Re-post : Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan | @QuercusBooks @LivKiernan @MillsReid11 | #TooClosetoBreathe

Today marks paperback publication day for Too Close to Breathe by Olivia Kiernan so I’m re-sharing my review from last year.

Author : Olivia Kiernan
Title : Too Close to Breathe
Series : Frankie Sheehan #1
Pages : 304
Publisher : Quercus
Publication date : January 10, 2019 (paperback)


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.


A woman is found hanging from a beam in her bedroom. Police quickly rule out suicide and although there are very little clues, Detective Frankie Sheehan and her team zero in on one suspect. Unfortunately, the person seems to have disappeared and they have a hard time tracking him down. When a second woman is found murdered, the pressure is on. Meanwhile, Frankie is dealing with her own issues. She’s still carrying the scars from an attack that left another young woman dead. The trial for the killer is inching closer but was the right man arrested?

Set in Dublin, this debut novel by Olivia Kiernan made me feel like I just jumped off a merry-go-round. That feeling you have when your head is spinning, you’re a bit dizzy, being pulled in various directions and not knowing where to point a finger or your feet. At times, I felt like the answers should have been blatantly obvious and yet I couldn’t figure them out at all. There are plenty of twists and turns to hold your attention and best of all, they fit the story and didn’t feel contrived at all just to dazzle you.

I’m a little unsure as to how I feel about Frankie Sheehan. Yes, she’s struggling even though she won’t always admit it. She’s determined and shows incredibly strength, but she also has this tendency of getting on my nerves for some reason. She doesn’t quite strike me as someone I’d get along with. Her partner Baz, on the other hand, created the perfect balance. He’s level-headed, seeing the grey where Frankie often only sees black and white. They make quite the team, in that respect.

This cleverly plotted, tense and suspenseful story shows you just never know what goes on behind closed doors and first impressions can often be highly misleading. Never judge a book by its cover and all that. Some dark subjects come to the fore in this investigation including some of the things you find on the Dark Web. Too Close to Breathe is a well-paced first instalment in a brand-new series that kept me guessing until the end and despite my initial misgivings about Frankie, I look forward to seeing where she goes next.

Too Close to Breathe is available to buy!

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Kobo | Wordery | Goodreads

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