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, Megan Goldin's Stay Awake will keep you up all night.
This adrenaline-fueled thriller from Goldin (The Night Swim) opens with Liv Reese waking up early one morning in a Brooklyn-bound cab, though the last thing she remembers is working her Manhattan day job. Her skin sports myriad handwritten messages, including DON'T SLEEP! I FORGET EVERYTHING WHEN I FALL ASLEEP; she has cash, but no keys, phone, or wallet; and when she buzzes the apartment she shares with her roommate, strangers answer. Her pocket contains a bloody knife, which she tosses. Hours later, Liv wakes on a park bench, though the last thing she remembers is being at work. Back at the office, the staff and decor have changed completely. When a man calls asking where she put the knife, Liv assumes it's a wrong number—until the news reports a murder where the killer wrote WAKE UP! on a window in blood, and she panics. Goldin skillfully interweaves Liv's tense, propulsive present-day narration with chapters following NYPD detective Darcy Halliday's homicide investigation and flashbacks to two years earlier. Shocking twists and resourceful, well-drawn female characters keep the pages turning as the clever mystery unfolds. Goldin reliably entertains.
Another twisted story from Megan Goldin!
Megan Goldin never disappoints! I’ve read all of her books & each time she weaves a tale of great suspense. In this case, I enjoyed the twisted story more so than the end, I feel like she left an open end with the artist Q and Liv’s review that led to his career’s demise, I also feel as if more could have been explored with Cultura & both Ted’s and Liv’s connections there. I thought the jilted lover story with Brett was a bit far-fetched, given that the murders he was attempting to cover up took place two years in the past. Overall, a fun, suspenseful thriller-just wish there was a little more meat to the story.
I loved this thriller mystery book. It constantly kept me wondering what happened and wanting to read more. It was the perfect length and wrapped up in the most succinct way. It was super easy to picture Livs character and how she went about day to day with her memory issues. The ending was a bit of a plot twist that I really didn’t see coming. Definitely recommend.
The concept was cool but it got very repetitive. Also didn’t give me all the answers I wanted in the end.