If She Wakes

If She Wakes

by Michael Koryta

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Two women fight for their lives against an enigmatic killer in this electrifying novel from a New York Times bestselling author and "master" of thriller writing (Stephen King).
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.
Full of pulse-pounding tension, If She Wakes is a searing, breakneck thriller from the genre's "best of the best" (Michael Connelly).

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316293952
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 05/14/2019
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 6,938
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Michael Koryta is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels, most recently, How It Happened. His previous novels--including Rise the Dark, Last Words, Those Who Wish Me Dead, and So Cold the River--were New York Times notable books, national bestsellers, and have been nominated for numerous awards, including having won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Koryta is a former private investigator and newspaper reporter. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana, and Camden, Maine.

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If She Wakes 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous 26 days ago
vphillips88 3 months ago
The first few chapters have scenes and characters that are seemingly unrelated. Senior college student Tara Beckley picks up a professor to deliver to a keynote presentation. The professor asks her to stop so he can take pictures and he asks her to lock his phone in the dash pocket of her car. They are broadsided by a van. In the second chapter, Lisa Boone is at the airport waiting for some unknown person to fly in. Next, Dax Blackwell kills Carlos Ramirez. Turns out Carlos is the driver of the van that hit Tara. And then we have Abby Kaplan, a former race car driver who is investigating the accident on behalf of the college. The professor is dead and Tara is in a coma. She can hear and see everything around her but she's unable to speak or even move one muscle. That must be a horrible feeling. Abby visits the accident scene and realizes it couldn't have happened the way Carlos said it did. But she can't interview him because he's dead. She tracks down the professor's phone and that's when the bad guys come after her. But exactly who are the bad guys? This was my first time reading a book by Michael Koryta and I liked it. There was plenty of action. Strangely enough, my favorite character was the young, laid back hit man and Abby was a strong lead.
SheTreadsSoftly 3 months ago
If She Wakes by Michael Koryta is a very highly recommended, fast-paced thriller. Tara Beckley, a senior at Hammel College in Maine, is the contact person to drive visiting lecturer Amandi Oltamu to the venue where he will give a presentation related to his work on batteries and solar panels. Tara, following Oltamu's request, has parked the car by a walking bridge when a van hits them, killing Oltamu and leaves Tara in a vegetative state. After the driver of the vehicle who hit them confesses, everyone assumes it was an accident, but Abby Kaplan, an insurance investigator, doesn't believe that is the case. As a former racer and stunt driver, Abby knows how cars behave at high speeds. As Abby continues her investigation she gets Oltamu's phone which she hopes hold clues. Tara regains consciousness, but is a victim of locked-in syndrome, which means she's fully alert but unable to move or communicate. To further complicate matters a young killer, Dax Blackwell, has been hired to make sure Tara can never say what happened, silence Abby, and get Oltamu's phone. This is an tension-filled, exciting, fast-paced thriller that will hold your attention from beginning to end. A high level of suspense is sustained throughout the novel and the cold, malevolent calculating actions of Dax increase the fear and make the dread palpable. The quality of the writing is excellent and the plot moves quickly as each chapter alternates between the points-of-view of different characters. The various plot threads all begin to weave together, which makes the suspense created by the complicated, dangerous plot even more heart-stopping. All of the characters are well-developed and you will fiercely care about what happens to them. Koryta gives all of these these characters a backstory, making them realistic with their own fears and motivations. These are not unreliable characters. They feel as real as a close friend, so the situation they are in is heartbreaking and heart-stopping. Even with plot twists, that also feel believable, these characters continue to experience growth - even through the fear. If I had one bit of doubt, it was Tara experiencing the locked-in syndrome and medical professionals not realizing it sooner. On the other hand, I am not a medical professional, so perhaps it is possible. A strong 4.5 rounded up. Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Little, Brown and Company.
Alfoster 3 months ago
I was first introduced to Koryta's novels when I read an ARC of How it Happened. So when this title popped up, I knew I had to have it! The book focuses on Tara, a young student who is volunteering her time to guide a guest speaker to his destination when an horrific car accident leaves him dead and her in a coma with locked in syndrome; she can't move or speak but can see, hear, and is aware of everything going on around her. Enter Abby, a retired race car driver and a kick-ass, somewhat "broken" woman who is sent to investigate as there are many anomalies. What follows is a breakneck-paced plot that pits bad guys against good guys and who knows what the truth is? And you won't until the very end! But strap yourself in and be prepared to feel like you are Danica Patrick in multiple car chases having to pit herself against a sociopathic thug willing to kill for sport and money. Enough said. Conspiracies abound and this one will take your breath away! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
RowingRabbit 3 months ago
3.5 stars I was a big fan of this author’s Lincoln Perry series but it’s been a while so I was happy to get my hands on his latest stand alone. For me this was very much a book of 2 halves. I see you squinting at me so I’ll try to explain but first, the 411. “Nineteen minutes before her brain and body parted ways, Tara Beckley’s concern was the cold.” Got your attention? That’s the opening line & you may wonder if it might be a good idea not to get too attached to poor Tara. No worries. After a car crash, she’s still alive albeit trapped in her own body with locked in syndrome. Her passenger, a professor she was driving to a conference, didn’t fare as well. Meanwhile a woman named Lisa Boone is wondering what happened to her latest client. She’s in the Detroit airport waiting for a professor who had one more lecture to give before she whisks him away. All she can do is ponder his last text: ASK THE GIRL. As Tara lies in a coma, family gathers at her bedside to consider the options. It’s probably a good thing they don’t know she’s listening as they discuss when to turn off the machines & let her go. Luckily she has someone in her corner. Her sister Shannon has always had her back & refuses to believe Tara is already gone. Then we meet Abby Kaplan, a claims investigator hired by Tara’s college to look into the accident. They sponsored the conference & want to nail down any potential legal liability stemming from the professor’s death. Fatal accidents are something Abby knows a bit about. She recently returned to Maine after surviving a crash that killed her boyfriend. It’s obvious Abby is still traumatized but she needs this job. So maybe she’ll have a couple of drinks before tackling the crime scene. There’s a lot of history & more characters to introduce before the story can really take off. This is what I meant in the intro. The first half sets up various sub plots & establishes the cast but you soon realize Tara & Abby will be the main narrators. I enjoyed Tara’s side. Making one of your MC’s a person who never leaves her bed is an interesting choice. I fared less well with Abby. First, I have a thing about drinking & driving. That’s just a personal tic. But it was mostly the frequent references to the accident in California that sent her running back to Maine. Her boyfriend was a well known actor so in addition to her personal grief, Abby had to deal with being excoriated in the press. It’s a horrific experience that would leave anyone reeling & we better understand her behaviour after the initial reveal. However, she (and the reader) delves into it over & over again including long passages of conversations she had with her boyfriend. Not only does it slow the pace & yank you out of the present, it doesn’t add anything to the story. We already know she’s suffering & I confess I found myself skimming these sections to get back to the current situation which was much more compelling. Thankfully, this happens less often in the second half. The plot is intricate & things really get interesting when we spend time with a creepy young killer hell bent on making sure no one digs into the circumstances around Tara’s accident. It becomes a fast paced read with several nice twists that keep you turning the pages. So with 3 stars for the first half & 4 for the second, I’ll split the difference.