Her Last Breath is a suspense thriller and revolves around Estelle, a nutritionist who is about to launch her first book.
The book opens with a prologue from 1994 which contains a social worker’s report for seven year old Estelle, recommending the child’s removal from her drug addicted parents.
A little over twenty years later, Estelle is preparing to launch a book focusing on healthy ‘pure’ recipes. Her rags to riches story has risen via social media and a blogging series, where she helped a friend with diabetes improve her health with diet changes. Then, in a heady rise to fame, she was asked to be the nutritionist for the GB Rio Olympic rowing team; her success kept flowing.
During an interview with a reporter, renowned for routing out dark secrets, Estelle is asked about her years in the care system. Uncomfortable about her past, this is only the start of trouble for her, as ancient secrets are brought to the surface and she doesn’t know who to trust.
This is a well written story, with plenty of red herrings for those who like to guess the outcome as they read along. There are enough twists and turns to have me changing my mind several times about the identity of one particularly sinister character. The Lilysands coastal setting, with its sub-plot about coastal landslides, is believable as is the small town atmosphere, where everyone knows everyone else’s business.
I did feel that Estelle’s character was sometimes unrealistically childlike, with constant arguing and storming off from encounters, and, particularly, rushing from too many important responsibilities. I would have warmed to her more if she had been portrayed with more mature thoughts and responses. There was also a bit of rather clichéd DIY sleuthing about a childhood friend’s suicide which left me confused at the big reveal. I would define this book as a family saga with suspenseful elements rather than an edge of your seat high-end thriller.
For fans of Tracy Buchanan and readers who like gentler suspense. Contains some violence.
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A fifteen-year-old girl has gone missing. They say Poppy O’Farrell has run away from her celebrity parents, and the media is in a frenzy. But none of this has anything to do with successful lifestyle blogger Estelle Forster . . . So why would someone send her a picture of the missing girl – and a note, claiming to know Estelle’s secrets?
One small photograph will push Estelle’s pristine life to the brink of disaster. To find out who is threatening her, Estelle must return to her coastal hometown and the shameful past she thought was long behind her.
Estelle knows there’s more to Poppy’s disappearance than teenage rebellion. A dangerous game is being played, and the answers lie in the impenetrable community she once called her own.
But how will anyone believe her, if she can’t tell them the truth?
Her Last Breath is an addictive, twisting and emotionally powerful book that will have you hooked until the very last page.
About the author
Tracy Buchanan is a full-time author who lives in Buckinghamshire in the UK with her husband, their little girl and their puppy, Bronte. Tracy travelled extensively while working as a travel magazine editor, sating the wanderlust she developed while listening to her Sri Lankan grandparents’ childhood stories – the same wanderlust that now inspires her writing.