Monday, October 28, 2019

Michael Koryta: If She Wakes

Michael Koryta takes readers on a thrill ride where two women are fighting for their lives against an enigmatic killer:

Tara Beckly is a senior in a small town college and she has volunteered to drive a visiting professor to a conference. On the way to taking him there he makes some unusual requests, one which leads to a car accident that has left Tara in a vegetative state called Locked In Syndrome. She is unable to communicate with those around her as hard as she tries, but she does learn that someone powerful wants her dead, who? why? Tara cannot remember how she even came to be in the hospital but she is the key to many things. With the car accident comes Abby Kaplan the insurance investigator hired by the college to protect themselves. Abby has a unique and painful history with cars as she used to be a stunt car driver and was found of pushing vehicles to their limits. What Abby does not know that is she is about to go on the drive for her life, where not only her life hangs in the balance but other too.

This book will grab you from the very first sentence: "Nineteen minutes before her brain and her body parted ways, Tara's Beckly's concern was the cold." I mean you literally want to know what has happened to Tara even though we know nothing about her or where she fits within the story. This sets the tone for the rest of the book of wanting to know more, never wanting to put the book down as it is a thrill ride, one event after another. There are many twists and turns along the way and you do not know what is going to happen next and who is going to survive it all. A unique aspect in this book is the lack of law enforcement through out. I like that Abby and Tara do not have law background and I think due to this the story flows in a much different way than it would if there was a detective at the helm.  However, there are a few short chapters from a government Agent but for the majority of the book she is a secondary character.

The women characters that Koryta presents in this book are all strong in their own ways. Tara with her locked in syndrome and trying desperately to communicate with those around her. Trying everything that she can think of to make them see that she was still there. her thought process to get any part of her body to move, even her eyes to tear are feats of strength and force of will. Tara truly is an amazing character. Abby Kaplan a new insurance investigator who knows all about cars and how to drive them to their limits. Abby is smart, resourceful and has a will to survive that is outstanding.

The chapters from Tara's point of view are slower paced but OMG are they ever truly terrifying. Imagine being able to see, hear, think but no one around you knows that you are aware and then add in them talking about ending your life. I cannot think of something more terrifying.

I'm not sure about all the physic and car abilities that occur in this book but I like to think that Koryta took the time to do some research on Locked In Syndrome then he also too the time to research the vehicles in this book and their capabilities if someone like Abby is behind the wheel.

This was a great book by Koryta and I enjoyed it from start to finish. I look forward to reading another book by him. Just a side note that I enjoyed the nod back to his other book Those Who Wish Me Dead where you first run into the Blackwell family, you don't need to read that book to enjoy this one but you should just read it as it is amazing.

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