Friday, July 13, 2012

ONE BREATH AWAY

Author:  Heather Gudenkauf  
Genre:  Fiction, Standalone
Published:  2012
Personal Rating:  4/5 (very good)
Format: eBook
Yearly Count:  62


From NetGalley:
One school. One gunman. Your child. In her most emotionally charged novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf explores the unspoken events that shape a community, the ties between parents and their children and how the fragile normalcy of our everyday life is so easily shattered.

In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. Outside the school, the town of Broken Branch watches and waits.

Officer Meg Barrett holds the responsibility for the town’s children in her hands. Will Thwaite, reluctantly entrusted with the care of his two grandchildren by the daughter who left home years earlier, stands by helplessly and wonders if he has failed his child again. Trapped in her classroom, Evelyn Oliver watches for an opportunity to rescue the children in her care. And thirteen-year-old Augie Baker, already struggling with the aftermath of a terrible accident that has brought her to Broken Branch, will risk her own safety to protect her little brother.

As tension mounts with each passing minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.

This was my first introduction* to Gudenkauf's work, and I have to say I was very pleased.  The story was narrated in 5 different voices -- each and every one of them being unique and intriguing.  And, at times, it was difficult to put down. 

My disappointment was with the police.  Virtually none of what happened procedurally rang true to me; thus, throwing a wrench into my enjoyment.  Other than that, it was a very good book, and I recommend it.  I look forward to reading her other books, now.





My thanks go to Harlequin and NetGalley for providing me with this eGalley.

*Oops!  It was NOT my first introduction.  I read These Hidden Things in January, 2011 and rated it a 3.75/5.


12 comments:

  1. Thanks for this recommendation! As you know, I always look to your for good books to read. Picked up The Paris Wife at the library this afternoon.

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    1. Danielle ~ I hope you enjoy it! It's a bit of a page-turner. :)

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  2. Hm, the book sounds good but also rather disturbing.

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    1. Bermudaonion ~ It was a little disturbing, but I was focused on figuring out who the gunman was.

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  3. I will be reading this one next week! I have her other two books but haven't gotten to them yet!!

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    1. Staci ~ I think you'll like it a lot. If only the police procedural parts were more authentic, this would have been close to a 4.5 for me. I only have one, The Weight of Silence.

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  4. I had the same thought as Kathy. It sounds like a good book, but rather disturbing. If your rating was a little bit higher, you might have persuaded me. :)

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    1. Les ~ I really didn't think it was that disturbing. Maybe I've been hardened by so many brutal scenes in the thrillers I read. I don't know. Also, because of all those thrillers, the police procedurals didn't seem realistic.

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  5. I have one of her other books on my shelves. I've heard so many great things about her.

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    1. Stacybuckeye ~ I'm definitely interested in reading more by her.

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  6. I don't know if I could read this. It sounds so good though!

    Right after I had the baby, I had no problem with books like this, but as she's gotten older, they are starting to bother me more and more--in terms of making me more emotional. Although, some books are easier on me than others . . . I'm still figuring it out.

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    1. Literary Feline ~ There's a time for everything, and there are many more books available to you that don't provoke serious emotional distress. No need for that!

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