I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Stay Awake by Megan Goldin
Published by Canelo Crime on August 18, 2022
ISBN: 9781250280671
Genres: Fiction, Thrillers, Suspense, Psychological
Pages: 353
Format: ARC, eBook
Source: NetGalley, Publisher
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five stars - Stay Awake by Megan Goldin - REVIEW

A murder she doesn’t remember committing. A killer she doesn’t remember meeting. Megan Goldin’s Stay Awake is an electrifying novel that proves memory can be deadly.Liv Reese wakes up in the back of a taxi with no idea where she is or how she got there. When she’s dropped off at the door of her brownstone, a stranger answers—a stranger who claims to live in her apartment. She reaches for her phone to call for help, only to discover it’s missing. In its place is a bloodstained knife. Her hands are covered in scribbled messages, like graffiti on her skin: STAY AWAKE.
Two years ago, Liv was thriving as a successful writer for a trendy magazine. Now, she’s lost and disoriented in a New York City that looks nothing like what she remembers. Catching a glimpse of the local news, she’s horrified to see reports of a crime scene where the victim’s blood has been used to scrawl a message across a window, similar to the message that’s inked on her hands. What did she do last night? And why does she remember nothing from the past two years? Liv finds herself on the run for a crime she doesn’t remember committing. But there’s someone who does know exactly what she did, and they’ll do anything to make her forget—permanently.
A complex thriller that unfolds at a breakneck speed, Stay Awake will keep you up all night.

Stay Awake is a masterclass in visceral levels of tension. This is perfect for TV adaptation. A blistering page turner.

What can I say about Stay Awake that will do it the justice it deserves?

Never has sleep had such dangerous connotations? It is an intricate game of minds. Wake up, forget everything that has happened in the last two years, spend all day trying to connect the dots and discover what happened in those missing gaps, fall asleep, wake up and repeat. It would be a horrible way to live. You quickly get lost in the plot and you become so immersed in helping Liv discover what happened to her. She is walking a tightrope. She doesn’t know who to trust, she doesn’t understand why other people are living in her home, and her only guide is the notes scribbled on her hands and arms.

Megan Goldin’s writing is mesmerizing. You know something or someone is pulling the strings in the background, you are distracted by noise, the noise that the author has created, it keeps you on your toes, like a cat on hot bricks, even as the reader you aren’t entirely sure where is safe. Whilst reading, all of my senses were on red alert. You can sense Liv’s fear and smell the danger all around, but you don’t want to reach out in case you get burnt too.

Stay Awake is a novel about memory loss. Liv Reece wakes up in a cab with no idea where she is or where she is headed. Her confusion is palpable, it leaves you on edge. She makes her way to the flat that she shares with her housemate, Amy. She is told by the occupiers of the flat that she doesn’t live here. She is adamant that this is her flat, she has no idea what is going on.

Darcy Halliday is a new homicide detective partnering up with veteran Jack Lavelle. Two interesting characters that have their own backstories. Halliday, ex-military, and Lavelle, a seasoned cop that has had his own share of gruesome murders to solve, he has the quickest turnaround of solved cases in the precinct. I was engrossed in the characters and their quirks that I didn’t see the signs popping up all over the place.

A man turns up dead, with one fatal stab wound. Wake Up has been written onto the window in the dead man’s blood, facing out to the world outside. It’s a message, but why does it resemble the delusional markings that Liv has written on her hand? Is she connected or is it a pure coincidence? All Liv knows is that she can’t fall asleep, or she risks forgetting everything again, with the help of energy drinks and coffee can she stay awake long enough to work out how she is connected to the murder?

#ABOUT THE AUTHOR

image 5 - Stay Awake by Megan Goldin - REVIEW

Megan Goldin was a journalist before she became a writer. She reported from the Middle East for the Associated Press, Reuters, the (Australian) ABC and other news outlets. She worked in Asia as a reporter and editor for Reuters and Yahoo!. She is the author of the psychological thriller Stay Awake, The Night Swim and The Escape Room. 

Megan Goldin

five stars - Stay Awake by Megan Goldin - REVIEW