Cover Image: Hold Your Breath

Hold Your Breath

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

During her childhood Kat's mum becomes increasingly unwell so her father moves the family in to a house in the woods where he attempts to cure her illness. This novel follows Kat as an adult who's recently published a book telling a fictionalised account of what happened in the woods during that time-frame.

This was an entertaining, original read that I find myself enjoying but unfortunately I don't think it's anything too memorable for me. I also wasn't a fan of the ending, which felt rather dissatisfying for me.

Overall, i'd recommend if you're looking for a rather dark and entertaining read to kill a couple of hours but it's not a new favourite of mine.
Was this review helpful?
After reading the authors last book I was keen to get hold of a copy of this new one.
A dark, gritty and somewhat scary thriller it had me gripped from the v beginning 
Katherine receives a call from the police asking her to come down to the station for interview. Although not formal at this time it concerns an old incident that happened many years back linking the reader to the story of 10 year old Kitty now Katherine.  The book follows these 2 time lines.
I enjoy this authors writing as I find it v easy to get into, but as with his previous book, there are some uncomfortable topics dealt with. Saying that I was drawn very much into it which was down to the great plot and well thought out characters.  Another great read !!
Was this review helpful?
The synopsis for 'Hold Your Breath' certainly sounded intriguing and I couldn't wait to get started.  The book sounded like a deliciously twisty psychological thriller.  I wasn't wrong either because it was all that and more.  I did enjoy reading 'Hold Your Breath' even if parts of it did make me rather uncomfortable, but more about that in a bit.
 It didn't take me long at all to get into the book once I got started. The synopsis of this book really appealed to me and I was intrigued to see how the story would develop.  I made the fatal mistake of starting to read this book shortly before I went to bed.  Let's just say I became so immersed in the story and the writing, that I just couldn't put the book down and bedtime was delayed somewhat.  I just had to know how the story was going to conclude.  The pages turned increasingly quickly, the further into the story I reached.  I was gripped by the story and on the edge of my seat throughout.  Certain things which are discussed within this book aren't for the more sensitive of people.  That's not meant as a criticism but more an indication for people to be aware.
'Hold Your Breath' is extremely well written.  The author has one of those writing styles that is easy to get along with and to get used to.  The story is set using different time frames.  One timeline describes events as they happen in the present day and the other timeline describes things as they happened in the past and illustrates what led to the present day set of circumstances.  I hope that makes sense.  I loved the fact that part of the story is set in Northumberland, which is in the North East of England.  It was so refreshing to read a story, which is partially set somewhere with which I am familiar.  Some of the characters were truly unpleasant to the point where a shiver or two went down my spine.  I found that I was trying to become too involved in the story and tried to interact with the book as if the individual characters could hear me.  I know this is a work of fiction, but I find that if I enjoy a book to the extent that I enjoyed this one, then I tend to 'live' the story as it were real.  The fact that I am so convinced by the story is all down to the author's very vivid and very realistic descriptions.
In short, I really enjoyed this book even if it wasn't always an easy read.  I would recommend this book to other readers, but as I mention above certain unpleasant subjects are discussed.  I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future.  The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.
Was this review helpful?
Kitty Marchland has always known that her family aren’t like others. But when her father uproots them to a remote cottage in the woods, she realises that her parents are keeping secrets from her – secrets that could unravel everything.
Years later, Kitty starts to question what really happened out in the forest. When the police revisit a suspicious death, she must examine her most painful memories – and this time, there’s nowhere to hide…

This is a brilliant read.
Wonderful well written plot and story line that had me engaged from the start.
Love the well fleshed out characters and found them believeable.
Great suspense and action with wonderful world building.
Can't wait to read what the author brings out next.
Recommend reading.

