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Monday, 14 March 2016

‘Breathe’ by David Ince

Published by Caffeine Nights Publishing,
18 August 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-907565-88-5

Sebastian has a package to deliver. He’s nearly there when a strange woman gets into his car, and turns his world upside-down. Soon he’s on the run from an army of ordinary people who’ve been blackmailed into killing him ...

This story is told in the third person, switching from character to character. Sebastian is ex-army, from a military family, but so crippled by asthma attacks that he was put behind a desk, instead of into the combat situations he was trained for, and this background makes his subsequent quick reactions when the violence starts more plausible. We also sympathise with Isobel, who is being puppet-mastered by the man she calls ‘Mr Punch’; in spite of her initial decoying of Sebastian, she’s the nearest we have to a moral touchstone. We also get into the head of psychotic Ichabod and his manipulated wife, Talissa, in a series of neat shifts which show us a scene from one point of view, then return to show it again from another. We also gradually understand the opening sequence, with two small boys playing soldiers. The plot has a number of unexpected twists. There are several cracking action scenes with a very high body count, a good deal of exploitative sex, and an atmospherically described city under snow. The story’s told in the present tense throughout.

A brutal, fast-moving thriller with good twists and a high body count.
Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

David Ince is an author and filmmaker. He lives in Kent, England. For more information about David and his work visit his website at

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

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