Professional Reader

Don't Wake Up Book Review

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler

Alex Taylor wakes up tied to an operating table.

The man who stands over her isn’t a doctor.

The offer he makes her 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.

Don’t Wake Up is the first novel by Liz Lawler.  The book cover is stunning and is what primarily drew me to the book. The book jacket blurb also had me interested. The premise of something terrible happening to you and not one of your friends or family believing you sounded intriguing, and I love psychological thrillers and suspense.

Alex Taylor is a very successful doctor, saving lives in the emergency room of a hospital based in Bath, England. She is in her early thirties and seems to excel at everything, even knowing how to fly a helicopter!  She’s leaving work one night to meet her boyfriend and the next thing she remembers is waking up in an operating theatre with a sinister voice asking her to make a choice. This is where her nightmare begins.

Duffy’s Thoughts On Don’t Wake Up

The first chapter had me hooked, it was gripping from the first paragraph, but starting at such a key part of the story and using that as a jumping off point left little space on the pages for any kind of character development. So, unfortunately, my passion for the book waned after the first few chapters. I didn’t get a feel for any of the supporting characters and Alex’s friends Caroline and Fiona blurred a few times and I had to go back and re-read to follow who was talking to who. The book then raced through a very complicated and sometimes preposterous plot (which had a few holes) to get to the end.

Alex as the main character had little to offer me.  I LOVE any book which has a strong female character but Alex just seemed too perfect and such a martyr at times with a real “saving lives is what I do” vibe. I didn’t relate at all, and therefore didn’t really care really what happened to her.

However, there was something that kept me reading, and I didn’t give up on the book.  I did want to know who the perpetrator was and why they were doing what they were doing, however crazy and convoluted it seemed.

This is Lawler’s first novel and there is promise. There are certainly plenty of book fans who rate this highly on Goodreads. I would be interested in reading any further books from this author, and I think that if complicated plots are paired back and in its place, some depth to characters is added, she may just have a future hit on her hands!

Don't Wake Up Book Review

2 out of 5 from me.  Not my cup of tea, but a good crack for a first novel.

Available at all good bookstores RRP $29.99 AUD

Thank you to Allen & Unwin for a copy of Don’t Wake Up in exchange for an honest review.