I was provided an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher.  This is my own honest voluntary review.
Was this review helpful?
BP Walter returns with another pitch-perfect and difficult to categorise thriller with one of the most creepy and spine-tinglingly sinister atmospheres I have encountered of late. The author isn't afraid to pack the plot with twists, turns and surprising reveals that give it pep and pizazz whilst gripping you thoroughly in the process. He does a really excellent job of crafting a story that keeps its direction of travel under wraps for much of the book; something many bestselling thriller writers often struggle with. All in all, this is an impressive, tense and nail-biting sophomore offering and one crime readers will devour just as the tagline promises. Highly recommended. Many thanks to Avon for an ARC.
Was this review helpful?
Last year I reviewed B.P Watler’s debut thriller A Version of the Truth so was excited to see he had his second novel, Hold Your Breath out this month. In 1987 Kitty’s mother is suffering with mental health problems, which is having a damaging effect on the family. One day her father packs up the car and drives to Northumberland, to a cottage in the woods for a family holiday. In reality, this is her father’s last ditch attempt to get care for his wife so she won’t have to go into hospital. Kitty is left to her own devices, to roam the woods and the house where she sees and hears things that she will never forget. In the present day Katherine has written a book based on those few weeks in the woods and is forced to confront what really happened when she was ten years old. A real slow burner, that goes to some very dark places, this is a thriller that will make you hold your breath in suspense.

The plot has a split time line, 1987 and the present and Kitty/Katherine is the narrator in both. In 1987 Kitty, as she prefers to be called, is only ten years old but seems to have an older head on her shoulders. She has a confidence about herself, and is very defensive about herself and her family. Home life has been difficult with her mother being unwell and she feels sidelined and neglected. Like any child, her response to this is to know what buttons to press, how to get a reaction adding to the tension in the cottage. In the present day Katherine is very much changed, she has a lot less confidence, has little or no contact with her family and also has a history of mental health problems brought on by the events in 1987. The two timelines work well together, ten year old Kitty shows us events as they happened, what she saw and heard, how she felt. In present day, forced to confront her past, we see the lasting damage and how maybe a ten year old may not see everything clearly.

Hold Your Breath is like a jigsaw, slowly all the random pieces begin to fit together, and when in the right place complete a picture of those three weeks in the forest. The characters are compelling, all flawed, but they draw you into the book and their roles in events. B.P Water goes to some very dark places in this book but does so with understanding and consideration which keeps it real, and not just for dramatic effect. The disturbing and feeling of unease bring fear to the forefront of this book, so as the reader I felt I was constantly on edge, waiting for the next dark turn. More on the plot I won’t say, this is a book you have to experience first hand, and I recommend you do.

Hold Your Breath is a tense, thrilling and creepy read. It is Kitty’s narrative that draws you in, an innocent child witness to some distressing scenes, the reader experiencing them with her. Well written, a pressure pot of suspense, this is a deliciously dark and sinister thriller and one I highly recommend.
Was this review helpful?
33 years ago, Kitty’s father drove her and her mother away from their quiet suburban life to an isolated cottage in the middle of a forest. Only 10 at the time, Kitty was angry and resentful, but aware on some level that her father was desperate, because her mother is obviously seriously mentally ill. Met by Amanda, a psychologist, and her father, a priest (I think… it’s never precisely clear if this is a role being played) the adults try varied ‘therapies’ to help, some of which Kitty witnesses and are obviously deeply distressing and traumatic for such a young child.

(All the trigger warnings, by the way. Seriously, this book needs so many trigger warnings I don’t even know where to start. Parts of it verge over into horror, so… approach with caution).

In the present day, Kitty, now using the name Katherine, has written a book, ostensibly fiction but claiming it is in large part a memoir based in real experiences… and in this book she all but accuses her father and Amanda, now her stepmother, of murder. But it seems Katherine isn’t the most reliable of narrators, and it’s not at all clear whether this is deliberate or the malfunctioning memory of a troubled, frightened child.

Whatever the case, I could never get past the fact that Kitty was 10 at the time of the events. Scared and traumatised, it’s ridiculous that she might for a moment be held culpable and frankly, she should have consulted a lawyer who would have made that absolutely clear to her from the beginning. 

The writing is superb, the portrayal of a woman sinking deep into paranoid delusions and her husband desperately trying to keep her from being institutionalised almost painful to read. I thoroughly enjoyed the read and found it quite gripping, but I have to say I felt pretty let down by the ending. I like all the major plot threads to be tied off and there are far too many left open here. Four stars for a great read that just doesn’t quite finish things off properly.
Was this review helpful?
What a brilliant and disturbing read! I enjoyed it from beginning to end. 

