Subtly paced and completely engrossing, this is a read that will keep you hooked to the end ... Blanchard does a fantastic job of creating enough twists, turns, red herrings and ambiguous clues that this novel will keep you guessing right until the killer is revealed. Like other great novels, however, you believe the entire time that you know who it is (but you keep being proven wrong) ... She has also written an incredibly strong and nuanced protagonist in Dr. Kate Wolfe ... well worth a read if you are a fan of well-constructed, beautifully paced psychological thrillers!
Bizarre coincidences and shocking revelations concerning former neighbors and Kate’s own family members, as well as the murder of the mother of another one of her patients, cause Kate to question her own hard-earned sanity. But she’ll need all her wits about her, and then some, to eventually do battle with one of the most memorable genre villains since Hannibal Lecter.
I don’t have a lot of feelings either way about this book. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with the plot or characters, but there’s nothing really outstanding either. It was fairly predictable, both in who the killer really was and how it all played out. I didn’t find Kate to be a very relatable character, but I also didn’t dislike her ... I do think readers who enjoy Ruth Ware and Megan Miranda will enjoy this book. It has a similar feel to their styles of writing as well as similar kinds of storylines
Plenty of twists help keep the reader engaged ... Perhaps the most major complaint is how everything pays off so effectively. Now, there’s a reason for that in the book. But it’s still hard to think about how long all of this has been going on. Blanchard tries to explain away parts of the mystery, but those explanations feel hollow. It’s all left feeling particularly artificial ... There is one exception to this, though: the ending scenes, which are raw in the best way.
In A Breath After Drowning, the protagonist is a psychiatrist, but the field is misrepresented ... unfortunately, we get little substance to Kate ... Everything is entangled in the novel early on, which makes Blanchard’s misdirections work well ... The plot is engaging, and throws enough misdirection at the reader to ensure that even if you thought you knew whodunit at first, you will doubt yourself again and again. But the book’s inconsistencies are disappointing: it includes a host of wild inaccuracies, several bizarre dialogues that don’t track, and it manages in equal measure to malign and idealize severe mental illnesses ... Despite its inaccurate representations of the psychiatric field, the novel is a fast-paced read written in the style of many easy-to-digest psychological thrillers.
Blanchard offers three-dimensional, empathetic characters caught up in twisting events, as well as sympathetic views of Kate’s patients. The killer’s identity may strain credibility, but strong pacing and characterization more than compensate.