Cover Image: Don't Even Breathe

Don't Even Breathe

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book. Strong characters and a lot of suspense. This is a well written page turner. I hope that there will be more of Maggie to come.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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A good book with everything you want from a crime book, intrigue, suspense, shocks and crime ! A definite read.
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** spoiler alert ** 3.5 stars

This was an entertainining read.
Never have I heard homicide detectives called deathtectives before,and I'm wondering why it's not a thing!!!
I found a lot of this book implausible,not least the fact that as soon as it was said "Rita and her family died" ,I was thinking witness protection,yet it took the police 3/4 of the book to get there.
Would you really move back to the area you'd been removed from?
Would you harbour a grudge that far from childhood??
Do I care?
Not really. Because I liked our main characters,and I liked the style of writing,and it was decent paced and I didn't guess who the murderer was straight away.
That's pretty much what I'm looking for in a book. So I'm happy.
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Fantastic thriller! I couldn’t put this one down! My first novel by Keith Houghton and I can’t wait to see what else he has in store. I could t breathe waiting to see what would happen next!
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I didn't really know what to expect going into this, the first novel in the Maggie Novak series, but I was very impressed. There are surprises in every chapter and putting it down comes with great difficulty. Maggie is a likeable, affable protagonist who certainly knows her own mind and develops at her own pace. The plot is well constructed and complex but not overly so and the fast pace and clear, readable style will make this a hit with crime aficionados.

Many thanks to Thomas & Mercer for an ARC.
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Love the way the book draws you in so quickly, great characters and the subtle twists, another fantastic book a must read, can’t wait fir the next in series
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An edge of your seat mystery thriller. Maggie is trying to solve a murder that has personal connections for her. The author does an excellent job of displaying the menace and evil of the killer. With each word you read and page you turn, you feel the tension increase as the danger lurks nearer. There is nail biting suspense as you question the motives of each character and wonder are they killer or victim. This is a thrilling start to a new series that shows excellent potential.
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This was more of a slow burn murder mystery than a fast paced thriller. I don’t know if I would even consider this a thriller but the element of mystery was thick throughout the whole novel. The writing style was simple but engaging and it hooked me in from the first chapter; however, Maggie’s narrative was filled with heavy introspection that often times brought the pace down to a crawl. From the beginning, you get the sense that the plot is more complex than what it seems on the surface, and I was constantly left wondering how the different storylines would tie in together.

Maggie’s character was very intense. She was a typical detective, strong and determined with her focus reserved solely for work, and who allowed herself little to no time for a social life. While I found most of her relationships–whether with her boyfriend or father–to be strained and a little detached, I really enjoyed her partnership with Loomis and I thought they made a great team. His character brought a welcome levity to the story and I looked forward to the more active scenes that involved him, and less of Maggie’s inner dialogue. For much of the novel, there were hints of a terrible incident in her teen years that changed everything in her life and was (what she believed to be) the cause of all the ensuing devastation. This was so built up that when the incident was explained, I was disappointed with its execution–it was vague and patchy and fell short of my expectations.

I'm unsure if I was entirely convinced of her detective work either. It seemed that half the time a second party would be filling in the blanks and connecting the dots for her. But what I found most surprising (and a little irritating) was that, for as re-known a detective as she was, she didn’t realize how her theory of ‘whodunit’ made very little sense. Everything clicked for me at the 80% mark and although the showdown itself felt a bit rushed, I thought Keith Houghton did a good job pulling it all together for a reveal that was a little surprising but not entirely unpredictable. It was a good lesson in how certain acts in high school, particularly related to bullying, can spread its poison well into adulthood.

This was my first read by Keith Houghton and while it was filled with the typical elements of a detective murder mystery, I enjoyed it enough to be want to pick up another of his books. Thanks to Netgalley, the author and publishers Thomas & Mercer for the copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Don't Even Breathe
by Keith Houghton

Paperback, 304 pages
Expected publication: April 18th 2019 by Thomas & Mercer

Goodreads synopsis:
From the bestselling author of Crash comes a riveting thriller rife with murder, misdirection, and ghosts from the past.

Florida homicide detective Maggie Novak has seen hundreds of brutal murder cases, but when she is called out to investigate the charred remains of a young woman, in what appears to be a Halloween prank gone wrong, she is confronted with a twenty-year-old secret. The body is formally identified as that of school counselor Dana Cullen, but a distinguishing mark makes Maggie look again. She believes it is the body of her school friend Rita, who perished in a fire twenty years ago.

Maggie’s hunt for the truth behind the murder takes her back to a cruel high school trick she’s desperate to forget. And when another body turns up, Maggie realizes she too may be the target of a sinister plot creeping toward its final act.

Maggie needs emotional distance to do her job, but she’s so close to this case that she can’t even breathe. Will Maggie be able to uncover the truth of who wanted Rita dead? Or will her past mistakes catch up with her first?


5 Stars

This was a really good book. I marveled as the detective did the work to figure out why the victim she was sure she knew had a different name than on the driver’s license in her pocket. This was intricately detailed and amazing. Also a new author for me, so I am glad to find a good one to check out more of their books.

I thought the ending might be the usual suspects but I was genuinely surprised by how original the ending was. Good job!

