Stevie Carroll's Reviews > Breathe

Breathe by Cari Hunter
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really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed-elsewhere

Previously reviewed on The Good, The Bad, and The Unread:

Various of Cari Hunter’s novels feature protagonists who work for the emergency services, and this latest book is no exception, pairing paramedic Jemima Pardon with police officer Rosie Jones. The two initially encounter each other when attending an incident in which a prospective bridegroom’s stag night has ended with him stuck in a precarious and highly embarrassing situation. Our heroines’ improvised solution to the problem was certainly ingenious, even if the finale to the rescue managed to strengthen Jemima’s belief that she brings bad luck to anyone unfortunate enough to work with her. Although she likes Rosie a lot from the outset, she’s very wary about getting involved and further jinxing both their situations. Of course, it’s not long before they find themselves working together once again, and this time the situation is far more sombre.

Called out to attend a lad who appears to have fallen in the river, Jemima soon realises that he had been the victim of a brutal attack before he ever entered the water. Rosie is the first officer on the scene, and so finds herself working on the case with Jemima as a key witness. Realising that the victim had been receiving money through illegal activities, she takes some unorthodox steps to track down the real villains – including enlisting Jemima’s help – and soon uncovers evidence of a gang trafficking young runaways and other disaffected teens, forcing the kids into the hands of abusers in return for drugs and treats.

The two women find themselves in a series of dangerous situations as they attempt to track down kids ensnared by the gang, as well as past and potential future victims. Both the runaways and the gang members have a liking for abandoned mill buildings and supposedly empty houses, and the weather isn’t helping with the safety of the locations either.

I really enjoyed seeing both women at work on both their regular day jobs and on the main investigation of the story. Some of the call-outs they attended were darkly humorous and some were just plain funny. I also sniggered at the bad dates they both went on separately between their first and second chance meetings with each other. The contrasts between their very different, but equally loving families, and those of the various runaways were very well drawn.

If I have one criticism, it’s that the tension of the grand showdown was slightly underplayed, while Jemima’s paranoia that chance misadventures were somehow her fault was slightly overplayed. It was good to see another story set in the less glamorous parts of Manchester, especially when that was set against some of the beautiful countryside in the surrounding area, when our heroines were able to get away and enjoy it. I’d like to see more of Rosie and Jemima, not to mention their friends, families, and work colleagues.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 12, 2019 – Finished Reading
September 14, 2019 – Shelved
September 14, 2019 – Shelved as: reviewed-elsewhere

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