Hilary Davidson is the award-winning author of the Lily Moore series—The Damage Done, The Next One to Fall, and Evil in All Its Disguises—the bestselling Shadows of New York series—One Small Sacrifice and Don’t Look Down—and the standalone novels Blood Always Tells and Her Last Breath. She is also the author of some 50 short stories. Her fiction has won two Anthony Awards, a Derringer Award, and a host of other accolades. Toronto born and raised, she moved to New York City in October 2001. She is also the author of 18 nonfiction books.
Her Last Breath
When her beloved sister Caroline dies suddenly, Deirdre is heartbroken. However, her sorrow turns to bone-chilling confusion when she receives a message Caroline sent days earlier warning that her death would be no accident. Long used to being a pariah to her family, Deirdre covers her tattoos and heads to Manhattan for her sister’s funeral.
Paranoid and armed with just enough information to make her dangerous, Deirdre digs into the disturbing secrets buried with Caroline. But as she gets closer to the truth, she realizes that her own life may be at risk…and that there may be more than one killer in the family.
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A fast-paced, expertly plotted mystery about the depths of the secrets we keep hidden from ourselves—and those we love. Thoughtfully plotted and skilfully told, I really enjoyed and empathized with the flawed characters, especially Theo. Addictive and emotional.
Author’s Corner – Interview with Hilary Davidson
Thanks so much for being on Author’s Corner! Can you tell us one funny, quirky thing about you, something most people might not know? An interesting hobby or funny habit, something so readers can get to know the person behind the author.
My brothers’ nickname for me is “Beast.” When people hear that, they’re usually shocked, because I love vintage dresses and red lipstick and people equate that with traditional femininity. But my brothers grew up studying martial arts with me and they know the truth. Beast is pretty accurate.
What was the very first thing—ever—that you remember writing?
When I was eight, I won a short-story writing contest run by Scholastic. My story was called “Ametafear’s Tomb” and it was about a disastrous archaeological expedition in Egypt. Spoiler alert: I think everyone dies at the end.
As a thriller author, what scares you? Do you ever find yourself scared by what you’ve written, or is it usually external things?
I’m not afraid of some traditionally scary things. I love snakes and spiders and I’ll happily wander into a graveyard at midnight. I once convinced my husband to come swimming with me and some sharks — let’s just say he’s never doing that again. But I find the idea of not being able to trust yourself terrifying, whether that takes the form of an unreliable memory, poisonous influences around you that affect your thinking, or an inability to tell fact from fiction. Her Last Breath includes a lot of psychological abuse, manipulation, and gaslighting in families and romantic relationships. To me, that’s far more frightening than the physical danger in the book.
Who is your favorite crime hero or detective?
Sara Parestsky’s V.I. Warshawski has been my favorite since I met her when I was in high school. She’s got such a good heart but she’s also as kickass as they come.
What are some of the book(s) that you’ve read and loved recently?
I got an early read of Susan Elia MacNeal’s The Hollywood Spy, and it is fabulous. I also loved Ivy Pochoda’s These Women, which was an Edgar Award finalist, and Linwood Barclay’s latest, Find You First. Thanks to the pandemic, I finally got into my crazy TBR pile and discovered gems like Alexia Gordon’s Murder in G Major, which won a 2016 Lefty Award and The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino.
If you could invite five people (dead or alive) to a dinner party, who would they be and why?
Normally I’d list a crew of fabulous writers starting with Oscar Wilde, but thanks to the pandemic I’m going to say my three nieces—to whom Her Last Breath is dedicated—and my parents. Not that we’d kick Oscar out if he showed up!
Writing Her Last Breath
Let’s talk about your book Her Last Breath. Can you tell my readers a little about it?
Her Last Breath is about a woman named Deirdre who gets a message from her sister, Caroline, while she’s at her sister’s funeral. Caroline died suddenly—and accidentally—so when Deirdre reads that Caroline felt she was in danger from her husband, it turns her life upside down.
Caroline also reveals that her wealthy husband killed his first wife, which makes Deirdre question everything about her sister, because what kind of person would marry a man like that? The search for the truth forces Deirdre to unearth a lot of family skeletons, and to face her own demons.
How did you first meet your main characters Deirdre and Theo? Did they appear to you fully formed, or did they grow and evolve as you wrote?
