Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan

Too Close to Breathe

Olivia Kiernan

Too Close to Breathe is a mystery in the vein of Tana French: finely drawn characters, an atmospheric setting, and brimming with intrigue and authenticity.

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Olivia Kiernan’s tautly written debut novel immerses readers in a chilling murder case . . . and the tantalizing, enigmatic victim at the center of it all.

In a quiet Dublin suburb, within her pristine home, Eleanor Costello is found hanging from a rope.

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan would be more than happy to declare it a suicide. Four months earlier, Frankie’s pursuit of a killer almost ended her life and she isn’t keen on investigating another homicide. But the autopsy reveals poorly healed bones and old stab wounds, absent from medical records. A new cut is carefully, deliberately covered in paint. Eleanor’s husband, Peter, is unreachable, missing. A search of the couple’s home reveals only two signs of personality: a much-loved book on art and a laptop with access to the Dark Web.

With the suspect pool growing, the carefully crafted profile of the victim crumbling with each new lead, and mysterious calls to Frankie’s phone implying that the killer is closer than anyone would like, all Frankie knows is that Eleanor guarded her secrets as closely in life as she does in death.

As the investigation grows more challenging, Frankie can’t help but feel that something doesn’t fit. And when another woman is found murdered, the same paint on her corpse, Frankie knows that unraveling Eleanor’s life is the only way to find the murderer before he claims another victim . . . or finishes the fate Frankie only just managed to escape.

Engrossing, complex, and atmospheric, Olivia Kiernan’s debut novel will leave readers breathless.


Advance Galley Reviews

This is the first book in a new Dublin mystery series called Frankie Sheehan. This is such a good mystery/thriller novel and I really enjoyed every bit of reading it. It reeled me in and kept me hooked since the beginning to end. This is Olivia’s debut novel to a new series and it’s a brilliant. This will keep you guessing and entertained the entire time.

This was a very good book for the genre. The combination of the flaws of the Police characters and the twists in the murders it was a read that left me waiting for what would happen next. I would definitely recommend for anyone that likes the Tana French series and police procedurals.

This is a fantastic police procedural set in Ireland, with a strong (but damaged, because no book can be without one these days) woman protagonist and a really intriguing and solid mystery. My only gripe is that I felt a bit cheated when the "bad guy" was revealed and there are one or two too many coincidences. Otherwise, a great start to a new series, and I will be looking for the second book.

Returning to the job after being stabbed along the temple while confronting a killer, Frankie Sheehan is at it again when a woman is found believed to have hung herself. It doesn't take Frankie long to realize there's more to this then meets the eye and soon they are on the trail of a sadistic serial killer. I loved the main character Frankie. She's tough as nails and sassy and has a mouth on her. If I were to be a fictional character, she'd be the one I'd want to be. I enjoyed the back and forth between her and her fellow male counterparts. The humor in this book was a pleasant surprise considering it was a crime drama. I think I'm just a little burned out on police procedural books so I didn't quite get into it as much as I would have liked to. I would love to see more of Frankie's character and find out if there's more to the relationship with her and her partner Baz.

The twist and turns that Frankie goes through to catch the murderer will keep the pages turning. Olivia Kiernan is an author I will be following after reading Too Close to Breathe.

This was a fabulous debut novel. Full of twists and turns and lots of suspense, I enjoyed my time in its pages.

Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan has just returned to duty after nearly being killed in pursuit of a case. Assistant Commissioner Jack Clancy has assigned her team to investigate a presumed suicide. The coroner has an “uneasy feeling” about this case, hence it being assigned to Frankie’s team, but Clancy is still not sure that Frankie is ready to be back on the job. With Detective Baz Harwood as her partner they quickly determine that this is in fact a murder but that’s when the hard part starts. As they delve into the lives of the victim and her husband they quickly uncover multiple affairs, Dark Web activity, and the underbelly of Dublin. But the circumstances of this case are also triggering flashbacks for Frankie and the danger may be all too real. So let’s start with the plot. These people’s lives are more twisty than a snake but it really makes for a great story. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, you trip over another clue and end up going in a different direction. Characters: Frankie Sheehan is a great character. She’s tough and persistent, as you would expect a detective to be, but she’s much more than that. I think the author did an especially good job with the flashback scenes because they gave you a sense of Frankie as a vulnerable person. I really enjoyed Detective Harwood also. He knows how to push Frankie’s button but he also takes it very seriously when he says he’s got her back. This is the author’s first novel and I think it’s a great debut, definitely worth the read.