"I need to ask you to present yourself at Wickton Close Police Station, Newcastle tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. to be interviewed under police caution."
2020........A telephone call that Katherine has been waiting for and dreading. 

In 1987 Katherine and her mother and father leave their home in Grays in Essex to go and stay in a cottage in the woods in Northumbria. Katherine's mother is not well and this move is meant to help her. What happened in this cottage is shocking beyond words.

"I genuinely believe the things I witnessed in that cottage in the woods and the area surrounding it damaged me irrevocably."

Its a book about mental illness; about the impact on families, how it can destroy lives, about revenge and the subsequent impact on peoples lives. 

A brilliant must read the book.

Thank you to Netgalley and Avon Books UK for the ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Review for 'Hold your breath' by B.P.Walter

Read and reviewed via NetGalley for Avon books publishers

This is the first book that I have read by this author but it won't be my last. 

This book is written from Kitty's (Katherine) perspective mainly from when she was a child via an interview. 

The book is written using the past and present in 3 different timelines which are 2020, 1987 and 2019. All timelines run smoothly into each other so it doesn't leave readers confused. 

THE plot is quite dark, disturbing and sinister and includes trigger themes such as suicide, strong language, child abuse, mental health and rape. I would not recommend it to readers who are easily offended. 

The storyline is unique and the descriptions very good. I was dragged straight in and found it an excellent page turner. I would class this book as a psychological thriller and I quite enjoyed the twists. The book does calm down during the last 10% but I did quite enjoy the ending although it didn't really go out with the bang I would have hoped for considering the rest of the book hence 4/5 instead of 5/5. 

THE characters were all compelling, strong, well defined and believable although Kitty herself annoyed me with her attitude a few times but then she is a typical 10 year old child. The father wasn't much of one and didn't give her much form of love and seemed to push her away quite alot so I couldn't really blame Kitty for being the way she was. 

I would recommend this to fans of mystery, murder, gore, psychological thrillers, suspense, horror and dark books. I would NOT recommend to readers who are sensitive to bad language. 

368 pages

£2.99 to buy on kindle. I think this is a very good price for this book. 

Rated 4/5 (I enjoyed it ) on Goodreads, Instagram, Amazon UK and Co.uk and on over 30 Facebook pages plus my blog on Facebook. 

Feel free to add me on Goodreads for more reviews 

#HoldYourBreath #BPWalter #AvonBooks #NetGalley #BookReview

 https://m.facebook.com/Bookworm1986/?ref=bookmarks
Was this review helpful?
Firstly a big thank you to Avon for having me on the tour. I loved this authors debut so was excited to read this.

Disturbing and complex this is a dark tale . What happens when secrets threaten to be exposed?

Kitty has a unusual childhood and she doesnt quite see this till she is older. 

A chilling tale of mental illness,family drama and a unconventional upbringing.

Written in alternate timelines,Kitty as a child and one as a adult. This keeps the story fresh and fast paced.
Was this review helpful?
As a warning to sensitive readers -this book includes graphic scenes of child abuse and rape.

In January 2020 Katherine is called in for police questioning regarding an incident from her childhood that resulted in the death of another child. This story flips between current events and the past when Katherine was 10-year-old Kitty.

Kitty used to have a pretty stereotypical life. Then her mother gets ill and her father uproots the family and moves them all to a cottage in the middle of the woods in the middle of nowhere. With the assistance of his 'friend' Amanda and Father Tobias, Kitty's father attempts to cure his wife of her madness without having to institutionalise her. 

When Kitty is kicked out of the house each day and informed not to disturb them, what exactly is going on in the house? What are they doing to Kitty's mother? Does her mother have a mental sickness or is there something more sinister going on?

I liked Kitty's character. She is well developed and quite an intricate weave of personality traits that make her an enjoyable protagonist. 

This is a very dark story and is terrifically written and captivating from the first page. However, despite having most of the key qualities of a thriller what is missing is building suspense. When I read a thriller I expect to find myself with an increased heart rate, reading faster, shortness of breath - and that was missing. Additionally, I was not thrilled by the ending. If just one of those had been better, this could have easily been at least a 4 star read as everything else was spot on.

