How Do You Solve Your Own Murder?
Everyone believes Alex is in a coma, unlikely to ever wake up. As his family debate withdrawing life support, and his friends talk about how his girlfriend Bea needs to move on, he can only listen.
But Alex soon begins to suspect that the accident that put him here wasn’t really an accident. Even worse, the perpetrator is still out there and Alex is not the only one in danger.
As he goes over a series of clues from his past, Alex must use his remaining senses to solve the mystery of who tried to kill him, and try to protect those he loves, before they decide to let him go.
Can you imagine what it would be like to hear people talking around/about you while assuming that you can’t hear them? The idea scares and intrigues me at the same time. I guess I would like to know what people say about me when they think I can’t hear them. At the same time, I am terrified because I don’t know what I’d find out. What if the people that I consider friends say mean things about me? I know they probably do but I would rather pretend that they don’t.
Well, this is Alex’s story. He is in a coma and can hear everything around him. His sense of touch and smell are also still active. However, people around him don’t know this. They think that he can’t hear or feel anything. Alex ended up in a coma after a rock climbing accident. While in the hospital, he overhears something that makes him realize that his accident was actually an attempted murder.
The whole story is narrated through Alex’s POV which is interesting. It is crazy just how freely people talked around him including the nurses. At some point, I started wondering why people were having so many conversations around him. Honestly, it seemed like his friends and relatives couldn’t wait to get to his bedside to discuss him and the accident/investigation. I guess it makes sense in a way although it was a bit convenient. Don’t get me wrong though, I did like the concept. Sometimes, it is easier to unburden ourselves to people who aren’t really there. That is why people keep journals, write letters they don’t intend to send and make graveside confession. So the idea was definitely thought-provoking and in a way, realistic.
What I liked most about this book was the suspense. I had no idea who the villain was. It was hard to guess especially since there were no clear motives and the victim had a head injury and couldn’t remember the accident. The book also had a creepy vibe. The idea of Alex being the only one who knew that his senses were alive added a tense, creepy feel to the story. I knew that the killer was probably one of the visitors but couldn’t guess who it was. Needless to say, the reveal was unexpected and I definitely enjoy all the twists and turns.
If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch is a slow-burner. The premise is original and interesting. However, all current events take place in the hospital ward and the narrator is in a coma hence slowing down the pace. Nevertheless, as I have already mentioned, this was a riveting read. I liked Alex’s character and I think the author did a brilliant job crafting his persona. I was able to connect and sympathize with him. There were moments when his situation got so tense that I could feel my heart racing as I turned the pages. Alex really was a compelling narrator.
If you enjoy a good mystery with an interesting premise then this is definitely for you.
28 thoughts on “If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch”
Creepy and surprising, sounds like a winner to me. I hate to think about it though, being able to hear everything and not being able to say or do anything!
That is a scary though. I wouldn’t even want to overhear conversations about me accidentally. Hearing them and not being able to respond is even worse. The premise of this story was certainly interesting and creepy.
Oh it does have an interesting premise – a guy in a coma overhearing things. Great review Diana! It’s hard to find out who the killer is because of the guy’s POV.. Interesting.
Thanks Nikola. And yeah, the narrator being in a coma and suffering from partial amnesia made the story quite unpredictable but also very entertaining.
Funny, I just finished Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeny and the narrator is also in a coma. Though it does alternate past to present. Great review Diana!
I think I’d like Sometimes I Lie. It sounds like it would be a nice read. In this story, the past narrations are more of flashbacks than shifting timelines. Thank you.
What an interesting concept! Glad to hear you enjoyed this, it does seem like the author set up a good mystery
Thanks Renee. It was a good read and I really liked the concept.
I’m adding this to my TBR list, great review!
Glad to hear that. Thank you 🙂
This would be one of my worst nightmares Diana! *Shiver* It sounds like a terrific read though and you definitely have me interested.😊
It was good though definitely scary to imagine the position that the narrator was in. Glad to hear that my review has gotten you interested in reading this book 🙂
This one sounds so good! I like the whole premise of it. Excellent review!
Thank you. The premise really was interesting 🙂
Excellent review! I really want to read this now 🙂
Thank you and I hope that you will get the chance to do so 🙂
Wonderful review! This sounds like a book I would really love to read!! I’ll have to add it to my TBR!!
I hope that you will enjoy it if you get a chance to read it Stephanie. Thank you 🙂
Thank you! I’m sure that I will!! You’re welcome! 🙂
The premise is great, but I remember reading a similar book years ago, I think it was by Joy Fielding!
Oh, it seems like the premise is not as original as I thought lol.I have just read Holly’s review on another title with the same story-line also.
Wow that sounds like a fascinating read! The whole comatose main character angle is intriguing… Sounds a bit like Blink by K.L. Slater as well, which I loved.
Yeah, the narrator’s situation was a lot like the MC’s in Blink though the story-line was quite different. I did enjoy both books though.
That is an interesting premise! I most definitely would not like to hear what others say about me… ignorance is bliss! 🙂
haha I agree with you. Sometimes not knowing is best 🙂
Wow. It sounds like a really good book. I’ll definitely look out for it if I’m looking for a chilling read. Nice review- it sounds like an interesting book. Just thought I’d let you know that I recently nominated you for The Liebster Award. You can find my post at: ahappylittlebookworm.wordpress.com/2018/01/21/the-liebster-award/
Thanks for the nomination x
This is one of the nightmares I have! Being unable to communicate and see the world pass by with you being stranded and voiceless while decisions are made about you! I like that you mention it’s riveting though slow paced! I’m keeping an eye on it!