Deirdre was fully formed in my head from the start—I could hear her sarcastic voice clearly, and I understood exactly where she was coming from. She’s keeping secrets from the reader but her grief for her sister is genuine, and that grounded the character. Theo was so much trickier! When I first wrote a chapter from his perspective, I did it as an experiment, because I worried that I’d be giving too much of the plot away. But Theo is such a complicated character. On the surface, it looks like he has it all, but in reality he’s a badly damaged person who has no one he can trust. He really grew and evolved over the course of the story.
Describe Her Last Breath in three words.
Secrets can kill.
What do you think readers will love about Her Last Breath?
I think the mystery keeps people reading but by the end of the book, what will stay with them are the themes of redemption and reconciliation. Deirdre has so many regrets about not being closer to Caroline and not being there for her sister, and it seems impossible to reconcile with a character who’s dead… but by the last chapter, Deirdre really understands her sister, and that gives her a surprising amount of closure. People have told me that the last chapter made them cry, and I have to confess that I cried while I was writing it.
What was your favorite part of writing this book?
The third draft! That’s how long it takes me to fully understand all the characters and their motivations, the plot, the subplots. First drafts are always brutal for me, because I change my mind about so many things; the second draft is all about pulling a coherent story out of that mess. The third draft is where it all comes together. That’s been true for all of my books.
What’s Next For You?
Are you working on a new book? Can you tell my readers a little about it, a blurb, potential release date, etc?
I’m always working on a new book, but I don’t expect to finish this one soon. I’ve been writing short stories lately, and you’ll be seeing those in print soon. My favorite, “Weed Man,” will be in the 80th anniversary issue of Ellery Queen, on newsstands this August. I’m also planning to bring out a new collection of short stories, maybe even later this year.
Get In Touch
Hilary loves connecting with readers. You can get in touch with her at:
276 Reviews for Hilary Davidson
This sounds like an intriguing read! I love thrillers that you really have to delve into. You had me hooked on the 3 words to decribe the book: secrets can kill. 🧐🤓
Thank you, Jess!
This book sounds amazing, definitely adding it to my TBR list! I sure wish I were as brave as Hilary…even the smallest bug freaks me out, and let’s not get started about spiders! Hahaha!
That is so kind of you to say, Melanie! (The rest of my family is terrified of spiders.)
Can’t wait to read this book! Noe I have found a new author! Love mysteries and spooky scary books!!
Oh, I really appreciate that!
sounds so good!
Thank you, Lisa!
Love the blurb! Thank you for the chance!!
Thanks for entering, Karishma!
Ooooh and now another one to add to my TBR list! I love thrillers.
My TBR stack just keeps growing, too!
more than one killer in the family!? Sounds intriguing
Thank you, Allison!
I love your interview! This book sounds fantastic!
So kind of you to say, Shannon. Thank you!
Was interesting to read what motivates Hilary Davidson’s writing.
Thanks, Lana. I’m always intrigued by why writers choose to write what they do!
Love who you picked to have dinner with! Book sounds so suspenseful!
Thank you — hoping to see them soon!
The best mysteries are the ones with secrets that are revealed throughout the story, chapter by chapter!
I love this kind of mystery, too, Maria!
Can’t wait to read this book!
Oh, wow. Thank you, Kelly!
This sounds like one of those “can’t put it down “ books!
I really hope it is, Martha!
Powerful three words describing your story! SECRETS CAN KILL…wowsie!
Thank you, Nancy!
Reading about and studying family dynamics is one of my favorite things! I can relate to Beast, my brother and his friends called me Tank, because I was stronger and could leg lift more than anyone we knew! 😁
That is a nickname — and an accomplishment — to be proud of!
This sounds so good
Thank you for this insightful interview which I get to know Hilary Davidson and her latest suspenseful thriller!
Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Thank you both! Christina is a terrific interviewer!
This sounds like a book to add to TBR pile! Can’t wait to read it!
Thank you, Vanessa!
It sounds like it will be a good read.
Thanks for the interview and sharing this book and introducing me to another great author
The story line is quite unusual and interesting. I love the idea of the sarcastic character. It adds some humor though not out and out silly.
That sounds interesting!
This was a great interview! I love it when authors have characters who just pop up wholly formed and ready to go. I love psychological thrillers, and this one sounds like it lands right in the sweet spot.
Thank you! 🙂
So kind of you to say. Thank you, Kate!
Your description of the family in Her Last Breath-psychological abuse, manipulation,and gaslighting -make me want to read this book!!!!
Thrilled to hear that!
