While no book, story or author is ever really perfect, there are some books which certainly hit the nail on the head and come pretty close! If He Wakes by Zoe Lea is one of these books. With only 225 pages, this story is action-packed without being confusing, heart-wrenching and very current. I am part of the If He Wakes blog tour on 2 May organised by Ellie Pilcher, where I will be giving an in-depth review and a Q&A with Zoe Lea, so I will keep my initial review short and sweet. If He Wakes by Zoe Lea will be published on 30 April by Canelo.
My brief thoughts…
If He Wakes concerns the integrated story lines of two women, Rachel and Suzie, who are both discovering that their husbands may not be all they seem. Rachel believes that her husband might be having an affair, while Suzie’s fiancee has drained all of the money from their accounts. As the two women try to investigate their partners’ discretions, many revelations come to light which prove who is the victim and who is the hero of this story.
This is another book that I just could not put down. I was hooked from the first couple of pages, with Rachel’s story kicking off the narrative with a bang (and a break!). The breaks between the friends’ narratives come at good moments, with the cliff hangers being obvious but not quite verging on cheesy. Rachel and Suzie’s characters are brilliant, as they are both trying to come to terms with their lives falling apart, while wanting to tell the other what’s going on desperately.
I love Lea’s descriptive nature throughout the book; the broken ankle chapter still makes me feel uncomfortable thinking of the way “it had increased in size since I’d been sitting, a large bulge to one side”. The author knows just how to hit the reader with the right feeling at the right time; I felt uncomfortable when I read scenes like the above, and my heart broke toward the end of the book multiple times. There was nothing I didn’t like about this book!
This is a book for lovers of a dramatic plot. This book is a mystery, but not a crime, thriller or horror so I feel that I could recommend this to nearly any reader. It’s also such a great length that it would suit busier readers, non-readers and commuter readers alike. The chapters are just long enough to maintain interest and include enough detail, and just short enough that you can read one on your coffee break, or between tube stops.
Thank you to Ellie Pilcher, Canelo and NetGalley for giving me access to an advance e-copy of this wonderful read in exchange for an honest review!