Title: One Breath Away
Author: Heather Gudenkauf
Date & Publisher: 2012 by Harlequin MIRA
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
This was the first book that I have read by Gudenkauf and I think it is safe to say that it won’t be my last.
This book was told in the points of view of a number of different characters: Augie; Holly, mother of Augie and her brother; Will, Holly’s father; Evelyn Baker, the school’s third grade teacher; and Meg, the town’s police officer.
When a unknown gunman enters a small-town school in Iowa there are a number of theories as to who the man could be. He walks into the classroom of Mrs. Evelyne Oliver and her third-graders and waits, for what no one can figure out. Slowly children escape from the school, including a class of thirteen-year-old children, except Augie, who is determined to find her younger brother and keep him safe.
The story slowly unfolds as each character tells the reader what they are experiencing. You cannot help but come to conclusions on who you believe the gunman is, but when you get to the end and discover his true identity, it is a shock to say the least.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and encourage anyone who likes twists, turns and shock endings to get a copy. You will not regret it.
Happy Reading 🙂