📚6📚 Breathe Your Last by Lisa Regan

The body of a young girl lying face down in a swimming pool—white tennis shoes still on her feet, chestnut hair fanned out like a halo—is the last thing Detective Josie Quinn expects to find on an early morning visit to see her brother before class at Denton University. But when she recognizes the girl’s face as she drags her limp body from the water, there’s only one question racing through Josie’s mind: how does a champion swimmer accidentally drown?

Nysa Somers’ family are distraught. She was a model student, beloved daughter and everybody’s friend. There’s no way she would do anything reckless enough to put her scholarship at risk, let alone her life. It’s up to Josie and her team to piece together what happened in the hours leading up to Nysa’s death, and that begins with finding her missing backpack.

But the bag, discarded in the woods on the nearby campus, contains nothing more than empty food wrappers, Nysa’s phone and a cryptic calendar entry telling her to be a mermaid.

The next day, a terrible housefire envelops the nearby home of a retired fireman, nearly killing his two granddaughters. The last words the little girls heard him mutter before he set the blaze were, be a match.

As the body count rises, it’s only Josie who can see the deadly pattern forming. Can she convince her team that the wrapper found in Nysa’s bag is the crucial link they’re missing? Josie knows she must go it alone if she’s going to stop this silent and calculated serial killer before any more precious lives are taken.

But with the killer finally in her sights, Josie takes a dangerous risk and finds herself hanging onto life by her fingernails. Can she trust her team to save her, and before it’s too late?

I cannot stress how much I love the Josie Quinn series. It is one of my all time favourite Detective series and I can always count on this series to not disappoint me. Jumping back into the world of Josie Quinn, this book is set 5-6 months after the events of Book 9. I’m constantly intrigued with the level of character depth and the fact that I’m still learning things about the featured characters this far into the series.

Josie has always been a strong character pushed to the limits and then some, but it is done so artfully that it comes across as determination, compassion, and drive. Josie’s growth through the series has always been a bright spot and as a reader, I have seen her all her weakest and her best. It is interesting to see a character go through so much change and still be able to function properly. I see Josie as an aspiring character for she really cares about all aspects of her job and always puts others in front of herself.

Of course, those traits can have a backlash, especially when it comes to looking after herself, but overall, reading through the Josie Quinn series makes me feel like a stronger version of myself. Like, if Josie Quinn can get through all of that, I can get through this.

Though she is the title character, it isn’t just Josie who drives the book. Through the course of the series I have gotten to know all of the characters as each one of their stories have had a chance to shine. It feel like it is a rare situation to be able to know the details of such a wide selection of characters. If anything, those that would usually be classed as ‘secondary characters’, have proved that they belong in the front as well.

Regan writes in a way that shows off the elements of each person involved and gives the widest view possible of the story narrative. I am particularly drawn to this because I think more often than not, characters that recur or characters that are important to later plots, remain generally unknown or unexplored for much of the time they’re ‘on the edges’ before they get pushed into the limelight. As a reader that can be a little disorienting, but Regan has such a way with recognising the little things of a story that everything comes together to give that all-encompassing view.

The only thing that I would consider ‘bad’ and really this has nothing to do with the book and more the blurb itself. It’s something I’ve seen with quite a few books and I think of it like a film trailer only showing the good bits. There is just a small part of the blurb that refers to something I found to be significant happening within the plot, but in actuality, this ‘thing’ seems completely irrelevant and not at all as ‘pumped’ or ‘apparent’ as led to believe. It was there, of course but instead of the 10 the blurb suggested, it was more of a 2.

Outside of that, which I realise it totally just me being a little picky. This was a great read. It pushed the characters to new heights and signals a new chapter for the series.

I give this book: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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