Book Review: Breathless by Amy McCulloch

“Getting to the summit is a great achievement. But the mountain will always be there. Getting back down alive is the priority.”

Amy McCulloch, Breathless

Title: Breathless
Author: Amy McCulloch
Genres: Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 343 (Hardcover)
Published: May 3rd, 2022

My Rating: ★★
Read: 1/28/2023 – 1/30/2023


I had high hopes for this one given the setting. Any sort of mountain climbing expedition promises all sorts of disasters. Adding in the elements of a thriller should only add to the intrigue. Unfortunately, I didn’t find this to be the case with this book.

Cecily is a journalist who has been training for months to make a climb to interview Charles McVeigh. On top of already brutal conditions, a series of unsettling events occur throughout the trek. Death isn’t necessarily unusual during climbs… but they start getting suspicious. 

Despite such an exciting setup with so much potential, I felt that the story dragged on with very little happening. There were too many characters, most of whom didn’t have enough importance to the story to spend as much time on them as they got. It’s obvious a lot of heart and research went into this, so I feel bad that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I was going to while reading the first few chapters. 

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • The setting. Mountain climbing is fascinating. This part was well-researched.
  • The diversity of the names and characters.

What I didn’t like:

  • Too slow-paced for a thriller.
  • There were too many characters that didn’t need to be there.
  • The confrontation with the killer was laughable.


This was a buddy read with my friend Skylar who felt the same way I did.

I thought it was going to be something I really enjoyed while reading the first few chapters, but it felt like the build-up never ended.

Where to buy the book:

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