Review published on February 1, 2018.
Emily Koch is an award-winning journalist and a graduate of the fabulous creative writing course at Bath Spa. She has written a debut thriller that will keep you enthralled. If I Die Before I Wake should not work, but it does in so many ways, and it will keep the reader gripped throughout.
Alex is in a coma, and there are doubts he will ever come out of it. He is surrounded by the machinery that is keeping him alive. His girlfriend, Bea, his family and friends visit often and have done so for the eighteen months or so he has been in a coma. What they and the medical staff do not realise is he can hear every word that is being said, he can see the outline of bodies and, more importantly, he can feel everything.
Alex is our narrator as he describes his life before and after a climbing fall, a mere accident so he believes. What he cannot remember is the moment of the fall while climbing – that is just a blank. His climbing partner was below him so knows absolutely nothing about what went on to cause the fall.
While Alex is locked in within his body he tries to put together what actually happened and whether it was an accident, or someone tried to murder him. He tries his hardest to survive and give indications that he is still fighting to live, but the scans and other tests show nothing is happening. The hospital is preparing the family for switching his life support machine off, but that spurs Alex on to find out who tried to kill him.
As Alex lies in the bed listening to what everyone is saying around him, he is trying to work out the hardest puzzle of his life. Will he be able to solve it and will he be able to show everyone he has the will to live by fighting to get out of the coma?
A good debut thriller that will keep you hooked from beginning to end.
Paul Diggett 4/4
If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch
Harvill Secker 9781911215479 hbk Jan 2018