I’ve been in such a weird reading mood lately where I haven’t wanted to read anything; Don’t Wake Up is May’s Criminally Good Book Club pick, and as that’s my book club on Instagram, I kinda needed to read this one this month. Having already had it on my Kindle, I added audible narration to my purchase and here we are today, I’ve listened to my first audiobook of the year.
A dark and gripping debut psychological thriller with a horrifying premise and a stinging twist.
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.
So compulsive you can’t stop listening. So chilling you won’t stop talking about it.
Don’t Wake Up is a really enjoyable psychological thriller, emphasis on the psychological! As Alex awakes, unharmed, and no one believes her story, she descends into real psychological turmoil, because not only does she have to deal with the traumatising encounter itself, but she has to contend with the fact that no one believes her. This book is dubbed to have “the most gripping first chapter you’ll ever read!” – the opening chapter was brilliant, I’m not sure I’d go as far as to say the best I’ve ever read, but it’s certainly an attention-grabber!
I don’t have huge experience with narrators, but Zara Ramm did a fantastic job with this one. I listen to a lot of audiobook samples, often never downloading the full book, because I’m so fussy when it comes to narrators. So I will be on the lookout for other books Ramm has narrated as they make easy listening; as in the sound/tone of her voice is easy on the ear – certain parts of Don’t Wake Up had me on high alert so those moments definitely made for tense listening, but, as a narrator, Ramm gets the A-OK from me!
Don’t Wake Up is a medical thriller and I thought certain parts of this plot were enhanced by the medical technology, the terminology is accessible (the way it’s accessible in medical dramas, such as House or Grey’s Anatomy), if you don’t understand it all, you understand enough to know when shit is serious and it’s time to panic! Training to be a nurse and having done a placement on a surgical ward, I loved the medical side of this thriller. Sometimes, to stay alive, you need to stay calm, don’t panic, but your body will give you away, especially if you have a blood pressure cuff attached to your arm – and I’ll say no more on that matter, that’s Alex’s story to tell.
I really liked Alex, as a main protagonist, in fact, she was the only female character I did like. The police officer assigned to her case, Laura Best, was just awful, and so annoying, but in a ‘she’s a good unlikeable character’ kind of way, a good annoyance, if you like. Don’t Wake Up does push the boundaries on reality but, overall, I thought it was an entertaining read, psychologically dark in the right places, an audiobook I recommend!