Well written. A little slow to start but grabs you about half-way through. The victim's character is very interesting and a main reason why you want to keep reading. A good debut and I would read another in this series.

3.75 stars Thanks to Dutton Books and Penguin's First to Read for a chance to read and review. Published April 5, 2018 This is a debut novel and the first of a new detective series that takes place in Ireland. The main protagonist is Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan - a female detective. She has just returned to work from an on the job injury having been stabbed in the face after going into a crime scene alone - refusing to wait for back up. No sooner is she back to work than she is handed another crime to solve. The hanging death of a well known and well liked female college professor. Before the case is over, three people are dead, Sheehan's home town is drug into the fray, and the Dark Web and bondage have entered the case. Furthermore, she has testified in court and let off the man who had previously stabbed her. Sheehan sees a connection between the two cases. For a debut novel I felt that Kiernan did a really good job of keeping you in suspense. I thought about half way through that I had detected the 'killer'. I must admit I wasn't even close. This is a short novel and that helped to keep the writing tight, yet propel it along. For a detective novel and mystery I felt that Kiernan kept the characters to a minimum, and introduced them slowly, therefore letting the reader build a better rapport with each one. This is a series that I will follow and I can foresee Kiernan making her name well known in this genre.

This is one of the better thrillers that I've read. It definitely gives me Tana French vibes, but stands on its own merit. While it's not the most fast-paced novel, it's complex and very engaging. Without spoiling anything, the characterization of the victim was particularly interesting to me. I especially appreciated that Frankie is respected among her peers and is no nonsense without being considered a bitch for being at the level she is at. My only critique is that I found the ending underwhelming. There was a lot of build up and then it ended on a flat note. With all that said, I definitely recommend this novel and I look forward to the next one in the series.

I have to admit, I struggled a bit with the first half of the book; I can’t quite put my finger on why though. But then suddenly out of nowhere, I was hooked. I didn’t want to let the book go, reading late into the night or to the last possible moment before I had to get out the car to go to work. I was desperate to find out who was the killer. The tension grabbed me and would not let me go! As the story went on, I warmed to Frankie. To begin with, I questioned her capabilities. She’s struggling to return to work after a serious attack on the job. She’s trying to slip back into the job whilst coping with the onset of PTSD, the looming court case arising from her attack not to mention the concern from her work colleagues. This girl has a lot on her plate to deal with. But she’s got that killer instinct and doesn’t like to give up on a case. Overall I did enjoy Too Close To Breathe and I’ll be looking out for The Killer In Me when it is released next year!

Olivia Kiernan’s “Too Close To breathe” is an exceptional debut novel and definitively falls within the great tradition of British/Irish police procedural mysteries. Her story of Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan is haunting, fast paced, well thought out, and very engaging. I highly recommend and greatly look forward to future novels from Olivia Kiernan.

Wow, where do I start! What a debut, I loved this novel! The Irish setting was a big bonus but the true winner for me was DCS Frankie Sheehan. She's just been cleared to return to duty after a brutal attack. Her first case seems to be an apparent suicide but things are looking a bit off after the autopsy. The more they learn about the seemingly perfect Dr. Eleanor Costello who at first was thought to have hung herself the more twisted the trail gets to finding her killer. The team has several false starts, they are following leads that take them to more puzzles. I liked Frankie because she's a tough no-nonsense leader who isn't afraid to go it alone if she needs to find out just what is driving this case. Her superiors are concerned about her because she has her own trial coming up where she'll have to face her own attacker. Is she getting in over her head, things are spinning out of control with this case. This is a real whodunnit and it was a hard one to put down, I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a great mystery. I'm looking forward to next installment in this series. I would like to thank First-to-Read for providing me with an e-galley of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Frankie Sheehan is newly returned to work after almost being killed. She probably shouldn't be back to work, but it keeps her busy and that is a good thing. As little a fan I am of having too much happen before a book (or series) starts, Ms. Kiernan was able to walk that fine line successfully. This book blended the trial for the crime committed prior to the current timeline nicely with the current crime and helped set up Frankie to move forward. I do hope the next few books delve further into her relationships with her coworkers and family.

I loved the character of Frankie and admired the strength she had as a character. She has recently been through a harrowing investigation that nearly claimed her life at the end. She does not let this hold her back as she gets back to business as usual. I thought this book was extremely well written and had a great, original storyline. I will be looking into more books from this author in the future. Thanks for the ARC, First to Read!

