In the bedroom of her suburban home, respected microbiologist Dr Eleanor Costello hangs eerily from the wooden rafters. In the doorway, DCS Frankie Sheehan surveys the grotesque scene.
Frankie has just returned to duty, three months after a confrontation with a killer left her mentally and physically scarred. Reluctant to be thrown back in at the deep end, she hopes this is the open-and-shut suicide it appears.
Yet the evidence soon proves otherwise. Eleanor’s body wears signs of a struggle, and a curious wound has been inflicted: ones that Eleanor herself could not have made, and which has been carefully, deliberately, coated in paint.
And when another victim is found, their body also displaying traces of the same substance, Frnakie’s greatest fear id confirmed. She is dealing with a serial killer: one with a flair for murder, and a fire to find and mark fresh victims.
The closer Frankie, herself a trained profiler, comes to understanding the killer, the further from safery she feels – as every step takes her toward a chilling confrontation and, perhaps, her final breath.
Very late to the party with this one, published in 2018, Too Close to Breath is the first in a crime series with DCS Frankie Sheehan and set in Dublin. We meet DCS Sheehan as she returns to work following a serious attack against her in the name of duty. Quickly thrust in at the deep end, she finds herself investigating the death of local university lecturer Eleanor Costello, appearing to be suicide, however the evidence suggests murder. Another murder adds pace and tension as DCS Sheehan races against the clock to catch this killer whilst fleeing her own demons following her recent trauma.
This was a very strongly plotted piece of fiction that had me guessing throughout. A comprehensive investigation delves into the deep, dark web as the deaths take a sinister turn.
Set within a small university community the deaths are linked and this aspect of the story works very well. A number of suspects are offered and I was convinced by them all. DCS Sheehan is a strong and tenacious lead and I admired her fearless and determined approach to solving the murders. This was a great read with a plausible plot and a tidy conclusion, a must for fans of crime fiction and great for me to have discovered a new crime series!
About the Author
Olivia Kiernan is an Irish writer living in the UK. She was born and raised in County Meath, near the famed heritage town of Kells and holds an MA in Creative Writing awarded by the University of Sussex. Too Close to Breath is her first novel.