Book Review: Don’t Wake Up

DON’T WAKE UP | Liz Lawler
01.02.2018 | twenty7
Rating: 4/5 stars


Dr. Alex Taylor wakes up pinned down on an operating table. The last thing she can remember is something striking her and knocking her unconscious. There is a man standing over her now. He’s dressed as a doctor, but says he’s anything but. He has plans to inflict unspeakable harm on to her unless she answers his question correctly. Alex believes she is bound to die, but then she wakes up and she’s unharmed. In fact it looks like nothing has ever happened to her. Her boyfriend and staff at the hospital assure her that she was struck by a fallen tree branch in the car park from the storm and knocked unconscious.

Six weeks ago she had a boyfriend she loved, a job she loved, and a life to call her own. In the space of a few hours her sane world had been wiped away. It was now splashed with uncertainty, anxiety and great big splurges of the unknown. 

Alex knows she isn’t wrong about what happened to her, but there is no evidence that her story can be real. A few days after her incident a nurse is brought in to the hospital and Alex is instantly sure that this woman is a victim of the same attacker. Her co-workers, friends, and local police think she’s losing her mind. Can Alex prove to those around her that she’s not crazy before this madman claims another victim or worse, returns for Alex herself?

Imagine what would happen if you only received a muscle relaxant. You would have to be ventilated of course, because you wouldn’t be able to breathe. You would be awake, but unable to move. And pain…well, you would feel pain. You would be able to feel everything being done to you.

Liz Lawler has written a compulsive medical thriller with DON’T WAKE UP. The opening chapter quickly sucks the reader in as you wake up with Alex to a situation straight from your darkest nightmare. Lawler continues to build the suspense and tension as more events related to this one happen around Alex. Each new incident has a clear cut connection to Alex, but she can’t seem to persuade anyone that she isn’t the bad guy, that she isn’t crazy. As she turns to pills and booze to soothe her fears those around her continue to distrust Alex until she is ultimately met with the possibility that she could be charged with murder. Just as Alex can’t put a finger on who in hunting her, neither can the reader. I found myself binging on sections of DON’T WAKE UP because of Lawler’s addictive writing style and use of short chapters. This is a fantastic thriller and I look forward to seeing what Lawler comes up with next!

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