With all of the dozens of books about police chasing serial killers, here's one that actually does it right. Kiernan offers us a book that is tough to put down and easy to finish in one day. It feels authentic, realistic, honest. There's nothing over-the-top or cartoonish about it. Frankie Sheehan rings true as a character and her investigation feels right, chasing dead ends, false leads, clues, and answers that are just out of reach. Very well-written. Thanks to Penguin for providing a copy for review.

Throughly enjoyed this crime thriller, hard to believe this is a debut for this author. Thank you to First to Read for my ARC.

This book was fast paced and engaging. I was in a rush to get to the end! Well written and suspenseful. I would definitely recommend. Thanks First to Read for my advance copy.

I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review. What a twisted mystery! Very creative and imaginative! I did not figure it out until the end! Well written!

This police procedural hooked me right in. Although it took some time for Frankie's back story to be revealed it added to the suspense. The story line is gritty and sexual proclivities may upset some readers, but it's a dark world that does exist and the resultant violence is highly believable. The frustrations inherent in police work are realistically reported and the little things that can make or break a case are heartbreaking. I will definitely be looking for the next offering from Olivia Kiernan! I received a free, advance copy of this book from Penguin First to Read in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this. Great suspense and mystery!

4 stars for the author’s debut. This is a fast paced police procedural with a dash of psychological suspense. I can’t wait to read the next book in this new series.

It took me a little bit to get into this one but about 25% in the suspense really picked up. It took all the way to the last few pages for me to figure out who the actual killer was and it caught me completely off guard. I don't think there were too many clues that pointed to the killer throughout the story so the ending was pretty surprising. I did enjoy Frankie as a good lead character and will more than likely follow the series in the future.

Olivia Kiernan grabbed my attention with Too Close to Breathe. When Frankie returns to the force after being injured on the job she is given what is thought to be a quick subside case to tie up. But she sees signs of murder and convinces her superiors to let her investigate it. I loved how this novel tied together the characters as the investigation carries on. The dreary Irish setting matches the dark search for the murderer. This was a debut novel and I look forward to the continuation of a series.

I liked this debut novel by Olivia Kiernan and will likely pick up the next in the series. The author’s command of the human anatomy adds a realistic feel to the crime scenes and forensic reports. Frankie is an interesting female lead and there is a solid supporting cast I wish had been more fleshed out. (Never underestimate the power of chemistry to keep your reader hooked, there was potential for it here and hopefully will be a focus in future.) The plot itself, revolving around a woman’s homicide introduces some darkity-dark subject matter involving nasty physical abuse and S&M, I found it off-putting and not that interesting; it’s been done a thousand times before and all it does is make you feel like you need a shower after. Kiernan is compared to some incredible women writers in this genre and while she’s not there yet, this competent first attempt shows she has the ability to get there. Thanks to Penguin Random House for the digital ARC in exchange for a forthright review.

A police procedural novel taking place in Dublin. While I love mysteries, I don't often read books of this type. I definitely found it somewhat more interesting than I thought it would be. It's was a bit difficult for me to get into it at first. I liked it a bit more than I thought I would. I'd give it a 3.5 stars.

3.5 out of 5 stars? I was drawn to this book at first due to the location. However other than slightly different English and few local names mentioned it didn't particularly feel like elsewhere. My mistake, it's just a police procedural. Frankie was hard to relate to and the book took me a while to get into. I kept thinking this whole time that the book just has to be a sequel to some previous stories. I realize now it was the first story and a series is probably expected/hoped for. Few times the deductions seemed way too large leaps, I even went back to reread some parts if I didn't miss something. No spoilers, so the biggest leap was for me when they figure out that the "second" murder is related to the "first" one. I just didn't see it in the victim's sister's statement after the first murder. Eventually, the story has picked up and kept my attention though the subject was rather uncomfortable. Maybe a better editor next time?

Too Close to Breathe is a police procedural featuring DI Frankie Sheehan as the main investigator. Early on it is apparent that she has suffered a traumatic attack at the hands of a murder suspect. This had me question whether this book was a sequel to another book. I wasn't quite sure if this experience was just backdrop in order to better understand the main character's psyche or if it had any connection to the current case. Overall, Too Close to Breathe was an enjoyable read (I read it in one day.) I was surprised to find out that this was a debut. I will most likely pick up the next book in the series.

