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This month was hectic. I read a lot of in this month but could not write reviews on WordPress, yet. I will write them one by one in the coming days.

I am (re)-starting my reviews with this book.

So here it goes:

Title: Don’t Even Breathe

Author: Keith Houghton

Genre: Thriller/ Crime Fiction/ Suspense


Detective Maggie Novak and Ed Loomis find a charred body in the woods. The dead body disturbed Det. Novak. It feels familiar to her. The victim is later identified as Dana Cullen, a school counsellor. However, for Maggie, she knew her as Rita, her best friend from high school. But there is a problem. Rita died in a fire accident 20 years ago. Maggie cannot wrap her head around this mystery. This makes her emotionally obsessed with the case. Maggie knows she needs to distance herself from the case. But will Maggie solve the murder of Dana Cullen and unravel the mystery around her friend?

My take on the book

I finished this book in one sitting and that’s a rarity for me. The prologues entice you and keep you hooked onto the book from the start.

This is my first book by the author. I did not know what to expect. And I was not disappointed.

Maggie Novak is the lead detective. The character is a typical female lead we see on TV or read in a book. She likes to keep herself busy at work, leaving little time for social interactions. And does a good job at work and is respected for her invaluable contribution.

Both the detectives are likable characters. There’s depth given to most of the characters. There’s some amount of background info for each (recurring, I suppose) characters.

The book glides through the chapters with engrossing suspense. The narrative is perfectly paced is perfect. And the author has done a remarkable job of painting a word picture Orange County, the minute elements which constantly reminds Maggie of her school days.

That brings me to the subtle theme about teenage bullying and how sometimes it puts a scar for life. often as a kid, we don’t realize how strongly our words and actions can hurt. But the author builds a compelling story that underscores this issue.

The book’s climax was a complete surprise. The crime fiction fans will eventually realize the culprit, but it is difficult to accurately pinpoint the person.

I definitely recommend this book to all crime fiction fans.

My rating for the book 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for giving the eARC in exchange for my honest review.