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Saturday, April 20, 2019

REVIEW: If She Wakes by Michael Koryta @littlebrown @mjkoryta

If She Wakes 
by Michael Koryta

Thank you to Astoria Bookshop and Little Brown for this copy.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publish Date: May 14, 2019
400 Pages
Genres: Thriller, Mystery

Tara Beckley is a senior at idyllic Hammel College in Maine. As she drives to deliver a visiting professor to a conference, a horrific car accident kills the professor and leaves Tara in a vegetative state. At least, so her doctors think. In fact, she's a prisoner of locked-in syndrome: fully alert but unable to move a muscle. Trapped in her body, she learns that someone powerful wants her dead--but why? And what can she do, lying in a hospital bed, to stop them?

Abby Kaplan, an insurance investigator, is hired by the college to look in to Tara's case. A former stunt driver, Abby returned home after a disaster in Hollywood left an actor dead and her own reputation--and nerves--shattered. Despite the fog of trauma, she can tell that Tara's car crash was no accident. When she starts asking questions, things quickly spin out of control, leaving Abby on the run and a mysterious young hit man named Dax Blackwell hard on her heels.

My Review:

Tara is tasked with one thing - get a VIP to his destination by a certain time.  So why did that VIP die and she in a coma? Clearly something is afoot.  The crappy thing about being in a coma, besides the obvious.... being trapped inside (locked-in syndrome) while your memories start to come back but no way to communicate or let anyone around her know she's actually in there.  HELLOOOOO!

Dax - young, scary and eerily calm... didn't quite fulfill the job he was assigned and now he has to clean up the mess others think he created and that he just shrugs off.  It's in his blood.  He's devious, smart, quick and undeterred.  I fear for anyone who comes across him or gets in his way.

This is my first Koryta and I've heard nothing but amazing things about his books.  Honestly, I'm surprised I haven't picked up one of his novels before but there's no time like the present, right? I can tell you that I absolutely love his writing style.  Very easy to read, you get engaged with each character and the dialogue was honestly my favorite part. I don't know how this would compare to his previous work but I guarantee I'll pick up more by Koryta moving forward.  I did feel this particular story could've been shorted just a teeny bit - especially as the ending felt slightly rushed. I also didn't understand why that very last chapter was necessary.  I feel like maybe I missed something somewhere?  

Here's something that I adored about this book - very strong women characters.. and Dax. **wink**  The banter between Dax and Abby, and Tara's sister, Shannon, with everyone was really fun to read.  I love snarky, smart women.  The locked-in syndrome gave me Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney vibes. I don't know what it is about this that I just find so fascinating.  Maybe it's from watching Serpent and the Rainbow eons ago and thinking that would be one of the worst things to happen to someone. Who knows?!

Those who like thrillers that have that mob mentality / trapped in your body vibe, then this is absolutely the read for you.  


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