This book took a little bit to get into. The crime was interesting from the get go, but I was a little confused by the back story. References are made early on to a previous case of the main character’s, but in such a way that at first I thought this must be the second or third book in the series. About half way through, it becomes more apparent why this previous case is mentioned so much and the story overall becomes completely fascinating. I will definitely be looking for subsequent stories in this series.

This reminded me a lot of Tana French, which is a very good thing. The book started off with an intriguing case and a lot of power. Then the whole thing kind of stalled and it became frustrating, with a lot of wheel spinning. I began to find myself wondering how this was going to wrap up or if was going to wrap up at all. Then there were some huge coincidences and some extreme red herrings and it was over. I'm a little disappointed in the ending. It is total dumb luck that the police win and while that may be realistic, I'm not sure that it is the way to start a series. ***

I normally love mysteries but I just never felt fully invested in this one. I liked Ireland as a setting for the book but I just didn't care for the main character. I understand wanting to give the character a good backstory since this is the first book in the series but I thought it slowed down the pace of the mystery that was introduced at the beginning. This definitely isn't a horrible book but I have little interest in checking out future books in the series. Thank you to First to Read for the opportunity to read an advance digital copy!

This was a totally interesting story, with several plot twists, and a very unusual crime to solve. It is definitely smart, well written, and very descriptive. Absolutely recommended.

“We’re all the murdering kind, given the right motivation.” Too Close To Breathe by Olivia Kiernan was an excellent debut novel, 4 stars. The story was centered around Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan, who has just returned to service after a brutal attack by a serial killer. Her supervisor serves her up an easy case to acclimate her back, a Suicide. It seems easy enough till Frankie notices marks upon the woman’s finger tips...she died with her fingers trapped underneath the noose- someone was there when she died, someone removed them, and left her to hang. At times I felt this book was a little slow moving and when something of great importance came along it seemed rushed when it could have been explored with greater detail. I will definitely be sticking to this series and can’t wait to see what Frankie and Baz get into next. Thank you First to Read, Dutton Publishing, and Olivia Kiernan for allowing me to read a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

3.5 stars. This was a solid debut crime thriller and looks to be a good start to a new series. It is definitely dark and the crime scenes are graphic at times. I did think the back story of Detective Frankie Sheehan and the Tracy Ward case should have been the first book in the series rather than interspersed throughout this book. The book kept me guessing - I really didn't know who did it until the reveal at the end.

Detective Frankie Sheehan is not in a good place. She has returned to work after being attacked while working a case. Though her physical scars continue to heal, emotionally Frankie has a long way to go to full recovery. She has always managed her team fairly but also with a firm hand and she doesn't waste any time brushing aside their well wishes for her return as there is a suicide or was it murder to solve. There were numerous twists and turns and more than enough potential suspects to keep me intrigued and focused on guessing whodunit(I did not succeed this time).Suspects share only bits and pieces of the truth and everyone seems to have secrets and lies which are slowly revealed. This is one of those books where I would like to say so much more, but I am a no spoiler person, so almost anything else I say would give something away. Police procedural can be hit or miss for me, but I enjoyed Too Close to Breathe. When I finished I knew just enough about Frankie to realize I would like to know more. Thank you Olivia Kiernan, Dutton and First to Read for the digital ARC to read and review.

I hate reviews with spoilers so you won't read any here. All you'll get is my humble opinion about the quality of this novel. I generally enjoy police procedurals and this was a good showing for a debut novel. Kiernan is on her way to a lucrative career as a writer. Frankie Sheehan, the female lead, is a detective investigating a recent suicide that may or may not be as it seems. There are enough plot twists to keep your interest without being confusing. I enjoyed the book and would read more from this author. I was chosen to read an advance copy of this book as part of Penguin's First to Read program. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.

Olivia Kiernan’s debut novel is a suspenseful, complex police procedural that is hard to put down! Twists and turns abound as Irish Detective Frankie Sheehan and her dedicated team attempt to solve a series of seemingly related murders. Frankie has just returned to duty after narrowly escaping death while investigating a brutal murder. She is scheduled to testify in court against her assailant but begins to have doubts as she investigates her new cases. Frustration is palpable as one after another of their leads or suspects are ruled out. After months of following up on tips and theories, the pressure to solve the cases becomes intense when Frankie’s supervisor announces that the case will be closed because of budget restrictions and lack of progress. As Frankie revisits one last clue, she realizes that she may become the next victim. Thank you to First to Read, Penguin Random House, and author Olivia Kiernan for giving me the opportunity to read this absorbing mystery!

