Blog Tour Review, Hold Your Breath

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Hold Your Breath
Helen Phifer

289 pages
Published June 2, 2023

About the Book:

The biting wind whips around the crystal-clear waters of the lake. The girl sits with her eyes open, as if transfixed by the waves on the shoreline, but she has taken her last breath…

When Detective Morgan Brookes is called to Lake Thirlmere one frosty night, she’s devastated to find the body of a young woman positioned in front of the glistening reservoir. She has ligature marks on her limbs, glue residue on her eyes, and her beautiful face is as cold as ice. Knowing only a dangerous serial killer would arrange a scene so carefully, Morgan is in a race against time to stop them before more innocent lives are lost.

The victim is twenty-year-old Jasmine Armer and her mother is distraught to hear that her beautiful daughter is gone. And Morgan is shocked when she learns that Jasmine’s father recently died by suicide at the same picturesque spot. The killer must have known the family. Then Morgan receives a terrifying package at the station of an intricate death mask. She immediately recognises Jasmine’s long lashes and perfectly-plump lips.

With the killer taunting her, Morgan knows time is running out. And then Morgan gets the heart-shattering call that her friend, Emily, has been killed. Ligature marks on Emily’s arms are identical to Jasmine’s. Heartbroken Morgan knows this isn’t the end of the killer’s twisted game, but can she track them down before they take another life?

A non-stop thrill ride from the very first chapter to the final, epic conclusion. Fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Lisa Regan will be glued to the pages of this addictive rollercoaster of a read.

My Review

Who doesn’t love a book where the main character sits down to read a book you loved?  Morgan unwound on a rare night off by reading Home Before Dark.  This is another great crime novel I’ve read this spring.  Morgan, Ben and the team work to find a murderer before they have a chance to kill again.  In addition to working the case, there is a little bit of balance of personal life and love.  There are also a few chapters anonymously from the bad guy’s point of view.  And while they do come off as disturbed, they don’t come off as trying to be too much.  Just a little insight into their thoughts to balance out what the reader knows from the investigation.

I have to chuckle at the title of the book since I am constantly seeing posts on social media about how many books have some sort of variation of releasing a breath they did not know they were holding.  Go big or go home.  Am I right?  But all kidding aside, I did find myself holding my breath as I read this one.  Morgan always seems to get herself in a pickle and this time was no exception.

The pace was good and there were a few suspects.  While I did guess the killer, I also had enough doubt to second guess myself.  This is another one of those crime series that you can read each book as a stand alone, but by doing so, you miss the character development that happens over the series.  And I love the characters as a group in addition to individually.  The team dynamic in this one is definitely a plus.

My list of must read crimes series keeps growing and this one has earned its spot.  If you like strong characters in your crimes series, then this one needs to be on your radar.

Author Bio

Helen Phifer is the Bestselling writer of the hugely popular Annie Graham, Lucy Harwin, Beth Adams and her current series featuring Detective Constable Morgan Brooks published by the fabulous Bookouture.

She lives in the busy town of Barrow-in-Furness surrounded by miles of coastline and a short drive from the glorious English Lake District.

Helen loves reading books that scare the heck out of her and is eternally grateful to Stephen King, Dean Koontz, James Herbert and Graham Masterton for scaring her senseless in her teenage years. Unable to find enough scary stories she decided to write her own and her debut novel The Ghost House released in October 2013 became a #1 Global Bestseller.

She has written over twenty books in various genres and you can follow her over on Instagram

Or find her over at

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