Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon

dont closeThere are plenty of hot topics in this psychological thriller, however I think there was one in particular that resonated more with me. Possibly because in this story it is the root and cause of everything else, all the other problems to come, and perhaps also because it is so commonplace nowadays.

Divorce, separation, custody battles and enforced patchwork families. That doesn’t mean some families don’t manage amicable arrangements, however the emotional trauma still remains the same. Depending on how vicious and vindictive things get the emotional damage is unmeasurable.

For the twins, Robin and Sarah, the moment they are ripped apart is the beginning of the end. The reader meets two happy little girls in the past and then moves forward to encounter two unhappy women in the future. The paths the two of them take are completely different. Robin finds fame and enough anxiety to fill a house, whereas Sarah creates a family, but is ousted by her manipulative husband.

It is fair to say that all is not what it seems, as the layers of this story are slowly torn away like someone peeling an onion. The anger, abuse and hate ripples through the two families over the years. It leaves victims in its wake.

Seddon confronts the reader with quite a few uncomfortable truths, and yet simultaneously she spins a web of fear, deceit and mayhem around them. It is done in such cunning way that you don’t see the twist coming until it nearly smacks you in the face.

Buy Don’t Close Your Eyes at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

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Read Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

Try Not to Breathe by Holly Seddon

ty not to breatheAn unusual choice, creating a main character with an alcohol problem, but it works.

Seddon gives a superbly accurate insight into alcoholism, especially the minutiae planning of a so-called functioning alcoholic. Alcohol, alcoholism and alcoholics are often written in a stereotypical way.

Pretty much typecast in certain scenarios, dialogues and situations. Seddon has obviously done her homework and focused on one of the sub-categories or rather one of the five types of alcoholics.

Alex plans her entire day around the next drink, the next hit of alcohol and next release from her inner hell. How many bottles at what time and how to deal with the consequences of her consumption, everything revolves around those key factors. Her job, her personal life and her day to day life.

Just how structured the planning can be for a functioning alcoholic becomes clearer, as Alex tries to get a better grip on it. So far everything and everyone around her has fallen prey to her disease.  In an effort to pick up the remnants of her career she starts investigating the cold case of an attack on a young teenage girl.

Amy is with the reader throughout the story, albeit in a very unusual way. Her memories, her emotions and her perceptions are a pivotal part of this tale.

The story flits from past to present with occasional visits to the years in between. The reader follows Alex as she tries to control her life and solve the mystery of the attack. Simultaneously the reader hears Amy’s inner dialogue, which is also exceptionally well written and described.

Overall this was an innovative approach to a crime story with an anti-heroine as the main character, and it was an excellent read.

Buy Try Not to Breathe at Amazon UK or go to Goodreads for any other retailer.

Follow @hollyseddon and @Atlanticbooks

Read Don’t Close your Eyes by Holly Seddon