Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Too Close to Breathe - Mystery Review

Rating: Good
Source: Publisher


Polished. Professional. Perfect. Dead. Respected scientist Dr Eleanor Costello is found hanging in her immaculate home: the scene the very picture of a suicide.


DCS Frankie Sheehan is handed the case, and almost immediately spots foul play. Sheehan, a trained profiler, is seeking a murderer with a talent for death.


As Frankie strives to paint a picture of the killer, and their victim, she starts to sense they are part of a larger, darker canvas, on which the lines between the two blur.

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book:
  I love a police procedural and haven't found too many that take place in Ireland.

My Impression:
  Well this was a twisted bit of crazy!  This book really brought home just what I love about a strong police procedural.  I've been reading a lot of cozy mysteries lately and while I love the warm quirky community, the humor and the general coziness of the read I sometimes miss just a straight up gritty mystery and this book delivered that in spades.  The book opens with DCS Frankie Sheehan observing an autopsy of what appears at first glance to be a suicide but at second glance not so much.  It's clear that Sheehan has been on leave for something traumatic and is still trying to find her way back to the way she was before though it does take some time for what exactly happened to be revealed.  Normally the slow hints would drive me crazy but since it has nothing to do with the actual investigation and more with the character development of Sheehan it worked for me. 

I really enjoyed just how this mystery developed.  It starts out looking incredibly simple and slowly becomes more and more complicated.  Nothing is as it appears.  The pacing was solid throughout and I never felt that the detectives were just spinning their wheels.  The progress may have been slow at times but there was always progress.  Not only did the book take place through Frankie's eyes but I felt like I was really inside her mind.  I liked seeing how she thought things out and seeing not only how she fit things together but also her coping techniques and she struggles to deal with some pretty gruesome stuff but also a traumatic past incident.

The book isn't flawless.  At times I felt I was a bit too much in Frankie's head and while for the most part I enjoyed it there were times the internal monologues went on a bit too long.   As well, the story was told in present tense which always takes me a bit of time to get used too reading but that's purely a personal issue.

Overall, I enjoyed this dark and twisty police procedural.  I enjoyed the Dublin setting, the way the mystery came together, and am really looking forward to what investigation Frankie lands in next.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely.  This a series I will definitely be looking out for.

Would I Recommend this Book?
  This felt a bit of a mix of Tana French and Deborah Crombie.  If you enjoy either of those two mystery authors (or darker police procedurals in general) I think you'll enjoy this one.


  1. I love both Deborah Crombie and Tana French. Can't lose with one can I? I used to read a lot more cozy-type books. And I've tried to get back into that theme, but there are very few that hold my interest these days. Not sure why, but I've decided not to worry about it. Our reading life has seasons like regular life. Mine seems to be more in the 'darker' vein of crime books.

  2. This sounds like something I would like. I really like it when a mystery become more complicated as things are revealed. I will have to keep an eye out for this one.

  3. I am a fan of dark and twisty and you definitely have me interested! Great review thanks for sharing.

  4. I have such a hard time with stories told in present tense! I just can't get used to it. This does seem different than what you usually go for, but switching it from time to time is always refreshing!

  5. I know I hate that present tense stuff too, although if the book is good enough it can carry it for me. And this sounds like it has enough to keep a reader reading.

  6. Sounds pretty interesting so I put it on my wishlist. :)

  7. I love mysteries set in Ireland...so I'm intrigued by the sound of this one. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thank you for a really good review, Katherine. There are time when I also feel the need for a grittier murder mystery and this sounds like a great read. Thank you for sharing.