From the bestselling author of Crash comes a riveting thriller rife with murder, misdirection, and ghosts from the past.
Florida homicide detective Maggie Novak has seen hundreds of brutal murder cases, but when she is called out to investigate the charred remains of a young woman, in what appears to be a Halloween prank gone wrong, she is confronted with a twenty-year-old secret. The body is formally identified as that of school counselor Dana Cullen, but a distinguishing mark makes Maggie look again. She believes it is the body of her school friend Rita, who perished in a fire twenty years ago.
Maggie’s hunt for the truth behind the murder takes her back to a cruel high school trick she’s desperate to forget. And when another body turns up, Maggie realizes she too may be the target of a sinister plot creeping toward its final act.
Maggie needs emotional distance to do her job, but she’s so close to this case that she can’t even breathe. Will Maggie be able to uncover the truth of who wanted Rita dead? Or will her past mistakes catch up with her first?
About the Author
Keith Houghton spent too much of his childhood reading science fiction books, mostly by flashlight under the bedcovers, dreaming of becoming a full-time novelist. When he was thirteen, his English teacher—fed up with reading his space stories—told him he would never make it as a science fiction writer. Undeterred, Houghton went on to pen several sci-fi novels and three comedy stage plays while raising a family and holding down a more conventional job. But it wasn’t until he started writing mystery thrillers that Houghton’s dream finally became reality. Though his head is still full of space stories, he keeps his feet planted firmly on the ground, enjoying life and spending quality time with his grandchildren.
Houghton is the bestselling author of the three Gabe Quinn thrillers—Killing Hope, Crossing Lines, and Taking Liberty—as well as the stand-alone psychological thrillers No Coming Back, Before You Leap, and Crash. Please visit www.keithhoughton.com to learn more.
I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This mystery/thriller novel brings to mind the reasons why I feel in love with the genre in the first place: the high intensity that sits on the heart throughout every page; the heart-pumping questioning the theorizing that takes place from beginning to end; the satisfying and yet sometimes puzzling endings that make you want to read more from this character when the ride ends. This book hit all of these notes and more for me as a lover of mystery/thrillers. Keith Houghton started the story off with a bang and ended with one as well. The plot was captivating and interesting. Towards the end it became a little messy with some confusing details, but overall the story was clear. My biggest worry about male authors writing female characters, especially ones that are supposed to be strong headed, is that the male authors will play the females too safe. Houghton did a phenomenal job with Maggie, who was both head strong and had her soft spots too. She has made mistakes, and owns them, but keeps them secret from others because she's insecure about people perceive her in one way or another, like many women do. She was interesting, dynamic, and the true driving force within this story. The atmosphere within the novel was just right for me: intense, but not suffocating to the point where all I am focusing on is the atmosphere. Things felt intense where they needed to be, and didn't where the intensity wasn't needed. It was a great balance that is often hard to do with thriller novels, which are expected to be at 100% intensity every second until the end. Overall, with a minor hiccup towards the end, "Don't Even Breathe" is a wonderful start to a series that I will definitely be looking for the next book of. Houghton's writing has inspired me with my own mystery/thriller, and is truly a great example of ones that are done well within the modern writing realm. Rating: 4/5 stars
Loved this book! The good I loved the story and The twists I loved that it touched on high school bullying from an adult perspective. Don't we all have things from that time that make us sad, or affect our behavior now? I thought the characters were 3 dimensional and I was rooting for them. The bad The surfer bum psychiatrist boyfriend confused me. Why even bring him in? And I felt like there was more to that story that I was missing..like in a previous book? I debated between 4 and 5 stars. But since I had trouble putting it down, I rounded up. Thanks to net gallery for an advance copy to read.