Image of One Breath Away


Image of One Breath Away

Gudenkauf’s third novel throws readers into suspense in the first chapter, and maintains its momentum through to the end. The book spans an entire day’s events, resulting in a fast-paced, engaging account of a school hostage situation as told by a handful of different key characters. Readers will not only appreciate the artful mystery behind the gunman’s identity, but also the strengthened relationships that occur between friends and family as a result of tragedy.

Just before spring break in the small town of Broken Branch, Iowa, a gunman holds an entire elementary school class hostage. As hours pass, the town strives to uncover the identity of the menacing and violent gunman, especially when it seems as if the gunman may have his sights set on a specific target. The day’s events unfold from the viewpoints of police officer Meg Barrett, third grade teacher Evelyn Oliver, eighth grade student Augie Baker, Augie’s mother Holly and Augie’s grandfather Will Thwaite. (MIRA, Jun., 400 pp., $15.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sarah Eisenbraun