IF SHE WAKES by Michael Koryta
Kirkus Star


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Slowly emerging from the coma she's been in since a black cargo van rammed the car she was using to transport a visiting professor, killing him, Maine college senior Tara Beckley is targeted by a ruthless young hit man.

After the driver of the van admits his guilt, police rule the collision a simple wreck. But it doesn't take long for insurance investigator Abby Kaplan, a former racer and stunt driver who knows how cars behave at high speeds, to determine that this was no accident. She responds emotionally to Tara and her family; Abby's boyfriend in Los Angeles was left in a coma after a reckless joy ride she took him on ended badly. The bad news for the bad guys, who are desperate to get their hands on a device that was in the professor's possession, is that Tara is now conscious and alert and able to communicate by moving her eyes. Dax Blackwell, the boyish, creepily calm gunman (whose father, Jack, an Australian assassin, died in Koryta's Those Who Wish Me Dead), must not only get past Abby to get to Tara, he also has to contend with Tara's fiercely protective sister, Shannon. It's a measure of how good this book is that the chilling, masterfully sustained suspense is only one of its standout achievements. Koryta never brushes off anyone's death; he makes you feel for the victims. The relationship between Tara and her sibling is beautifully nuanced, full of revealing details going back to their childhood. And Koryta’s (How It Happened, 2018, etc.) fans will surely appreciate the suggestion of a sequel.

Koryta has never been better than with this knuckle-biting thriller.

Pub Date: May 14th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-316-29400-3
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2019

Kirkus Interview
Michael Koryta
May 26, 2014

Young writer Michael Koryta is already a master of suspense. He tells Kirkus TV how he keeps readers guessing in his new thriller, Those Who Wish Me Dead. View video >


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