Added to my TBR! Sounds good
Thank you, Samantha!
Sounds like an intriguing premise for a book- super suspenseful! Looking forward to checking it out!
This sounds so good!
Another TBR for my pile!
I love “sister” stories!
I’m intrigued by the 3 words used to describe this book: secrets can kill. Those 3 words are enough to make me want to add this to my TBR pile right now! 🙂
So glad to hear that!
Sounds amazing!! Can’t wait to read it! Thank you for the chance!
oh i can’t wait to read this! my pick on Amazon first reads📚
Oh this sounds really good. I am adding this to my tbr list for sure!
Wonderful to hear that. Thank you, Heidi!
This sounds so good! I can’t wait to read it!
Sounds very interesting!
Love the secrets can kill phrase
Would really love to read this book. Added to my TBR!
I like a character who redeems his or herself. I am adding this one to my pile.
Omg your interview was amazing and I can’t wait to read your book
Thank you, Brandy, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 🙂
Thank you — it’s so kind of you to say that, Brandy! (Christina is a terrific interviewer.)
Sounds great! Looking forward to reading it !
Sounds like a good read!
Sounds like a book I would love to read. Thank you for the opportunity!
This book sounds really interesting and the blurb so good!! Love finding new authors! The interview was full of great information!
Thank you, Shannon! It was a truly fun interview to do!
Wow! Sounds AWESOME!
Thanks so much!
Added to the to read list!!
I learned a lot and found the interview interesting–I can’t wait–Secrets that Kill.
I’d love to win this!
Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this book. It’s one already on my tbr so it would be awesome to win a copy!
So glad it was already on your TBR list!
Sounds very intriguing! Even if I don’t win a copy I will be going out to buy this one!
Thanks so much, Tracy!
I absolutely love books about sisters! On my TBR now
Another great interview!! I love reading your interviews with other authors!! Thank you for the chance!!
Christina really is a terrific interviewer, isn’t she?
This book is a definite read for me!!
Thank you so much, Linda!
This sounds like a page turner that can’t be put down.
Wow! I would be honored to read this book! Great review!
Love the wonderful interviews. Would love to read these suspense thrillers. Thanks for the chance.
I love how she says “Secrets can kill” and it makes me want to read it because it sends chills up my spine
Literally spine-chilling — thank you, Hailey!
Sounds amazing. Just added to my TBR.
This novel sounds like it’s right up my alley! I love thrillers
This sounds so good!
Thank you, Kayla!
Can not wait to read!
This sounds so good!!
Definitely one to be read
Was intrigued by the mention of the sharks!
Wonderful interview! Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much! 🙂
This sounds like a real thriller! Thanks for the chance to win it!
Another book for my TBR. I like the 3 word summary of secrets can kill.
Sounds like a great read!!
This one was already on my TBR so it must be getting great reviews! Would love the chance to read it.
So glad it’s already on your TBR list, Allison!
I wish I could write like you authors.
Hilary sounds like a neat person.
Again, thank you, Christina.
That is very sweet of you to say. Thank you, Martha!
This sounds like another great thriller to add to my TBR list.
I added this one to my list. Thank you to you both!
Delighted to hear that. Thank you, Hillary!
Talk about kismet I just added Her Last Breath to my GR TBR list today!! And V.I. Warshawski!!! Yes!
I love this — Sara Paretsky is the best!
This sounds very intriquing…would love to read this….
Adding to my TBR!
I can’t imagine receiving a note that it wasn’t an accident after a death! Going home is hard when emotions and past get in the way! Great storyline!
Everyone has secrets. Can’t wait to see what these are!
Sounds wonderful! Thanks for the wonderful opportunity!
I would love to read this. Thanks for the chance!
Have read great reviews.
I want this book! I love a good thriller that keeps me on the edge of my seat. Sounds great.
This sounds so good!
I have never read this author but this book sounds like a pageturner
I love how you describe the book in three words- secrets can kill. Adding to my tbr list!
This is my kind of Thriller! Excited to add to my must read list!
I loved The Night Olivia Fell and this sounds like a really good book! Thank you for the chance!!
This sounds really good!!
Looks like an exciting read!
Would absolutely love to read and review this book thank you kindly.
Can’t wait to read❤️
More to add to my TBR pile!! My pile is almost as tall as my nine year old!
That sounds like my TBR pile!
What a wonderful interview! I think this would be a page turner for sure!
What a wonderful interview! I think this would be a page turner for sure! Thank you for the s opportunity to win this!
