The Breathless

For fans of the dark family secrets of We Were Liars and the page-turning suspense of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer, The Breathless is a haunting tale of deeply buried secrets, forbidden love, and how far some will go to bring back what’s long dead. 

No one knows what really happened on the beach where Roxanne Cole’s body was found, but her boyfriend, Cage, took off that night and hasn’t been seen since. Until now. One year—almost to the day—from Ro’s death, when he knocks on the door of Blue Gate Manor and asks where she is.

Cage has no memory of the past twelve months. According to him, Ro was alive only the day before. Ro’s sister Mae wouldn’t believe him, except that something’s not right. Nothing’s been right in the house since Ro died.

And then Mae finds the little green book. The one hidden in Ro’s room. It’s filled with secrets—dangerous secrets—about her family, and about Ro. And if what it says is true, then maybe, just maybe, Ro isn’t lost forever.

And maybe there are secrets better left to the dead.

If you like stories that are dark, twisty, suspenseful, and full of gothic style plot lines with the kind of intrigue that drops the temperature around you just enough to make you feel a little jumpy then this is the book for you. Goedjen delivers a complex tale full of secrets with beautifully detailed settings and a smooth way of switching the story between different time periods as you journey into the family lore.

Her richly detailed world is haunted with compelling, unique characters that help push the mystery surrounding the death of Roxanne to become more than just another simple plot device. We can feel the pain as the characters are left reeling to discover the truth and deal with their grief in the process.

I had friends going to see the new version of It this past weekend but I couldn’t make it and decided to settle in with this instead; by the time I was done I didn’t feel cheated out of missing a creepy, horrific time at all. I’m running on only a couple of hours of sleep as I was up until almost 2a needing to finish this and jumping at every weird sound I never realized my home makes that late. How could I not get into that goosebumps kind of mood when presented with a story that includes tragedy, death, creepy mysteries, magic, crumbling architecture and the Deep South all elements from the perfect Horror movie.

Life and death, the ties that bind family and friends in this life and the next are all examined through the lens of her realistic creations. Despite the prevailing darkness of the story she still managed to piece together some beautiful writing that will capture your attention and make you want to read this cover to cover in one sitting.

Thank you to Netgalley and Delacorte Press for allowing me to review this!

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