“Stay Awake” by Megan Goldin – Book Review

Liv Reese – a young woman who has undergone many traumatic events and now experiences repetitive memory loss. Every time she awakens she is transported back to the same moment. She has just answered the telephone at her desk where she works as a staff writer for a lifestyle magazine. Now she repeatedly wakes up to discover other people now live in her apartment, she cannot find her best friend and roommate or her boyfriend,  AND her bank accounts and social media accounts have been closed out. Physically, she looks much different. Her hair is a different color and much longer. She has inked writing on her hands and arms, a large scar on her abdomen, and… according to the newpapers, two whole years have passed…

Detective Jack Lavelle – known as a loner on the NYPD, his homicide experience is reknowned for his exemplary solve rate.

Detective Darcy Halliday – new to the NYPD Homicide Division, but an experienced policewoman and veteran of multiple tours of Iraq and Afghanistan. A former sharp-shooter in the military, she now finds herself trying to make a place for her on the Homicide Squad.

Detectives Lavelle and Halliday are teamed up to investigate the murder of a magazine executive. And… their primary suspect seems to be Liv Reese.
Told via dual story-lines, this novel was a real page-turner. At first I was underwhelmed due to the fact that the main character Liv Reese seemed to not react strongly enough to the distressing situation she found herself in – time and again. Then, as I came to read the police story-line, I became more invested in the narrative and my enjoyment increased. The relationship between the detectives was a compelling one to follow.

I did think the amnesia experienced by Liv was a tad hard to believe, though the human mind holds myriad secrets and coping mechanisms that I have no idea of. A ‘Groundhog Day’ on steroids (perhaps crossed with elements of the TV show ‘Blindspot’), this novel was packed with suspense but was repetitive as you might expect due to the plot.

This is my second novel by Megan Goldin and I appreciate her writing style. In this instance I was less enamored of how the timeline jumped around repeatedly, but overall this fast-paced thriller delivered. Yes, I would read another novel by this author, but no, it wasn’t my favorite of  hers.

This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from St. Martin’s Press via NetGalley.

Publication date: August 9, 2022
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 9781250280664 ASIN: B09CNG1KLG – 352 pages


Prior to becoming an author, Megan Goldin 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.

Stay Awake is Megan Goldin’s fourth novel following the best-selling The Night Swim (2020), The Escape Room (2018) and The Girl in Kellers Way (2017).

Follow Megan Goldin on Twitter, and/or visit her Facebook page.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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