I received this copy of #HoldYourBreath by B P Walter as a free pre-release copy from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Published by #AvonBooksUk this book is available from 16th April 2020
Was this review helpful?
This was not my type of book. It is not a style that I would normally read. I thought that some of it was unbelievable. I kept reading hoping that it would improve but that was not the case.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
Was this review helpful?
Loved this
 The plot was engaging and I found it gripped me from the beginning. Also had a good ending. Worth a read.
Was this review helpful?
I have to say this book was completely different to what I was expecting but in a good way. Quite a dark story within a story that had me hooked right from the beginning. A cracking surprise, will definitely be recommending to my family and friends
Was this review helpful?
Hold Your breath - the perfect title for this dark read that will keep you up all night even after you've finished it!
Kitty, a kid with interesting parents. A loner who connects with insects over humans. A child caught up in the worst nightmare of all. When your parents let you down and the world stops making sense who is there to turn to?
 As a grown up she's still affected by the trauma of her past just as the police are still delving deep in to what hsppened all those years ago.. The end is a gasp-worthy shock.
Was this review helpful?
This move is so dark and disturbing that I could not finish it.  That is seldom something I do...I read to the end.  However, the language was off putting and the subject also.  For the reader who doesn’t mind these traits, the story might be fine.  I found nothing redeeming about th characters, but one must remember this was not my genre.  The author has a gift for the mysterious and unpleasant events.
Was this review helpful?
I read the author’s first novel last year and really enjoyed it so when I saw he had a new one coming out and that it was on netgalley I knew I had to request it. It didn’t take me long to read this one at all, thank you lockdown!
This novel for me felt more of a very dark and twisted family drama than a thriller. It had a slightly different structure to it than a usual thriller and I really enjoyed that aspect of it.
The story follows 11 year old Katherine in 1987 as she recalls some horrific memories of her mothers declining mental health and how in the 80s it was not taken very seriously. Her father decides to take matters into his own hands to try and help her in what can only be described as a truly horrifying series of events.
The story reads much like you’d expect a person who’d lived through a traumatic experience to be relaying what happened to them. Katherine decides to write a book about her experiences as a child and that’s when all the truths and untruths start coming to the surface.
I thought all the characters were written well and I really sympathised with Kitty (Katherine). Especially not understanding at such a young age what is going on with her mother. The story kept me gripped in a completely different way to the books I usually read!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5
Was this review helpful?
How reliable is Kitty as a narrator?  After all, she was 10 years old in 1987 when the events she's coping with in 2020 happened.  Much of the novel is written from her 10 year old perspective.  She's suddenly found herself living in the woods with her mother and father, and her mother has mental health issues.  No one, especially not her father, will tell her what's going on (and she's a persistent kid).  No spoilers but know that there's a big twist coming.  This slowly builds suspense and while you might be as at sea as Kitty is initially, you, as an adult might get it sooner than she does.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  A page turner.
Was this review helpful?
This is the first book I read by this author, but I know it will not be my last at all. It is my first time reading a book about possession so this is a brand new experience in so many ways. 

This book did not take me long to get through because I really wanted to know what was going to happen next. The story of Kitty and her parents is good but also complex as well. The ending was shocking, and I did not see it coming at all. I was entranced the whole time I was reading the story, and I cant wait for more from this author. 

Thank you NetGalley and Avon Books UK for the review copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Wow! This is an unusual story of being possessed. The story is from the prospective of a 10 year old girl, Kitty, who is uprooted by her Dad and her possessed Mum. Some scenes can be uncomfortable reading but that is what makes this book appealing. You HAVE to find out what's going on and does Kitty finally makes friends with humans rather than little creatures of the animal world.

Although I feel the ending is sudden and could be carried on a little bit more in some more explanation (but I don't know how), I did enjoy the sudden connection between Kitty and the guy who saved her from the river (without giving too much away). Read it and you'll see what I mean. 

It's brilliant read so don't miss out
Was this review helpful?