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Monday, October 2, 2017

When I Wake Up by Jessica Jarlvi

This story set in Sweden in a small town was something a bit different. A teacher wife, husband painter twin sons. Middle class background. Normal family life. And one day the wife is attacked so brutally in the school car park that they fear that she will survive.

Whilst Anna is in a coma, the story of the various characters emerge and as usual life is not what it seems to be. Erik her husband is questioned but there seems to be no reason to link him to the attack. Her colleagues at work are all in the clear and whether this was a random attack or one that was pre planned has the police in a quandary. There seems to be no hidden factors in the attack and no reason for her attack.

Investigation slowly unravels several strange happenings. Daniel a student is obsessed by Anna. He wants to leave his drunkard mother and go and live with Anna in her home. He looks on Anna as part lover and part saviour and Anna does not know how to handle the situation. At the same time, Anna has fallen in love with a woman in the same town and intends telling Erik about it and leaving him. Erik himself has had a one night stand with his sons nursery school teacher, who is now trying to blackmail him into continuing the relationship. The woman with whom Anna has fallen in love has a husband who is having a relationship with Daniel's mother but it is only a sexual one and when he realises that his wife is going to leave him for Anna, he is filled with hatred for Anna. So there are several suspects coming out of the woodwork with reasons to hate Anna. The suspects are also in many ways linked to each other and the police have to work on each suspect separately.

The police work seemingly very slowly to unravel the mystery because though Anna has survived the attack, she has lost her memory so she is unable to help them with the investigation.

The Swedish background and setting was a different kind of read for me and one I enjoyed. The story unraveled very slowly. I felt it could have been slightly quicker but it did not detract from the evolving story.

The book was sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review, courtesy of Aria Press.


  1. What a creepy cover! I think I would want the story to be faster paced.

  2. Swedish crime, they do like them there

  3. Wow, all those relationships sound so entangled. Sometimes I like a story, even a thriller, that is a bit slower paced.

  4. I like the sound of this one.

  5. This one sounds really interesting and that cover is a little scary!!