found this helpful

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Loved this book

I absolutely loved this book. I listened to it over two days while stuck in bed with a migraine. The narrators were believable without sounding theatrical and the story itself was so well written, gripping and emotional. I enjoyed the references to the teenagers in the 90's given I was one of them.
I shed tears at the end. Such a brilliant book

29 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good first effort

Where does Try Not to Breathe rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Somewhere in the middle

Would you recommend Try Not to Breathe to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes, with the caveats that:
1. I figured out who the perpetrator was around the middle of the book, and
2. the author writes far too many cliffhanger chapter endings, which is a good technique for suspense used sparingly, but towards the end, it was every single chapter, which got annoying.

What does Elizabeth Knowelden and Katharine McEwan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

They did a fine job, but I would have enjoyed this just as much if I had read it on paper.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not really.

Any additional comments?

Good beach read.

28 people found this helpful

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What a great read! Hopeful, suspenseful.

This author writes wonderfully. Never wanted to put it down. She gives her characters real life tragedies and shows us how they get through, even grow. it was a little hard to keep them all straight this time because there are so many but they are also defined by the way they relate to one another. Great debut!

26 people found this helpful

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Trader was excellent!

This is one I couldn't put down. Loved it start to finish.

Intriguing plot with twists you don't expect!

23 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting, With a Surprisingly Upbeat Ending

I really liked this book. I don't usually read Suspense because I tend to be afraid of reading appalling content, tortures, etc. So I stick mostly with cozy mysteries (though I do like memoirs, go figure). But I was drawn to this one because a few things about it really interested me. One thing that interests me is female alcoholics. Another is the brain, or the brain's reaction to injury. I find the study of what is happening inside the mind of a person who appears to be in a persistent vegetative state fascinating as well. Since those things were all part of this novel, I decided to give it a try and I was not disappointed. Despite the fact that the subject of this book Amy was "the victim of a merciless assault" the book didn't have any content too horrible for me to read. It's very tame that way actually but it held my attention and I listened to it in a short span of time. Some people find our alcoholic reporter who is investigating Amy's assault to be too depressing of a character. I found her quote likable actually despite being deeply flawed. When reading about alcoholics what tends to turn me off is their self centered attitudes which make them hard to like. Alex has a routine that centers around her alcoholism but she herself is a likable character and I found myself more sympathetic to her struggles and her attempts to better herself than I often feel towards such people. We also see some things, mostly in the past, from Amy's point of view. Amy is a teenager, a self centered creature like all teenagers, so I certainly didn't like her all the time. But she seemed realistic to me. I didn't have to like everyone and many characters had their frustrating moments (I especially couldn't stand Fiona) but I really wanted to get to the end. Since it is a suspense novel, some people criticized it because they figured out who did it. I did as well but figuring that out didn't lessen my desire to see everything through to the end. This is a book though where I could point to the lines which "gave away" things in the plot to me. Is that a flaw? Maybe. I didn't mind except the one time where such a line gets repeated, like the author wanted to make sure nobody missed it. I didn't see how a happy ending could really be made of all this, but I thought the author went about as far as you could reasonably go towards an upbeat and happy ending. I was curious what someone who had experienced brain injury or the appearance of a vegetative state would have thought of the portrayal of Amy (maybe because I recently read the memoir Ghost Boy wherein our subject spends a long time conscious but unable to communicate that fact.) The fact that I am still thinking about this book days later and was reluctant to move on to other one right away because I was still thinking about it make me feel this is a 4 star listen. Narration was very good too.

17 people found this helpful

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Entertaining and great first novel!

I could not stop listening to this book once I started it. It was such an original story and the narrator brought it to life. It was a good mystery until the end and kept you guessing throughout the book. What an exceptional debut novel.

16 people found this helpful