One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf
Heather Gudenkauf leaped onto my list of Favorite Authors when I readThese Things Hidden. I was thrilled when I was offered an ARC of her latest novel, One Breath Away, and was not disappointed. Once I started reading there was no stopping. A fast-moving, gripping tale that literally had me holding my breath, this is worthy of five full stars.
The novel follows the perspectives from five key players – Meg Barrett, Will Thwaite, Evelyn Oliver, Holly and her daughter Augie. Meg is on the police force in the small town of Broken Branch, Iowa, and is shocked when reports go out that a gunman is in the only school in town – housing essentially all of Broken Branch’s youth. Will Thwaite receives word of the gunmen and instantly worries about his two grandchildren who are in the school – Augie and her little brother P.J. Mrs. Oliver, a long-standing teacher, is trying to keep calm for her students with the gunman in her room. Can she – and her students- make it alive? And Holly, mother to Augie and P.J. lies in a hospital room miles away in Revelation, Arizona, recovering from a serious burn accident. Her mother, Will’s wife, is by her side, and the women are terrified when the national news shows their small town of Broken Branch being paralyzed by a man with a gun. Who is the crazed gunman – and how many will escape his murderous plan?
Loved this book! It was so fascinating to watch all the characters come together, and I seriously had no clue until the very end who was in the school with a gun. I could feel my eyes get wide when the identity was revealed. I also really enjoy that Gudenkauf is actually from my hometown – Dubuque, Iowa – and the book mentions a few towns that I know. Broken Branch is fictional, but there’s just something about reading the towns of Des Moines, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, that I find really intriguing. Also bits and pieces of landmarks that make me thing – yeah, I know that! – are interesting too. But back to the book – there was always just enough information to keep the plot moving and keep me wondering how it would all come together. A fabulous read, and one not to miss!
Check out this excerpt from One Breath Away and follow the scavenger hunt at BookTrib!
But she moved here when she was two so she may as well have been born here, anyway.
The classroom is freezing and my fingers are numb with the cold. Mr. Ellery says it’s because it is not supposed to be below zero at the end of March and the boiler has been put out to pasture.