Seattleite Book Club: November 2011

Dear “Seattleite” readers,

Welcome to the Seattleite Book Club – the only virtual book club that spotlights the Pacific Northwest’s own authors and publishers! To see how our little club works, please visit the inaugural installment.

Last month, we featured a new kind of feel-good novel for Fall Comforts: “Broken For You”  by Stephanie Kallos. Eccentric and endearing characters, a twisting plot, and even one or two ghosts make the Seattle-based novel an unconventionally cozy fall read. If you have any Seattleite Book Club comments, please email

November Selection: “Final Breath” by Kevin O’Brien

During the holidays with family, friends and good food to warm a body from the inside out, nothing’s better than a crime thriller to bring some chilling excitement to the season. As you put together your holiday gift list this season, someone you know is sure to appreciate the nerve-wracking twists and turns from local author Kevin O’Brien’s thriller, “Final Breath.”

This exciting novel — A “New York Times” Bestseller — keeps the reader on edge with tense, realistic moments and plot twists throughout. The plot follows Sydney Jordan, a TV journalist who profiles real-life heroes. After a series of grisly murders, she realizes that her interview subjects are being killed one by one, and in the method from which they saved would-be victims. Sydney knows the murders are connected to her — and does everything she can to find the killer before more lives are lost.

It’s a gripping story that makes the reader wonder, ‘what if?’ What if a victim didn’t want to be saved? What if a rescuer doomed his or herself from the moment they saved a life?

“That book had a lot of scary scenes, if I do say so,” says O’Brien. “One of my favorites is up front, when Erin recalls how she was the only one in her classroom to realize that the unbalanced, bullied student at the next desk over is concealing a gun. It was a pretty intense scene – with her trying to warn the teacher that they’re all in danger, and the stupid teacher not getting it. The scene builds and builds until all hell breaks lose.”

One of the novel’s most interesting elements is O’Brien’s use of different, seemingly unrelated elements to bring realism to the story. There’s the mystery stalker that watches Sydney and her son, Eli; the pair of ghosts that haunt their Madison Park apartment; and the boy that Sydney saved from a burning building when she was a girl.

“I wanted the haunting to be believable and creepy – nothing over the top,” he said. “So for a while, I asked friends and just about anyone I met if they had any encounters with ghosts. I was surprised at the number of people who had experienced a haunting of some sort. All the slightly supernatural stuff in that Madison Park Beach place was based on true stories.”

Give the gift of a thrilling read this Christmas — and don’t forget the adage, ‘no good deed goes unpunished.’

“Final Breath” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble starting at $6.99