Friday, October 6, 2017

The Breathless by Tara Goedjen

It's Friday! It's also gloomy and ick out and I want to stay home and read something creepy! Like Tara Goedjen's debut, The Breathless.

It's been one year since Roxanne Cole died. One year of hunting for the person everyone knows is responsible, her boyfriend Cage. One year of grief and trying to move on. 

For Ro's younger sisters, Mae and Elle, moving on means two different things. Elle has taken to cleaning their downtrodden home in hopes of turning it into a b&b. Mae hasn't yet figured out how to move on. And when she finds an old journal Ro discovered just before dying, she becomes obsessed with the idea that it can help her understand what went down that terrible day. 

Then Cage shows up on their doorstep. Asking for Ro. No one's seen him since she died and he claims he can't remember where he's been. In spite of all her suspicions, Mae decides to help, in hopes that finding out about Cage's lost year will finally answer the questions surrounding Ro's death. 

The Breathless is just packed with fabulous atmosphere! A creepy old house filled with old pictures and stories of past generations. A journal with what appears to be spells and secrets that trace back as far as Mae's family history. Oh, and the whole mystery surrounding Ro's death as well.

Of course Mae's investigation is not easy. First, the journal that she thinks could hold answers? Yeah, her grandfather wants her to have nothing to do with it, so she has to read it in secret and hope no one finds out. And it's not exactly easy to interpret. Ro clearly made her own additions to the book, but Mae can't make heads or tales of them, which of course makes her even more certain the answers are in the book.

It also doesn't help that Mae's father has been literally hunting for Cage for the past year. He says he'll shoot him on site!

From the start I was trying to puzzle this one out on my own. And while I thought I maybe had an idea... Nope! Well, maybe some but I was wrong in just as many theories.

Oh, and that atmosphere! I loved it. The story took it's time building, which I also appreciated, letting us get into the groove and get a good idea of the characters and the setting before easing us into the really weird stuff. And a lot of that stuff comes from flashbacks to that earlier generation of Coles. I don't want to spoil it, but if you're looking for a goosebump inducing southern gothic read, this is a good place to start!

The Breathless officially hits shelves Tuesday, October 10.

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