The writing was stellar and almost like I was watching a movie than reading a book. Spine-tingling suspense at its finest. Definitely a thriller to check out. You won’t be disappointed.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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I read Before You Leap recently - excellent book, enjoyed the writing. I was excited to read this book - and wasn't disappointed. Some areas lagged but overall I was very pleased with this book. The ending had an incredible twist I enjoyed and did not see coming. Excellent read.
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I was good and geared up to intensely dislike this author when I first started this book. It opens with 2 teenagers headed out to the woods, the young man with murder on his mind apparently and this stunning description of the young lady: "her long smooth legs seemed to bend in the middle without any hint of knees, and her elbows seemed equally inconspicuous. Lindy Munson was a living, breathing Barbie doll and although her curves were subtle, she knew how to make the boys notice them."

*Insert eye roll of MASSIVELY EPIC PROPORTIONS. Oh. Great. Another male author that's going to reduce the women in his book to tits and ass, with ridiculous trite descriptions like her boobs jiggled like bags of jello and she stared off vacuously in the distance while her butt sashayed blahblahblasayblah. 

*Insert I was wrong, and I'm glad I kept reading. Our main protagonist, Maggie, is a damn gem of a detective. She's strong, persistent, influenced by her flaws, but not destroyed by them. Houghton does a really fantastic job of differentiating his characters with truly unique voices and personalities. A lot of authors just aren't good at that. In a lot of books, the characters blend together and they have to continuously insert descriptions prior to dialogue for you to keep straight who's who. Maggie Novak is her own person, as are the other players in this series (since this was marked as Novak Book #1, I'm truly hoping for more to follow). 

Don't Even Breathe is a piece of art. Novak finds a burned body, and a purse nearby with a license. The picture on that license turns out to be the face of a woman she knows for a fact burned in a house fire 20 years before. She knows because they were best friends before a horrible prank tore them apart. The name on the license isn't her friends name though, and what follows is a cat and mouse game of switched identities, a frame job, more dead bodies and a kidnapping. This book is a twisty turny thriller and was a heart racer to read. Right up there with the best authors in this genre, cannot wait to read more from this author!
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new exciting detective series and as usual  houghton delivers, with a fast paced thriller with twists and turns, that make it hard for you to put the book down.
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Thank you to NetGalley for an early read of the new Keith Houghton novel. I thought it was good but not up to  his Gabe Quinn outings - which I loved. There were some interesting characters and a few great twists towards the end but it was almost as if the 'seasoning' was lacking. Nevertheless I, as always, will look forward to the next adventure provided by Mr Houghton.
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Don't Even Breathe by Keith Houghton is one of the best thrillers I've read this year! I have never read any of his other books before so I was pleasantly surprised. 
Maggie Novak is a homicide detective in Florida. She is called to the scene of a horrific murder off of a trail the local teens call Devil's Landing. She is shocked when she recognizes the burned corpse of her high school best friend, Rita. Even more shocking is the fact that Rita supposedly died in a house fire with her family when she was 17!  Is this really Rita? Where has she been all these years? The ID they find on Rita has a different name. To find the answers Maggie must dig deep into her dark past. This was an exciting read and each chapter left me wanting more. I read feverishly to get to the thrilling conclusion. Definitely put this one on your TBR list! Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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My rating: 2.5/5

After seeing the attention grabbing cover and title, Don’t Even Breathe, I thought I was in for a scary, spooky story, but this was not the case. I would better describe Don’t Even Breathe as a police procedural. Unfortunately, instead of keeping me on my toes, I found myself often bored while reading the lengthy inner dialog and felt the characters’ relationships were unnatural and forced. There were many mentions to events that happened years ago thrown in in a way that made the story feel jumbled. I had a hard time connecting to the book and ended up skimming scenes not pertinent to the plot.

I also found myself growing irritated that the police didn’t think of possibilities that seemed almost obvious early on. The ending was a little far-fetched for my liking and there was an overly long explanation at the end of the book that really was unnecessary, given that the climax was clear enough. It was not my favorite book, but every reader’s experience and tastes are different and what might not be for me, may be for you.
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Homicide Detective Maggie Novak is called to the site of a horrific crime - a woman's body has been found charred. But when she hears the woman's identity, Maggie spots things that tell her it is instead her best friend Rita from over 20 years ago, who supposedly died in a home fire with her entire family. And Maggie also remembers why her friendship with Maggie ended all those years ago ~ a cruel prank that she pulled on Rita.But how is it possible that Rita is here now?  
Well done mystery that kept me guessing till the very end. Thank you #Netgalley!
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I've loved each one of Keith's books I've read and this one is no exception.  Great new character, Maggie, and it will be good see how see develops in future books.  The book keeps you guessing, with a great twist in the tale.  Definitely looking forward to the next book.
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One of those books you just can’t put down, twists, turns and entirely unexpected happenings. Love Maggie the complicated, dedicated to justice cop. She has past demons to confront though. The perpetrator is not a nice person at all but you can see why they set out on a road to revenge. So many possible suspects has you guessing right up till the very end. Super read.
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Same old cliches that so, so many thrillers fall into  - however, Don't Even Breathe is still an exciting read/ride. 

Maggie Novack is a Florida homicide detective who finds the charred remains of a woman who Maggie feels like is her childhood friend - who died in a fire 20 years prior. 

There's flashbacks to high school and the mean things that girls do to each other. 

This is a cliched story but it's still worth reading. 

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
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I really loved this book. I’m going to admit, I love all of Keith Houghton’s books. This book like his others, grabs you from the start.  I didn’t want to put it down. He makes the characters real. You know what they’re thinking and feeling.  And, be prepared for some surprises.  Enjoy!
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