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Author: J.A. Schneider

Published: 21 October 2016
Reviewed: 25 October 2016

4 out of 5 stars
Copy supplied by the author in return for an honest review

 

Description:

A chilling psychological thriller about a woman caught between two men…
Mari Gill wakes to horror in a strange apartment next to a murdered man, and can’t remember the night before. Accused of murder, she feels torn between her husband, a successful defense attorney, and a mysterious, kind man who wants to help. Can she trust either of them – or even her friends? Detective Kerri Blasco battles her police bosses believing Mari is innocent…but is she?

My Thoughts & Review:

I was so excited when I saw an email from Joyce with the invitation to read and review her latest thriller Her Last Breath.  Having thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series Fear Dreams I was keen to see how Detective Kerri Blasco would develop in this one.

This is a psychological thriller that utterly takes away the breath of the reader (you see what I did there?!).  Right from the very beginning Schneider draws the reader in and keeps them ensnared by beginning the book with a instant hit of action.

Waking up next to a murdered man means Mari Gill is in a horrendous position, on the verge of an asthma/panic attack she scrambles around for an asthma inhaler, she is just about to pass out when her life is saved by a stranger.  Who is he?  Where did he come from?

The clever plotting in this book means that the reader for the most part will be as much in the dark as the protagonist.  Mari’s paranoia builds with such intensity that at points I began to feel uncomfortable for her.  Trying to work out who the killer was and just who could be trusted in this were absolute head scratchers.  That coupled with the investigation by Detective Blasco who is determined solve the case make this a thrilling and addictive read.  Not the sort of book you can pick up as bedtime reading, you will be hooked until the end (in my case 4am….oops).

Character development in this is fantastic, it is good to see  Detective Blasco grow as a character and come more into her own, but equally it was interesting to see the crafty way that some characters were billed as “ordinary” but there was more to them than met the eye.

This is a clever psychological thriller, it gives the reader the feeling of being part of the action, feeling the intensity of the situations and the paranoia of Mari.  It’s one of those books that as you read you try to work out what’s going on and fail abysmally because the author cleverly weaves twists and turns into the narrative to keep the audience guessing.  I would absolutely recommend this book and indeed this author, I’ve only read two of her books so far but already I am a huge fan and will be eagerly waiting to see what she writes next!

You can buy a copy of Her Last Breath here.

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About The Author:

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J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek. Once a Liberal Arts major (French Literature), she has become increasingly fascinated with medicine, forensic science, and human psychology. Decades of being married to a physician who loves explaining medical concepts and reliving his experiences means that there’ll be medical angles even in “regular” thrillers that she writes. She lives with her family in Connecticut, USA.

Connect with Joyce:
Website: http://jaschneiderauthor.net
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5832782.J_A_Schneider
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoyceSchneider1
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/joyce.schneider.142?fref=ts

 

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I am very excited to share with you the cover of JA (Joyce) Schneider’s latest thriller, which sounds utterly fascinating and I cannot wait read it, my review will feature as part of the blog tour in October.

 
Her Last Breath, the second psychological thriller by J.A. Schneider, is due for release on October 21st.  #HerLastBreath is the second thriller – after Fear Dreams – featuring highly intuitive NYPD detective Kerri Blasco.


Here’s the blurb to whet your appetite…

A chilling psychological thriller about a woman caught between two men… 
Mari Gill wakes to horror in a strange apartment next to a murdered man, and can’t remember the night before. Accused of murder, she feels torn between her husband, a successful defense attorney, and a mysterious, kind man who wants to help. Can she trust either of them – or even her friends? Detective Kerri Blasco battles her police bosses believing Mari is innocent…but is she?

The Cover…..

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And if the cover reveal wasn’t enough of a treat, here’s an extract from the book to entice you to pre order now!

It begins in horror…
Mari Gill’s hand felt sticky.
That was the first thing to trouble her, still clinging to the safe, solid darkness of sleep. Next came pain in her head, a different kind of pain from the other thing, so she squeezed her eyes shut, dreading the day…
…but the stickiness bothered.
Involuntarily, she felt her fingers open and close.
Something was wrong there, in her hand. She squinted open; peered at it.
Red.
Her palm was smeared dark red.
She blinked. Saw more red smear on her forearm, then the torn cap sleeve of last night’s black dress, then the sheet under her arm, stained with…
“Huh?” Her eyes grew wide before her mind processed it.
Thrashing onto her back, Mari saw bloodied sheet reaching halfway up the torn front of her dress, and then saw an arm. A man’s arm, faintly blue and blood-smeared – and with a cry her whole body practically flipped from the bed. “Oh God!”
She hit the floor hard and then scrabbled back up, gaped wildly and saw him. Her shocked vision jumped and saw two then one then two of him on his back, eyes closed, mouth open dribbling caked blood. She froze; gasped. Couldn’t take in air seeing his black hair, his chest hidden under a tent of bloodied sheet.
“Mister?”
A high, involuntary whisper. Mari’s heart rocketed but she felt compelled; jerked ut a hand and pulled away the sheet.
Under it a knife, its handle long and black, protruding from his chest.
“Oh God!” Her scream got it out but used up breath as she spun on her knees, recognizing the new trouble. Where was her handbag? What was this place? Who was that guy?
Her bag, her bag…she crawled over hardwood and a man’s flung jacket and hit a cold, metal pole. Something crashed down on her, crashed to the floor but she crawled more, over broken shards with her breath coming harder, wheezing high like a small, dying animal.
Where, where…? She gasped and scrabbled.
There.
Her bag, way under a desk. How could it be under a desk? She was always so careful to keep it close but no time to think, she was upon it, fingers fluttering getting it open, her cries a child’s high mewling as she dug past her phone – no time to call – found her inhaler, got her fingers around it then saw it fly from her and skitter through an open doorway.
“No…”
Wheezing harder she crawled toward it, the little white plastic thing that meant life or death to her. Her chest heaved, and heaved again. Her vision blurred and she couldn’t pull in air. She made it through the door onto a wider floor, was inches away with her hand reaching desperately.
Then her vision darkened and she collapsed, crying; lay her cheek down on the polished cold hardwood. From far away she heard a crash. Her eyes closed. She lay, her fingers stretched futilely toward the inhaler. Her desperate wheezing stopped.
Running feet. Someone’s hands on her, strong hands. “Lady! Omigod, lady!”
From deepest, dying sleep she felt herself raised up; heard a voice, urgent, telling her to breathe, breathe – “Please, lady!”
She felt hard plastic pushed through her lips. Felt the little blast of life, then a man’s warm stubble press his lips on hers. He was breathing her. Two good breaths and then holding her, rocking her.
Her eyes stayed closed as she heard him call 9-1-1…

Her Last Breath is available to pre-order now but publication date is 21st October.  To purchase in the UK you can use this link and to purchase in the US you can use this link

 

About the Author:

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J.A. (Joyce Anne) Schneider is a former staffer at Newsweek Magazine, a wife, mom, and reading addict. She loves thrillers…which may seem odd, since she was once a major in French Literature – wonderful but sometimes heavy stuff. Now, for years, she has become increasingly fascinated with medicine, forensic science, and police procedure. Decades of being married to a physician who loves explaining medical concepts and reliving his experiences means there’ll often be medical angles even in “regular” thrillers that she writes. She lives with her family in Connecticut, USA.

For more information about Joyce Schneider and her books, go to her website, or follow her on Twitter at @JoyceSchneider1

 

 

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