Her Last Breath by J.A. Schneider – Book Review
Her Last Breath by J.A. Schneider
Detective Kerri Blasco Book Two
Publisher – CreateSpace
Pages – 248
Release Date – 6th October 2016
ISBN-13 – 978-1539117971
Format – ebook, paperback
I received a free copy of this book
A chilling psychological thriller about a woman caught between two men…
Mari Gill wakes to horror in a strange apartment next to a murdered man, and can’t remember the night before. Accused of murder, she feels torn between her husband, a successful defense attorney, and a mysterious, kind man who wants to help.
Can she trust either of them – or even her friends? Detective Kerri Blasco battles her police bosses believing Mari is innocent…but is she?
I knew I’d love this book the second Mari Gill woke up in bed next to a man with a knife sticking out of his chest. She has no idea how she got there or where the hell her asthma inhaler as gone, all she knows is that she needs it to survive long enough to find out who’s set her up.
Luckily for her, an unknown attractive man turns up and gives her CPR and calls an ambulance. He seems determined to become a part of her life to keep her safe, but his motives are unclear. Between this slice of good lookin’, her estranged husband coming to the rescue at a moment’s notice and her neighbours asking some suspiciously blunt questions, Mari just doesn’t know who to trust.
I do love a psychological thriller and Schneider is one of my favourite authors to provide said thrill. She has such a compelling and intelligent writing style, she hooks you from the first page and doesn’t let you go until the very end.
My favourite thing about Schneider is her portrayal of female characters. She doesn’t really mention anything about their appearance and they don’t go around being sexy and sultry all the time. They’re clever, flawed and 100% realistic.
Mari is resilient. She’s been set up for a murder and generally victimised but she’s resilient. Once she’s recovered from the initial shock, she starts to logically work out what happened to her.
She’s a recovering alcoholic but this trauma isn’t a convenient narrative tool to get her drinking again, her willpower is truly heroic and she keeps it together. It’s subtle, but it makes her far more admirable than any amount of beauty or unlikely sleuthing skills.
Though the story is told from the perspectives of Mari and Kerri Blasco, namesake of the series. Kerri is one of my favourite female detective characters of all time. Not least because she’s a genuine police detective rather than a quirky amateur sleuth – the realism goes a long way. Kerri is very talented and intuitive, you could possibly put it down to female intuition but she can read people exceptionally well. This does cause some friction in her team, but again, it’s within the realms of realism and professional behaviour.
I think it’s the characters that set this book apart from other psychological thrillers, the dialogue and character development is excellent and gives us a snapshot into the minds of strong, ordinary women. There’s also a lot of suspicion and murder, so there’s nothing here that isn’t excellent.
Book reviewed by Nia
J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek. Words and story ideas are always teeming in her head – “a colorful place!” she says.
She’s a wife, mother, and loves thrillers and medical thrillers. Once a Liberal Arts major (French and Spanish Literature), she has become increasingly fascinated with medicine and forensic science. Decades of being married to a physician who loves explaining medical concepts and reliving his experiences means that there’ll be medical angles even in “regular” thrillers that she writes.