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 ago, 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

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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