Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Book Review: A Breath After Drowning

By Jami Deise

When I was in college, minoring in psychology and volunteering at the campus help line, I was told that many people entered the psychology profession because they were trying to figure out their own messed-up pasts. I wasn’t messed up enough apparently; I never finished the training at the help line. But I was reminded of the experience and the advice while reading A Breath After Drowning, Alice Blanchard’s latest psychological thriller. Her heroine, child psychiatrist Kate Wolfe, had a childhood that practically required that she go into the profession.

When Kate was ten, her mother committed suicide. A few years later, her younger sister was murdered; the next-door neighbor was arrested, convicted by his niece’s testimony, and given the death penalty. Now as the execution date draws near, Kate’s latest patient ends up being tied to the murderer. When his niece takes back her testimony, Kate begins to doubt for the first time that the right man was arrested for the crime.

I had a little trouble getting into the story at first; the voice was a bit too unsophisticated for the genre and the narrative read a bit more like chick lit than a psychological thriller. But I liked the premise, so I kept reading, and after a few chapters the voice took on a more appropriate tone.

The story unfolds somewhat predictably, but books in this genre follow a predictable structure, and most readers expect this. Blanchard offers a few solid possibilities for the killer and commits a few nice sleights of hand. While the ultimate bad guy does not come out of left field, the climax is extremely well-written.

If your reading pile of psychological thrillers is getting low, A Breath After Drowning is a fine choice for your list.

Thanks to Titan Books for the book in exchange for an honest review. Visit all the stops on Alice's blog tour.

1 comment:

Dianna said...

I like psychological books. Pinned this!