A Breath After Drowning by Alice Blanchard


“Sixteen years ago, Kate Wolfe’s young sister Savannah was brutally murdered. Forced to live with the guilt of how her own selfishness put Savannah in harm’s way, Kate was at least comforted by the knowledge that the man responsible was behind bars. But when she meets a retired detective who is certain that Kate’s sister was only one of many victims of a serial killer, Kate must face the possibility that Savannah’s murderer walks free. Unearthed disturbing family secrets in her search for the truth, Kate becomes sure that she has discovered the depraved mind responsible for so much death. But as she hunts for a killer, a killer is hunting her…”

-Synopsis from back cover


Cover image from StoryGraph

I won a copy of A Breath After Drowning on Instagram and was very excited to read it. I’ve read three of Alice Blanchard’s other books and loved all of them, and was sure I would love this one too, and I did.

I will say up front that while this was an amazing read, I would caution readers to check the content warnings before diving in. There are a handful of topics such as suicide, self-harm, assault, among others that may be difficult to read about. With that being said, those topics will not be discussed in this review and there will be no spoilers.

This story is dark, spooky, and mysterious. Although it does not take place in October, I think it would be a great Halloween read because of how utterly creepy it is. I was hooked from the beginning. Kate is a psychiatrist and we get to see a lot of what her work is like behind the scenes. It isn’t pretty, and you definitely wonder how she can handle a career dealing with so many other people’s traumatic pasts when she has had such a difficult past herself.

When the detective approaches Kate, she at first doesn’t want to believe that her sister’s killer could still be out there. She has come to terms with what happened and having her reality questioned shakes her to her core. But as Kate begins to investigate things herself, she uncovers secrets about her family and the truth behind certain events that she never questioned before until now.

This book has one of the best endings for a thriller/mystery that I have ever read. It actually gave me a nightmare which I think is such a compliment to Alice Blanchard for being able to construct a story that I was so emotionally invested in which resulted in an ending that was equally emotional and terrifying. There were so many twists and every time I thought it was over, it wasn’t. The betrayal that takes place was such a shock, and I would recommend this book based on how incredible that ending was alone.

I loved everything about this book! If you like psychological dramas or are looking for something dark and spooky, I would highly, highly recommend this book.

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