I read a review of If I Die Before I Wake a few weeks ago, and knew I just had to read it. Then I discovered that the author, Emily Koch, was coming to our local Waterstones to talk about the book. Needless to say, I went along to see her. (The more observant of my book review readers will notice that I have been to see three out of the last four authors I have featured.)
If I Die Before I Wake is a unique psychological thriller. It is entirely narrated by Alex, who has been in a coma since an accident 18 months previously. His family and the doctors and nurses who care for him believe he is completely unaware of what is going on around him. But Alex’s brain is fully functioning. He can hear and smell everything that goes on around him and has a little bit of sight.
As his family debate removing his life support, Alex can only listen. He will never climb or run or walk again, never marry girlfriend, Bea, or have children. He is ready to die.
Until he starts to pick up on conversations which suggest his accident wasn’t really an accident. Did someone try to kill him? If so, who? And is he still in danger? Are his family in danger?
Piecing together conversations with snatches of his own memory, Alex is determined to catch his own murderer before he dies. As he gets closer to an answer, will his family and the police work out what happened too?
If I Die Before I Wake is set in Bristol, which I like because it’s one of my favourite places. It features very believable characters, in Alex and his friends and family. None of them are perfect, they just want to do what’s best for Alex and themselves.
I read this book in just two days (thanks to a train journey) and loved it! As a claustrophobic, I could have found it challenging, but I didn’t. It is a beautiful book, which just happens to be a psychological thriller too. Whatever genre of books you enjoy reading, I am sure you would enjoy If I Die Before I Wake.