#BookReview: STAY AWAKE by Megan Goldin @megangoldin @StMartinsPress

Publication: 9th August 2022 – St. Martin’s Press

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.


Liv Reese has the perfect life. She works as a journalist for the magazine Cultura, she lives in an apartment in Brooklyn with her best friend Amy, and she has a boyfriend, Marco, who she adores. However, one night she wakes up in the back of a taxi, a knife covered in blood in her hands, and writing on her hands warning her not to fall asleep. She doesn’t know where the knife comes from or who the blood belongs to and when she tries to get inside her apartment, she finds strangers living there. Her last memory is working at the office and answering the phone, then blank. Except that this happened two years ago. With no memory of the last two years and sensing that she is in danger, Liv knows she must figure out what happened, but, most importantly, she mustn’t fall asleep, because every time she does she forgets the last two years of her life.

In the meantime, in an apartment in Manhattan the body of a man has been found naked with a stab wound to the heart. Detective Darcy Halliday, temporarily assigned to the murder unit, is the first on the scene. There is blood writing on the window, the weapon is missing, and the identity of the victim is unknown, but as Halliday and her new partner, Detective Jack Lavelle, investigate they discover that the clues lead to Liv. However, they are not the only ones looking for her. There is someone who knows exactly what happened to Liv and wants to stop her before she figures it out…

I loved Megan Goldin’s previous novels and this new one didn’t disappoint. Packed with suspense, tension, and twists that I didn’t see coming, Stay Awake kept me on the edge of my seat from the first to the last page. The story is split between different timelines and points of views. Two years ago, we meet Liv before her memory loss, with her dream job, house, and boyfriend, and we learn what happened to her. In the present time, the narrative switches between the two smart, determined, and bold female protagonists: on the one side, there is a confused and afraid Liv, on the run from someone who doesn’t want her to remember and from a crime that she doesn’t know if she committed. On the other side, Darcy Hallidays, after various tours in Afghanistan, has chosen a life in the police and hopes to prove her worth and remain in the murder unit.

If you are looking for an exciting, action-packed, intense read, and two fantastic and likable protagonists then I can recommend Stay Awake enough!!!

Stay Awake is out today and I would like to thank St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for providing me with a proof of the novel.

MEGAN GOLDIN, author of THE ESCAPE ROOM and THE NIGHT SWIM, worked as a correspondent for Reuters and other media outlets where she covered war, peace, international terrorism and financial meltdowns in the Middle East and Asia. She is now based in Melbourne, Australia where she raises three sons and is a foster mum to Labrador puppies learning to be guide dogs.

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