As a doctor myself, I found this story chilling and horrifying. Alex Taylor, an emergency room doctor, slowly wakes up to find herself naked and strapped onto the operation table with her legs in stirrups, and her private parts exposed. She is threatened with hints of rape and getting her lips stapled by a doctor in surgery garbs, and slowly gets anaesthetised by rudimentary anaesthesia (horrors…).
When she wakes up the second time she finds herself in her own department trolley as a patient. She screams holy terror and gets all the tests done, everything is normal. Everyone starts doubting her story as the impersonator has left no clue, so was that an hallucination. Did a previous episode on Alex a year back trigger her brain into psychosis? As another patient comes to the emergency room in a critical state, Alex begins to see the connection. Is that real or imaginary? Is Alex going mad??
This is a debut novel by author Liz Lawler and I can assure you that she has gone all out on this story. The events happen as a roller coaster ride, there is no slowing down. There are murders and botched up procedure, there are threats by unknown assailants and doubts by the colleagues and police. There is a boyfriend who is a know-it-all and arrogant, and there is a could-be-boyfriend colleague who is shunned.
There is jealousy and envy, friends who are not friends, the not so friendly become friends, boyfriend becomes persona non grata and the shunned colleague becomes a possibility. The police who should help become the one ganging up, therapists sit passively, there is disbelief all round… Liz has included all emotions in this spine thrilling suspense.
The author has written the story well. Each sentence is filled with adrenaline, and the thrill doesn’t stop till the last page. Liz Lawler took me on a ride along with Alex. As a doctor, I wanted to stand by her and fight for her. There are times I wanted to jump into the page and tell all the characters to believe Alex, that all that she says really happened. Alex’s despair is acutely felt throughout the story, her desperation and her turning to medications and alcohol feels like a personal let down. The book does not stop pace and everytime it slows down there is a murder happening… Exciting…
There are, but of course, a few niggles
Alex is an emergency room doctor, where she has to make split second decisions to a save a patient’s life yet she comes to work drunk and on medication, yet can save lives zonked out…?? Not possible
The police who investigate, do more thinking than investigation, even the officer who gangs up on Alex, thinks and thinks and thinks… weird theories without a base. How about doing some actual police work and getting evidence…..??
The things happening around Alex are too far fetched, Alex at times comes as a ditsy airhead, instead of being a doctor with the highest qualification who does everything extremely well, including flying a helicopter but yet drinks and self medicates, and does not report an earlier attack. All emergency room doctors are friendly to police yet Alex knows no one… How is this an intelligence of an emergency room doctor??
There are characters there are actions and there are emotions but they don’t match… Each character says something, does something else… Yet Alex believes them, in her insecurity???
Alex could have been written as a stronger woman, playing the victim card gets on the nerves, a victim who takes control of her life would have made this book fabulous.
Inspite of these, the book does not fail to thrill, it reads fast, it makes the heart beat fast, it makes the real world disappear till the Alex’s reality is revealed…
I enjoyed it thoroughly and would recommend it to readers who enjoy medical suspense as there are quite a few medical words and procedures.
I received an ARC from NetGalley and publisher Bonnier Zaffre and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.
My rating : 3.5 stars
About the Author
Born in Chatham and partly raised in Dublin, Liz Lawler is one of fourteen children and grew up sharing socks, pants, stuffed bras and a table space to eat at. Liz spent over twenty years working as a nurse, and has since worked as a flight attendant and as the general manager of a five-star hotel. She now lives in Bath with her husband. Don’t Wake Up is her first novel.
Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table. The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.
The choice he forces her to make is utterly unspeakable.
But when Alex re-awakens, she’s unharmed – and no one believes her horrifying story. Ostracised by her colleagues, her family and her partner, she begins to wonder if she really is losing her mind.
And then she meets the next victim.
Publication date : 18th May 2017
Publisher : Bonnier Zaffre, Twenty7
Language : English
Available on Amazon
Medical suspense which thrills
I love reading your take on the characters from your real world experience. I have a tough time reading books about people in my profession if the author clearly has not been there as well. It just rings hollow or plain wrong. I wonder if someone who wasn’t in med would see it the same light. Even if that read was a bit lacking, your review certainly was not! 🙂
Aww honey, you do know how to make me ok even when nothing does… Big hugs back to you.. 💗😘
Check your mail jo, mail me back urgent
Btw I’m going to sleep now if you respond back again but I’ll email you in the morning. I’m still here!
Sleep Jo, sorry forgot the time difference… I am sending you my drowsiness too so that you sleep peacefully. Thank you honey
Loved this review, you took this amazing personal spin on it – so unique! Adore your blog x
Abby | http://www.seafoaming.com
Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate you taking the time to read my work
Brilliant review, I like how you use your profession to analyse this book as you have more insight than the rest of us 🙂 xx
Hi Hannah, thank you so much for your kind words. I just don’t like doctors drinking and coming to work.. 😬
Oh God yeah, I assumed there would be really strict rules about this! People always seem to slip through the net!
I hope so. I have a strict rule with myself. At work, only work. The rest of the world stays out till I finish work
What an interesting book. Part of me wants to read it, but part of me says stay away.
Good review, you covered so much!
How are you?
Read it if you get it on netgalley
thx, will check it out this week
2 hours tops that’s all it would take you
Looks interesting… my type of story…
Btw.. hope you are doing fine and back to normal.. 💗
Yes, a different story….
You book reviews are show stopping, you seem like the type of critic that readers will listen to. If you could write a review in the comment section of PHONESTRUCK, I would be incredibly grateful. Hope to see you there
Thank you so much. Will check your post out in detail. I also don’t like to be phonestruck
Just like Robin Cook’s books..
Great study of characters Shalini..
Robin Cook was a class act… Not many could write like his earlier works
Coma , Chromosome 6 …those were days of glory and gore.
Fever. True till it deteriorated
You could feel the pulse through the pages.
Arthur Hailey with his final diagnosis, my all time fav
Arthur 😀 lovely ….
True…love to read your post sweetheart❤
Can you mail you shalini
Can I get your email shalini?
I have mailed you. Kindly check
Sorry but I didn’t received any mail. My email id is email@example.com
Check your spam folder
No dear its not there
I am shalini not dear or sweetheart. Kindly call me shalini only
Sorry…plz dont take it personally
Check your mail box i have mail you