One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf
You reach about the sixth paragraph and read (paraphrased) -- “I love you Mom.”“I’m at school….He has a gun. He has PJ and he has a gun.” “I’m in a closet. He put me in a closet.” Then you hear gunshots.
Now mind you the Mom who is hearing this is in the hospital in Arizona with horrible burns, under heavy sedation and is over 1000 miles away from the school in Iowa where her son and daughter are being held hostage.
This is the story of the people of Broken Branch and what they endured on this snow filled spring day just before the kids spring vacation.. This is really is a story as seen through the eyes of the main 7 or 8 characters. These people range from one of the hostages, the police, grandparents etcetera.
I really hate using a cliché, but this cliché is so apt - I could NOT put this book down. I even took it into the powder room with me.
I have never before read this author I have never even heard of her, but I will be interested in seeing if her past books are as riveting as this one.
This book is filled with taut suspense, excellent timing, vivid characters and a story that is less a suspense novel, than it is a horror novel. After all what could be more horrible than a possible massacre at a school filled with kids? The dialogue was realistic and using so many people as possible suspects was exciting. The only issue I had with the plot line was why the FBI or the IBI couldn’t get there to help, it was a hostage situation after all…damn the weather!
The author did manage to eventually work that out in the story and the book ended on a wonderful note.
As far as reviewers and even her press review excerpts are comparing this author to Jodi Picoult…I wouldn’t know since I’ve never read that author. However, I don’t think we should be making comparisons between them. I think that this author is most likely in a league of her own.
*ARC SUPPLIED BY PUBLISHER*