Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Too Close to Breathe (Frankie Sheehan #1) by Olivia Kiernan

Too Close to Breathe (Frankie Sheehan #1). Olivia Kiernan.  Penguin Publishing Group. Copyright 2018. pb. 304 pp.; ISBN: 9781524742614. 

Frankie Sheehan is dealing with two complex murders as a detective in Dublin, Ireland.  Sometimes the public fails to understand or perceive the tremendous stresses that are a constant and pervasive part of the job.  Frankie is well-respected but also has her colleagues worried about her present recovery and work on another case.

The first one involves the murder of Tracy Ward, a case in which she was physically assaulted in a brutal way.  Even now in the middle of her work, her own posttraumatic stress syndrome makes it hard to function, but Frankie is no wimp and forges on.  She dreads having to testify against the accused killer but her passion for justice far exceeds her fears.  The second and present case she is trying to solve with her colleagues involves a well-respected microbiologist scientist and professor, Eleanor Costello.  At first it was believed she committed suicide.  But clues appear that indicated murder was the truth and there is a further mystery with the mysterious disappearance of the victim’s husband. 

Add to the mix that this crime has something to do with the Dark Web of the Internet where people who enjoy violence with sex communicate with each other.  Many of these scenarios go further than intended, eventually involving law and order forces. But a chemical will prove to be the weakness that the killer leaves behind and leads to an arrest. 

Is the trial of the first murder connected to the death of Eleanor Costello?  Is Tracy in more danger than she realizes?  As the person in charge of the investigation of both cases, how clear is Frankie’s thinking as her own traumatized psyche confuses issues.

Olivia Kiernan has written a gripping, reality-based police mystery novel that will keep you flipping the pages, wondering if justice will be served or evaded. Nicely done, Olivia Kiernan!

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