An intriguing, ominous, police procedural… This is the first book in the Frankie Sheehan series that can be read as a stand-alone. This was an intriguing police procedural with a heroine returning to work after being harmed on the job, she’s just getting back into the groove with this new case, a suicide by looks of it but in actuality murder with the added enigmas of a missing husband, an art book that doesn’t seem to fit in, and a computer that connects to the Dark Web. Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan is a damaged heroine, we see the psychological turmoil that she is still in after the trauma she suffered months before. She’s constantly questioning herself and that perhaps leads her to make mistakes she can’t abide to have. This detective, an experienced forensic scientist and profiler, isn’t one to give up until all the answers are found, such focus can be advantageous to bringing a killer to justice and decidedly dangerous to a person’s mental state and physical well-being. There’s an interesting twist when supposedly separate cases converge and this reader could not guess the perpetrator. As this is the first book in a series I do hope this character has learned the lesson she didn’t learn the first time, ALWAYS wait for her team. I was left with a question throughout the read. Don’t detectives in Ireland have guns? If Frankie had had one on her person like I would expect law enforcement officers to have she could have spared herself a lot of pain. The setting for this story is Dublin, Ireland, so there are phrases specific to that country’s colloquialism. This was not bad for a debut novel, the rather dark plot dangled intricately woven threads and the suspense as they slowly unraveled kept this reader turning the pages. I look forward to what this author comes up with next.

Too Close to Breathe is the story of Frankie Sheehan, a member of the Irish police force who is dealing with the effects of a previous case as the book opens. When an apparent suicide turns out to be murder, she begins working on a case that gets increasingly sinister. I enjoyed this book; I would read the next one if it becomes a series.

This was a fairly run-of-the-mill police procedural/thriller; it kept my interest, it was relatively fast-paced, the characters were relatively interesting (even if they didn't feel fully formed), and the ending came with a twist. This is sure to be the first in a line of books centering on Frankie Sheehan; I don't know that I loved this book enough to want to read the rest.

To Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan is a mystery set in Dublin. I am a faithful reader of another series of books set in Dublin and was excited to see this one. Overall, I truly enjoyed this book. The story was a little slow to start, but worth sticking with it. It's full of twists and turns, like a good mystery should be. This book is the first in a place procedural series and I'll be sure to put this series on my reading list.

It took a while to get used to her particular style or writing, especially since the story was in first person. The writing had a very distinct "poetry" vibe with its short choppy sentences. However, I was able to get past it and I enjoyed the mystery itself. It was well done.

I’m going to be honest, I did not enjoy this book. The writing seemed disjointed, and made assumptions that you knew what the protagonist had experienced in her past, which was not the case. I had to stop in the middle of reading several times to determine where the story was going....which was very disruptive. Some nuances in the language didn’t make sense as well. I finished the book, but was disappointed and would rather have spent my time reading something else. Sorry.....this is my first disappointed read from First to read.

So many interwoven story threads. It definitely kept me guessing all the way to the end.

This is an odd book: a very slow start that really feels as though the author has omitted several chapters or key details (by accident?) or perhaps there was a required-reading prior book. There isn’t; this is the first in a proposed series but honestly, the details are dragged out bit by bit and ... it’s a tough read. By the end, I understood that it was meant to create ‘atmosphere’ or verisimilitude because the main character, Frankie, was suffering from PTSD, and just didn’t want to deal with the details or didn’t know them. So, they were also withheld from readers. A heads-up would have been great for me. I gave up on this book several times because of it. By the half-way point, the plot finally gets really, very good. The confusion about the beginning gives way to the current police investigation and that is taut, exciting and creepy. By the end, all makes sense and this book is a real winner. But it’s a tough one to review, given that beginning and how often I dropped it and wanted to quit reading it. The back-of-book or preview should alert the reader that the main character has memory issues or PTSD or something like that. Just to encourage readers to hang in there.

I love a good police procedural, especially ones set in the UK and this one did not disappoint. I would have appreciated a bit more background on the characters, but perhaps we'll have that opportunity in future books. Well written, dark mystery, though a bit of a slow starter. Overall solid debut and I look forward to more from Olivia Kiernan.

