ABOUT THE BOOK:
When Anna, a much-loved teacher and mother of two, is left savagely beaten and in a coma, a police investigation is launched. News of the attack sends shock waves through her family and their small Swedish community. Anna seems to have had no enemies, so who wanted her dead?
As loved-ones wait anxiously by her bedside, her husband Erik is determined to get to the bottom of the attack, and soon begins uncovering his wife's secret life, and a small town riven with desire, betrayal and jealousy.
As the list of suspects grows longer, it soon becomes clear that only one person can reveal the truth, and she's lying silent in a hospital bed...
READ AN EXCERPT:
When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi is a 2017 Aria publication.
This book is a bizarre, twisty, little thriller that caught me off guard.
When a popular, dedicated teacher is savagely beaten, leaving her in a coma, her family and colleagues are shocked and devastated.
Investigators seem stumped. By all accounts Anna was highly regarded, lived for her job, and lead a quiet life. Who would want to hurt her? But, as the case unfolds, it becomes obvious that several people closely connected to Anna, has secrets. We also learn that Anna’s marriage wasn’t exactly charmed, her parents are apathetic and her kids are lost and confused. But, Anna, may be harboring the biggest bombshell secret of them all. The mystery deepens as the story unfolds and more and more suspects are added to the list. All we can hope for is that Anna will awaken and name her attacker-
I added this book to my ‘currently reading’ list with the best of intentions, as always, but for some reason I kept putting it off. The cover, while eye popping, is similar in design to a few other thrillers I’ve read, which left me thinking this book was most likely a ‘been there, done that’ type thriller, probably generic, the type that is entertaining enough, just not much of a challenge.
Adding to my lack of enthusiasm was my mistaken impression that this is a psychological thriller, a genre I am still very burned out on right now. However, I knew I needed to get this book read and reviewed, so I admit I pretty much forced myself to start reading it.
Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong about this book. First of all, this not a pure PT, although it does have that tone or atmosphere running through it. However, it is more accurate to say this novel is a dark, cleverly plotted whodunit, and is far from ‘run of the mill’, or generic. I can’t recall reading anything quite like it, at least not recently. So, suffice it to say, I was more than adequately entertained by this one.
Interpersonal issues, family dramas, and marital discord always grab my attention and this book has all these elements in spades. So riveted was I to all the secrets, jealousies, sexual games and manipulations, and unexpected character developments, that I was totally blindsided by the conclusion.
I’m not a big fan of multiple points of view, but in this case, I didn’t find it confusing, annoying or distracting. The only issue was that the story did drag in places. The sexual exploits and games only held my attention for so long before I began to lose patience with it, but the twists always came along just in time to placate me.
The author did a fabulous job of luring me into her trap, leading me willingly down the paths and corridors she wanted me to take. I was so taken aback by my failure to puzzle everything out in advance, I felt embarrassed. That’s what I get for being so over confident!! LOL!
In my defense, the formula is not exactly a new one, but because I had somewhat underestimated the book, so sure was I that I’d sail through it on ‘auto-pilot’, I let my guard down. (That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!)
Overall, this is a short, wildly entertaining, offbeat mystery you will not want to take lightly!!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Born in Sweden, Jessica moved to London before her career in publishing, editing and PR took her to the USA and the Middle East. Having also completed her Masters in Creative Writing and taught journalism to undergraduate students, writing is her true passion. Jessica won a Montegrappa First Fiction award at the Emirates Festival of Literature in 2016, catching the eye of her agent Luigi Bonomi. Having since secured a multiple book deal, Jessica, known by friends to be infectiously positive, balances her time between her writing and her growing young family.