One Breath Away
By Heather Gudenkauf
(Harlequin MIRA, Paperback, 9780778313656, 384pp.)
Publication Date: June 26, 2012
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In her most emotionally charged novel to date, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf explores the unspoken events that shape a community, the ties between parents and their children and how the fragile normalcy of our everyday life is so easily shattered.
In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. Outside the school, the town of Broken Branch watches and waits.
Officer Meg Barrett holds the responsibility for the town's children in her hands. Will Thwaite, reluctantly entrusted with the care of his two grandchildren by the daughter who left home years earlier, stands by helplessly and wonders if he has failed his child again. Trapped in her classroom, Evelyn Oliver watches for an opportunity to rescue the children in her care. And thirteen-year-old Augie Baker, already struggling with the aftermath of a terrible accident that has brought her to Broken Branch, will risk her own safety to protect her little brother.
As tension mounts with each passing minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage.
Heather Gudenkauf is an Edgar Award nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. Heather lives in Iowa with her husband and children. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and running.
"Scintillating...The author slowly and expertly reveals the truth in a tale so chillingly real, it could have come from the latest headlines."
-Publishers Weekly starred review on These Things Hidden
"There's a particular darkness to her heartland, rife as it is with predators and the walking wounded, and her unsentimental take on the milieu manages to find some hope without being maudlin."
-Publisher Weekly on The Weight of Silence
"Heather Gudenkauf skillfully weaves an explosive tale of suspense and...the healing power of love."
-#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs on The Weight of Silence
"Heather Gudenkauf is one of those rare writers who can tell a tale with the skill of a poet while simultaneously cranking up the suspense until it's unbearable."
-New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen
"Brilliantly constructed, this will have you gripped until the last page."
-Closer on The Weight of Silence
"Fans of Jodi Picoult will devour this great thriller."
-Red Magazine on The Weight of Silence
"The Weight of Silence is a cleverly crafted exercise in sustaining tension. Her technique is faultless, sparse and simple and is a master class in how to construct a thriller...A memorable read...a brave first novel."