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August 17, 2022

Stay awake by Megan Goldin ~ a Review

by MK French

Liv Reese has no memory of the past two years when she wakes up in the back of a taxi. Someone else lives in her apartment, her phone is gone, she has a bloodstained knife, and messages all over her hands. New York City is now unfamiliar to her, and local news reports include a crime scene where the victim's blood was used to scrawl messages. Liv is now on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing. Someone out there knows what she did, and will make sure she never remembers.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of psychological thriller Stay Awake by Megan Goldin
August 2022; St. Martin's; 978-1250280664
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); psychological thriller

From the start, we're dropped into first-person narration from Liv's POV. She's written on her hands, and in retracing her steps for the night meets a bartender who knows her, and that she apparently told him that she forgets everything when she goes to sleep. At the same time, Detective Halliday is called to the murder of a man, post-it notes and a bloody message saying "Stay Awake" in the apartment. It's a heady and rapid start to the book, immediately hooking us into the mystery of what happened. 

There are essentially two timelines, the present with Liv in her fugue amnesia states and Detective Halliday looking for the killer, and two years ago which Liv can remember. Liv is easily confused and goes along with what she's told as she tries to figure things out, only to forget when she falls asleep. It's a tense situation, especially as we find out more about her past and what was going on before she woke up. Soon enough we know more than she does, especially with the murder investigation. Detective Halliday is an honest and idealistic officer despite her military background, chasing the truth and not taking the easy way out. When it all falls together, it's a satisfying ending and makes perfect sense. 

Buy Stay Awake at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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