What a great interview. I would love to read this book. The new book you also talked about sounds fantastic
Adding this one to my TBR!
Oooh sounds great. I definitely want to check it out!
This sounds so good!
Absolutely can’t wait to read this book! I enjoyed the interview and getting to know more about how this book came to life
Looks like a good read. I have not read this author before but looking forward to reading this book.
This sounds so great!!! I can’t wait to read it!!!
Definitely on my reading list
This looks so good!!
Love describe your book in 3 words
Secrets can kill. Yea definitely need to read this book.
Thank you for the Giveaway
I bought Her Last Breath on Kindle and can’t wait to read it!
Thanks for getting the book, Lindsay!
This one sounds pretty good…can’t wait to read it!
Have never read a book by this author, but this sounds like a great or! Definitely going on my TBR!!
Loved the interview- surprised to hear your writing can change so much between drafts. Can’t wait to read this book!
Thank you, Aileen. It’s always a crazy process!
I’m excited to learn these secrets.
Oh my gosh! I CANNOT wait to read this book. It sounds so intriguing. As soon as I started reading the description I liked that it was about sisters besides that one has died…….but I have 3 sisters and they are all so awesome!
Can’t wait to read this book!
Hilary is a new author to me and the blurb sounds very promising. Would live to read this.! Thank you for the chance!
Sounds like a captivating thriller to add to my list! And dinner with Oscar Wilde would be absolutely fascinating!
I’ve yet to read any of her books but this sounds great! Would love to win!
Thank you for a great review! She is a new author to me and I’m adding her book to my “Want to Read” list on Goodreads. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win!
I really enjoy the interviews you have down. I love learning the process and tidbits about the authors. With this book, i agree that psychological abuse is worse than physical as i have overcome all of the abuses’ that people dole out. Thank you for another favorite author to follow!!!!
Thank you so much, Sharron! 🙂
Sounds really good!
This book sounds so good! I also love short story collections. More mystery fans should check out Ellery Queen, especially since it’s so easy to get on an e-reader. Looking forward to both. 🙂
I was quite surprised Hilary is not scared of walking in a cemetery at night. I do find cemeteries peaceful during the day but this changes at night. This book sounds quite intriguing and I look forward to reading this.
I am already completely hooked on this story…I can’t wait to read the rest of it. What a wonderful interview, too! Thank you for the chance!
Thrilled to hear that — thank you, Jamie!
Sounds like a great book! I would love to win a copy. Thank you!
Ohhh! Can’t wait to read this one!! Thanks for the awesome review!
New author to me!
This sounds very interesting!
Love the ‘ first wife died ‘ makes him suspicious … the whole reason I’m addicted to Dateline 😉
What a great interview! I’m excited she wants to have dinner with family due to the pandemic—FAMILY is always good. A new author for me and I can’t wait to read some of her books. Thanks for the opportunity 🤞
I never read a book by this author but this book as really good and will keep you hooked just to see what happens next. Absolutely love books like that
It’s on my TBR!
Sounds like an awesome thriller! Added to my TBR list!
Psychological themes and suspense are my favorites to read and review. Glad to learn about this author and interested in this one! Thanks for the chance.
What a wonderful interview ! My favorite genre is Psychological Thrillers & throw in the complexity of family… My favorite kind. Thank you for this opportunity 📖🌹
Love books about sisters. Especially thrillers. This is right up my alley. 😊
A sister will leave no stone unturned and find the answer.
I really like the sound of this book, great cover by the way
This seems like a great psychological thriller. And set in my favorite city, Manhattan! Can’t wait to read this one! Thanks for the opportunity.
Sounds like a really amazing book thank you so much for the opportunity to win
This one sounds great!
Looking forward to reading this one!
This sounds brilliant
Can’t wait to read this one!
Wow! I was going to add this book to my TBR list, but I already did because it sounds really, really good!!
This certainly sounds like a real page turner Thanks for the chance to enter
looks like a must read book for sure
This sounds like a bone-chilling psychological thriller that would keep me on the edge of my seat to the very end. The author is new to me and I would enjoy reading her book. Thank you for the chance.
This sounds like a book I would love! Thank you for the chance 🙂
Sounds really good. Thank you kindly.
Added to my TBR! Thank you for talking about multiple drafts.
I’ve been waiting for this one! Thank you for the opportunity to win an advance copy!
I’d call off work to sit home and read this!!!
