• review by Paul Burston

To Close To Breathe


I know I’m late to this but I enjoyed it so much I had to post a review.

In the first of a series of crime procedurals, Olivia Kiernan establishes her protagonist Frankie Sheehan in the opening few pages. A woman’s body has been found. The crime scene has been staged to look like a suicide but Frankie’s instincts tell her something doesn’t add up

Still recovering from an earlier incident where a woman died and she suffered physical and psychological harm at the hands of the alleged perpetrator, Frankie has a lot to prove. Her boss thinks she’s too fragile to be back on the job - and the new case is more complex than it first appears. Soon a second body is discovered, then a third. Is the first victim’s missing husband responsible? What does the presence of Prussian blue ink on the bodies signify? And how far is Frankie willing to push herself to escape her past and catch the killer?


Told from Frankie’s point of view, this is an absorbing page-turner, filled with startling observations about police procedure, mental health, the Dark Web and the care of bonsai. The characterisation is superb and the plot grabs you from the start and doesn’t let up until the final page.

I may be a late starter but I’m already a major Frankie fan.

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