Too Close To Breathe is a solid police procedural debut by Olivia Kiernan. We hit the ground running with detective Frankie Sheehan and the background of the main detectives and past history is fleshed out little by little as the story moves along. At the same time we have the case(s) at hand figuring out the connections between old and new crime scenes, some dark web/underworld BDSM which adds to the general dark suspense. Frankie is a likeable character that is struggling with PTSD from a past case, but it's easy to root for her & her team of detectives. Kiernan gives us the pieces of the puzzle and it makes for an enjoyable read overall. 3 - 3.5 stars

I'm not sure I've read any Irish writing before but I really loved it! Also, for being Olivia Kiernan's debut novel, I thought she did a great job! I don't always enjoy police procedurals, they seem too be too predictive but not this one. I really enjoyed following Frankie's mindset as she tried to seek out the killer. I feel like all ends get tied up and everything gets followed through. I look forward to reading more from Olivia Kiernan about Frankie Sheehan.

This has a bit of slow start, but overall it was a good read. I love thrillers, but I don’t usually read police procedurals so this was a nice change of pace. Loved the setting and the mystery itself was involved and kept me guessing. I will agree with other reviewers that this felt a bit the second in a series, but this didn’t detract too much for me. An excellent debut.

Too close to breathe is a crime debut featuring Garda detective Frankie Sheehan. Frankie is back to work after a long break and she is now investigating the apparent suicide of Eleanor Costello. I really liked Too close to breathe. It was fast paced, full of twists and with a very engaging and sympathetic main character. I can’t wait to read Olivia Kiernan next novel.

Despite my love of thrillers, one subgenre that I tend to stay away from is the police procedural – I’m just not a big fan of storytelling that relies heavily on a set formula. But I decided to pick up Too Close to Breathe anyway, because you know me, I’ll read anything if it’s Irish. And I mostly really enjoyed this. I think part of it is that it’s been so long since I read a police procedural that I was ready for a foray back into the genre. It’s still not my favorite type of thriller, and I probably won’t pick up another one any time soon, but I think I’ll check out the next book in Olivia Kiernan’s series whenever it’s published. The plotting in Too Close to Breathe was intricate, the subject matter was darker than dark but not particularly gratuitous, the characters were compelling, and the writing was mostly really solid (except for one dialogue which actually involved the line “Blah! I don’t go in for that kind of mumbo jumbo.” but I guess we can’t have everything). This book also made me really want a bonsai tree (or more accurately reawakened my desire to own a bonsai tree – this has been an ongoing Thing for me), so all in all I’d say it was a success. I do have some qualms – I found that there were a couple of gargantuan leaps in logic, mostly involving the way the detectives profile the killer (at one point a man tries to stab a woman but she gets away, so they deduce from practically zero information that he’s probably married and that he has a fetish for mutilating women and since this attempt went awry he’ll most likely try again… what???), and certain details behind the legal proceedings were a little far fetched, but oh well, maybe I couldn’t entirely suspend my disbelief, but I don’t know, sometimes I find nitpicking to be so tedious. I raced through this book, especially the second half – it’s undeniably engaging and entertaining and that’s pretty much all I could ask for. I also really loved Frankie’s character, which is the main reason I’m interested in continuing this series. I’m a huge fan of flawed female characters, and Frankie’s tragic backstory was less a tragic backstory than one traumatic event that happened a few months back, and I like that Too Close to Breathe begins when Frankie’s still in the middle of dealing with the aftermath. Overall, a promising start to what I hope ends up being an interesting series that will inevitably draw comparisons to Tana French – definitely worth a read if you’re a fan of the crime-thriller genre.

I enjoyed this book for the simplicity of the writing. This takes place in Ireland and I don't normally read books set there, so I found it to be a nice change of pace. It read like a typical detective novel, which I love. I was always trying to figure out what was going to happen next and there were definitely times that I was surprised and I really appreciate that, so I am definitely looking forward to the next book.

I enjoyed the read. I love a good mystery and this kept me guessing. My only complaints would be that some of the characters could use more background. Knowing them better makes me more likeable and memorable. I also feel like the ending could've been expanded on a bit to give more detail into the motivation and what happened with the characters afterwards. Maybe an epilog to show how life went on for them.

Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan is an enthralling mystery set in Dublin. This first novel in the Frankie Sheehan series is a clever police procedural with marvelous a cast of characters. Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan’s first case when she returns to work following a work-related injury appears to be a suicide but is, in fact, murder. Eleanor Costello is a microbiologist and guest lecturer at a nearby college and her teaching assistant Lorcan Murphy is definitely shaken by the news of her death. Interestingly enough, Eleanor’s husband Peter is missing which makes him Frankie’s prime suspect. The investigation is frustratingly slow paced since there is little evidence but the discovery of another victim, Amy Keegan, breathes new life into the case. Will Frankie and her team catch the killer before he or she strikes again? Frankie is a tenacious investigator with keen instincts which has contributed to her swift rise through the ranks. Although she has mostly recovered from her physical injuries, she does suffer from PTSD. She has an excellent working relationship with Assistant Commissioner Jack Clancy and her partner on the case, Detective Baz Harwood. The investigation into Eleanor’s murder reveals a few surprising details that are rather perplexing. What is the significance of the Prussian blue paint on the victim’s body? Where is Peter and does his disappearance have any connection to his wife’s murder? Is he responsible for some of the healed injuries that are discovered during Eleanor’s autopsy? What are Eleanor and Peter doing on the Dark Web? Is Lorcan being completely honest during his interviews? And if not, why? And last, but not least, why can Frankie not shake the troubling feeling that the current murders are somehow linked to a prior case? Although initially a little slow paced, Close to Breathe is an engrossing mystery. Frankie Sheehan is an outstanding lead protagonist whose dedication to her job sometimes leads to impetuous decisions that put her in jeopardy. Baz is a fantastic partner who is extremely supportive even when he does not agree with Frankie. The investigation is fascinating and delves into the murky world of the Dark Web and the BDSM community. Olivia Kiernan brings the novel to a twist-filled and exciting conclusion. Fans of the genre are sure to enjoy this first installment in the Frankie Sheehan series.

First of all, the only real similarity to Tana French is that both authors set their books in Dublin. Otherwise, the two authors are in different leagues. I agree with another reviewer who said that this felt like the 2nd book in a series. It felt like there was backstory that we were missing. Since I am someone who always wants to read books in a series in order, that bothered me the whole time I was reading this! It's a solid book but it didn't engage me. I had a hard time getting into it and wanting to keep reading. I can't really pinpoint why that is.

What a great debut! This book was full of suspense and kept me guessing. I liked the pacing of the book and Frankie was a solid character. I highly recommend this book if you like a good, suspenseful mystery. I hope we will go along on more of Frankie’s cases in the future.

I don’t read a large number of crime novels – and I haven’t read Tana French, but of the ones I do read Olivia Kiernan’s Too Close to Breathe reminds me most of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta series, only with the lead being a detective instead of a coroner. When I started this it felt like I was in the middle of a series, only to find out that it was actually the author’s first novel. This meant that at some points it felt like there was a backstory that I should know about but didn’t. It would have been better if there had been a prologue that established a background for where the story actually started. Some of the terminology got a bit technical at times, but Kiernan does a good job of creating a believable story with interesting plot twists, and an ending that isn’t entirely predictable.

I honestly liked "Too Close to Breathe" way more than I would've expected to. DCS Frankie Sheehan was a fun character, and I loved how the author made her flawed in her own way. I was intrigued by the storyline and found the story exciting and couldn't wait to find out how it ended. I think that her characters were really well designed and it kept me turning the pages quickly.

Thank you First to Read for allowing me to read an eARC of Too Close to Breathe. This is a criminal thriller with a side of police procedural. I really liked this offering from a first published author, Olivia Kiernan. A murder is first categorized as a suicide, and it is thanks to the scrutiny of DCS Frankie Sheehan to determine that this is truly a murder. The first victim who is discovered is not likable, and Kiernan presents other victims who are not at first what they seem. There are a lot of thrillers out there right now, and I think Too Close to Breathe compares very favorably to the other offerings. There is a lot of darkness in this thriller, including BDSM and the Dark Web. I liked the edginess of Too Close to Breathe, and I look forward to Kiernan's next book.

I could not get into this story. I love a good mystery, but I am unable to finish this one since it just will not hold my attention (which is something very rare for me). I am halfway through and I really do not care who killed Eleanor.

Too Close To Breathe began very slow for me. Another reviewer said that they did not finish because of that same reason. However, the story picks up pace about halfway through & I found myself racing toward the end. I think that the authors writing style is less Tana French, more Patricia Gibney. I own Tana French books. I have not read all of them. I own & have read all of the Lottie Parker series from Ms. Gibney. That being said, I believe that this is a strong first book for this author. She has potential & I look forward to seeing how she progresses.

