Monnie's Reviews > If She Wakes

If She Wakes by Michael Koryta
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it was amazing

4.5 stars, actually.

To the best of my recollection, I've read only one other book by Michael Koryta (Rise the Dark in 2016, to which I gave 5 stars). And "Short Story," which he co-wrote with Karin Slaughter for the 2017 Matchup compilation was my favorite of the bunch. So it was that I was delighted to get an advance review copy of this book from the publisher (via NetGalley). In fact, I stayed delighted all the way through the nonstop action; when I got within shouting distance of the end, not even this season's final episode of "Madame Secretary" could make me turn off my Kindle (well, okay, I finished up during the commercials, but you get my point).

Tara Beckley, a senior at Hammel College in Maine, is tapped to escort a high-profile keynote speaker to his presentation at the college. Although they're on a tight schedule, the visiting professor asks her to show him some of her favorite spots in and around campus. Reluctantly, she agrees - even when he decides to get out and walk. Shortly thereafter, a car comes out of nowhere, mowing down the professor and knocking Tara into a bridge barrier. When she awakes (if you can call it that), she's in a hospital bed unable to move or speak. Readers know she can think, see and hear, though - but that's of little consequence because everyone around her (except perhaps her sister Shannon) assumes she's in a coma from which she'll never recover. If they all give up on a possible recovery, what would happen next is almost too frightening for her to bear.

Meanwhile, former race and stunt car driver and now insurance investigator Abby Kaplan has been hired by the college to look into the college's potential for liability - after all, it provided Tara as an escort. To prove there's no fault, she must dig into every angle of how the accident happened. Right from the git-go, though, she learns one very important thing: The accident definitely wasn't an accident.

Thrown into the mix is a very nasty predator known as Dax and his "boss" Gerry Connors, both of whom have intense, but perhaps different, interests in the late professor and what he really was up to. Then there's Hank, Abby's boss, mentor and friend, and Tara's aforementioned sister Shannon - Tara's strongest ally. And don't count out Tara herself, who struggles to make her family and doctors believe she's still "in there." Everyone who loves her, of course, is pulling for her return to the real world. But Dax and others are watching her progress closely; if she recovers, it's likely she'll need to be silenced - this time, permanently.

Chapters flip among the various characters, holding my attention throughout and providing me with inside looks at what they're thinking before, during and after they do it. To that end, though, I must say that I marveled at how quickly and in-depth the characters figured out what was happening and how they should handle the situations. I like to think I'm a fairly intelligent person, but put me in high-stress, life-threatening scenarios like these folks faced and it would take me months to decide what to do next (by which time, of course, I'd be six feet under). Then, too, I do think the medical professionals should have been able to detect brain activity long before they did in this case.

That noted, everything comes together to make for an exciting journey that ends with...oops, almost forgot that's not my story to tell. It's the author's -- and it's a doozy. Very entertaining!
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Reading Progress

April 15, 2019 – Started Reading
April 15, 2019 – Shelved
April 20, 2019 –
page 60
15.23% "This is REALLY good so far!"
April 20, 2019 – Finished Reading

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