Cover detail of Breathless by Amy McCulloch

Breathless by Amy McCulloch

I do promise normal service will be resumed next week on the blog. We've been having a wonderful time celebrating a number of important birthdays and events. We've got another birthday this week which is a proper gathering of the clan and friends. On another note, I am banning any further illness from our house this year. We've been hit with a triple whammy of illness and are now doing a lot better.

Read my review of The Dark by Emma Haughton

In other news, our village book group turns 1 in March. I have started my January big book readathon with @fictionaddictionangela over on Instagram. We are reading Les Miserables together, and I am strongly resisting the urge to break into song all the time. No-one needs to hear my version of 'I Dreamed a Dream'.

Today, I have a cracking thriller for you set in the world of mountaineering. I loved this.

The Plot

Six Strangers, One Killer
Journalist Cecily Wong is offered the chance of a lifetime to join an elite team on one of the world's tallest mountains. But from the start, things fall apart.
An unexplained theft
A horrible accident.
A terrifying note:
There's a murderer on the mountain.
Six Strangers set out.
How many will return?

My Thoughts

This was a discovery through Waterstones as it was their Thriller Book of the Month. It's a cracking page-turner, thrilling and moving the action to a deadly mountain. Cecily Wong is a journalist invited on an expedition to summit Manaslu by enigmatic Charles McVeigh.

Charles, not only is a world-leading Alpinist, climbing without supplementary oxygen, but has also rescued a number of climbers from near death on mountains round the world. Cecily just needs to summit the mountain, in order to be granted an exclusive interview with the man himself. It's cost her everything - her relationship, her flat and she has invested all the money in the venture. And then things go wrong, very wrong.

The writing reflects the growing anxiety of Cecily, the oppressiveness of the mountain and the nearness of death. Death is round the corner at every turn, everything on the mountain is designed to make you make bad choices. Routines are instilled because one small, seemingly tiny error could lead to certain death. Dropping your glove on the ground to stretch your fingers, could lead to it being blown off the mountain, leading to frostbite.

Amy McCullough has drawn on her own mountaineering experience and it tells, although I do hope she has a less eventful summit than features in this book. It's fascinating.

This is an excellent thriller, a real page-turner about the brutality of nature. The novel leaves you breathless with a racing pulse.