I received early access to Too Close to Breathe through Penguin’s First to Read program. The novel follows detective Frankie Sheehan as she tries to find a twisted killer, who is just beginning his reign of terror. The story is very dark and contains rather disturbing subject matter, but it is engaging and the reader ultimately wants to find out who is responsible for all of the murder and mayhem that ensues. Too Close to Breathe is a solid read that will draw readers in as the story unfolds.

An excellent start to a new series. The thing I really appreciated about this was there weren't any wildly crazy technologies or futuristic forensics used to solve the mystery. It was all down to really good detective work that, as a reader, you followed right along with. Of course there were fingerprints and DNA and such, but the essence of the solving was pure detective reasoning and leg work. The story drew me in immediately and kept me fully engaged throughout. I look forward to the next in the series.

I had to DNF this about halfway through. And it makes me extremely sad because all the right elements were there--it's just a story that's been told time and time again. I love thrillers and mysteries and police procedurals but maybe it's time to take a break for a while...

Thank you First to Read for the opportunity to preview Too Close To Breath by Olivia Kiernan. Since I am of Irish heritage, I am always excited to read books that are centered in Ireland, and in this case Dublin. I think the location acts as a character as well in this debut novel. This appears to be the first in a police procedural series. Detective Superintendent Frankie Sheehan is assigned to a case that looks like a suicide, but soon it is declared a homicide. The victim's husband is the primary suspect and he cannot be found for questioning. Frankie is determined to find the killer and there are alot of suspects for her to choose from. Then another murder happens and Frankie wants to get to the bottom of these murders even if it jeopardizes her own safety. This is a good debut and it does boil down to a police procedural novel. I think it is a good debut; however, not sure what the author can do to set her writing apart from many others on the market today. The lead character is interesting and likeable. It's a good book and my hope is the writer will learn from this debut and come up with more interesting plots. I just think this plot has been done many times before. I do recommend for those who like crime novels.

A detective is still recovering from wounds she received on a case and starts working a new murder case. More bodies show up but no answers. Not quite a Tana French level story, but good. Seeing as this is the author's first novel, I would be interested to read more from her. This story definitely sucked me in. It was unpredictable and had some suspense too. Anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery should enjoy this.

While investigating the apparent suicide of Eleanor Costello, Detective Chief Superintendent Frankie Sheehan identifies clues that turn the case into a homicide investigation. With police unable to find Eleanor's husband, Peter, he becomes a prime suspect. An autopsy that reveals previous injuries and a trail leading to the dark web suggests a secret life the couple wanted to keep quiet. As the investigation develops another body turns up with a similar mark found on Eleanor's body. Detective Sheehan must find the answers to the puzzle and solve the case before the murderer claims their next victim. Set in Dublin, Too Close to Breath is the first novel in the Frankie Sheehan series. This novel introduces the reader to the no nonsense and determined Detective Sheehan, who is still recovering from being attacked by a killer in her previous case. She has been cleared to return to duty but her traumatic experience is threatening to affect her ability to perform her duties. This novel has Detective Sheehan chasing a killer with a signature footprint, the application of a blue stain to the victim. This fast paced crime thriller will pull you in and keep you guessing until the very end.

This is the best book I have read in ages! I couldn't wait to get back to it to read more. So impressed that this is Olivia Kiernan's first book. I look forward to reading more from her, hopefully with these same characters solving new cases. A++. Frankie is a sympathetic, driven but flawed protagonist, and the surrounding cast of characters--fellow cops, witnesses, possible suspects--are very well drawn and believable. The Irish setting is beautifully woven into the action. The mystery was dark and superbly constructed. The ending felt well earned and satisfying. Highly recommended and a home run debut!

I read this in two sittings. Couldn't put it down. The blurb compares it to Tana French's books, which is exactly right. The characters, particularly Frankie, are well-developed and don't take a backseat to the mystery. Looking forward to more books by this author.

I could not put this down. Olivia Kiernan weaves a chilling story and paints a very vivid picture. The complexity of the characters and the intrigue she created made this a page turner. The book evoked emotion and her descriptive language brings the characters' emotions alive. I am hungry for more of her writing and more stories about Frankie Sheehan. I dare say this is the best book I've read in quite some time.

 


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