Adding to my TBR pile. Thanks!
Definitely hooked me!
Can’t wait to read!
sounds like an interesting read.
This sounds like a great read! Fingers crossed!❤
I love thrillers so this one is definitely on my list!
On my list. 🙂
This sounds so twisted! My kind of book!
Added to my reading list. Thank you
I have this on my wishlist so my fingers are crossed.
Your new book sounds like it has many twists and turns .
Excited to read it. Thanks so much for the chance to win a copy.
Be safe and keep writing.
I really can’t wait to read this one!!!! It is added to my list!!!
Love these interviews and cannot wait to read this one.
This definitely sounds like the kind of book I would enjoy and Hilary Davidson is a new author to me.
Thanks for the chance! This book sounds great!
Looks like a great read!
This book sounds so good! Thanks for the interview. I can relate with Ms. Davidson. People always form an opinion about me from my appearance and are shocked when they get to know me that I’m not all that I seem.
OMG I love thrillers……excited to read her book…..thanks so much for the opportunity….
Adding this one to my TBR list. Love books about sisters. Thanks for having this giveaway!
I would love to add this book to my to be read pile. Thank you!
Love a good mystery!
Sounds just up my street.
Secrets make the best read!!
Sounds good! I’ve never read anything by Hilary Davidson yet!
Would love an autographed copy as I collect them 🙂
This book sounds intriguing.. I love the authors outlook on life and her sense of adventure. Thanks for the chance to win I would love to read this one!
Sounds like a great thriller. I would love to read this book.
Would love to read this!
Secrets are dangerous! Would love to add this to my home library. Thanks for a chance.
Adding it to my to be read list!!
What a great interview and the plot sounds suspenseful! I can’t wait to read this, I can’t wait to read this and thanks for the chance! Have a great day!
I just added this book to my goodreads list. I’m so excited read it.
thanks for the chance!
Thanks for the chance!
Very interesting read! I enjoyed reading your interview! This book sounds one I will need to add to my list!
Cant wait to read this
The book sounds amazing, would love to read it!
This sounds.like it will be very suspenseful! Here’s to winning a copy!!🤞🤞📚📚 Thanks for the opportunity!
I love these interviews and where the stories come from. Thank you!
This book sounds so good that I put it on my TBR list. I haven’t read any of Hilary’s books and I will now. Thank you
Would love to read. Thanks for the chance!
This sounds so good!
Can’t wait to read this! Definitely on my TBR list!
Sounds like a book to add to my list!
Sounds good! And one of my favorite new releases is Find You First by Linwood Barclay as well!
I’d love to win!
Thanks for the chance.
Sounds like a compelling read, I am looking forward to reading it.
Really looking forward to reading this. Hope I win. 🙂
“Oh no I did it again” add another book to my growing TBR list.
Love novels where I can uncover hidden secrets.
Great interview! Grabbed my interest, going to look into her books more.
This sounds great! She sounds like a fantastic author!
Looking forward to reading.
This sounds awesome! added to my TBR great interview!!
My TBR list always gets added with the books you highlight. I look forward to reading these.
Intriguing setup for a novel. I will put it on my own TBR list.
I would love to win. This books looks great.
Thank you for the opportunity
“Secrets can kill.” I love it! Added to TBR!
Reading about secrets is so much fun!
OMG… sounds soooooo good!! Thrillers are my favorite genre!!
Such a great interview and I can’t wait to read this book!
Thank you so much!
Congratulations – keep it going. I like that you mix your media: short stories vs. novels!
I’ve been hearing a lot about this one. Can’t wait to read it!
Sounds like a great book!
Sounds very interesting! I can’t wait to read it.
Thank you for the chance to win! This book will be added to my tbr list for sure. Sounds fantastic!
I’m definitely adding this to my TBR list. Thank you for the chance!
Secrets can kill- love that concise description! Story sounds marvelous, can’t wait to read this.
I love Oscar Wilde too!
I love psychological thrillers as there is an untangible element that creeps me out. Secrets can kill! – I’m hooked already!
This sounds incredibly interesting, I love books that keep me guessing!
I can’t wait to read this book. Thank you.
I’m always looking for a good cozy spine twisting mystery, and Christiania your books are IT!
I’m adding “Her Last Breath” to my Goodreads shelf.
On my TBR list. Looking forward to this page turner.
I’m not familiar with this author but your review and the description of the book are right up my alley. Adding it to my TBR list regardless.