If She Wakes

Michael Koryta. Little, Brown, $27 (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-29400-3

At the start of this taut thriller from bestseller Koryta (How It Happened), the car in which Tara Beckley, a student at Maine’s Hammel College, was driving Professor Amandi Oltamu before they parked on a bridge is struck by a car driven by Carlos Ramirez. Oltamu, who was on his way to deliver the keynote address at a talk related to his work on batteries and solar panels, is killed, and Tara ends up paralyzed, conscious but unable to communicate. Insurance investigator Abby Kaplan, who’s employed by Hammel, probes the fatal collision. Why Tara chose to stop on a bridge nowhere near her destination is a puzzle. College officials are hoping to avoid any liability for Oltamu’s death and Tara’s injuries, a prospect that seems likely when Ramirez admits to having been on his cellphone at the time of the accident. But when Ramirez is shot to death, Abby begins to suspect that something more sinister is at work than distracted driving, and that Tara may have some answers. Adept at creating Hitchcockian moments, Koryta keeps the suspense high throughout. [em]Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (May) [/em]
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