Saturday, June 12, 2021

Reviewing Her Last Breath by Hilary Davidson

Today I'm going to review a book that is set for release on 1st July 2021 which I was able to read prior to release as part of the First Reads for Amazon Prime Readers

Her Last Breath by Hilary Davidson Reviewed

One of the things that made me choose this book to read was in the blurb about it, "On the day of her sister Caroline’s funeral, Deirdre Crawley receives a message her sister wrote before she died: If you’re reading this, I’m already dead." That hook was irresistible for me so I downloaded the book and settled down for what I hoped would be a great read, I have to say I have very mixed feelings about this book. 

I have never heard of the author before so I had no expectations. I actually read the book in one sitting and two of the things I loved about the book were the plot and the way that the pandemic was handled. I mention the pandemic because the book was based in NY and it's the first book I've read where it's even mentioned - it has been done so in a way that is easy to miss, but to me added another dimension and makes me surprised at the biggest failing this book has. 

As I said the plot was great and I would recommend reading it just because I did enjoy the plot, but the characters were another story. They seemed very one-dimensional. Even with a character that wasn't very fleshed out, there were a few things that Diedre said that just didn't seem in line with other things. 

I, personally, think one of the best characters in the book was Theo, the person who Diedre's sister claimed had killed her. If this book was a first draft I would have given it really high marks, but as a completed book it's disappointing. 

I don't usually like to write book reviews that I have mixed feelings about, but this author shows amazing talent. I see so many glimpses in this book that tell me she can write and I truly believe that she could have made these characters more real to me. 

If you like suspenseful thrillers do I still think you'd enjoy the plot lines of this book, but if you are more into sinking your teeth into the characters then you may want to pass. I will definitely be happy to read this author again though as I did see a lot of promise in the pages. 

I should clarify it's not that I disliked the characters, I reviewed a book called Girls Night Out where I really didn't like the characters, but they definitely seemed real to me. In this particular book it's that I couldn't envisage these characters as being real. When I read a book I can almost see things happening in my mind like I'm watching a movie - this time the characters wouldn't appear clearly for me.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Oh Lou, I can see why you picked this book. The title would have made me pick it up. I do like a story that has a good plot and great characters. Now, I'm thinking twice, I will put it on my "maybe" list, as I have so many others that are on my Must Read and they will get the priority when I'm looking for something. Thanks for your review!

  2. Lou, I agree with you about character development. An author who can make their characters appear as real as flesh & blood people add a needed dimension to any plot. What an author does with their characters is as important as a good storyline, in my opinion. Thanks for your honest review of "Her Last Breath".

  3. Wow Lou! I definitely did not expect this review. I recently downloaded this book myself from the first reads on Amazon, but have not started reading it yet. As you know, thrillers are not my first choice, but I had thought to give this one a try. I think I will still read it for the plot, but I'll keep my expectations in line with your review so I am not disappointed. Like you, I do expect the characters in a book to be believable. I want to step away from the book feeling like I am separated from a close friend or someone I know really well. Thank you so much for your honest review and advance warning.

  4. Lou, thanks so much for sharing this helpful and very even-handed review of this novel. I completely agree about the need for both a strong plot and believable characters. (I also want the characters to grow emotionally/become more self-aware over the course of the story.) Thrillers aren’t something I’m drawn to, but for others who enjoy the genre, I’m sure your insights will be helpful.

  5. I love a good thriller, but I also like characters that are well developed, so like Olivia I think I will put this on my maybe list. Thanks for your honest review.

  6. Character building must take a great deal of writing practice. I admire authors who can create a fictional story that we find ourselves not only lost in, but part of the story. Your honest review still has me interested in this book - Now I'd like to see for myself if I have the same summation. Thanks for this honest review.

  7. Thank you for your honest review. I can see why you were intrigued to read this book.The plot sounds fascinating. I usually like to read books with well developed characters. I think I would certainly enjoy the book for its storyline though not sure how I would feel about the characters, that would depend on how good the plot is!


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