Once a Liberal Arts major in French Literature, J.A. Schneider, a former staffer at Newsweek, brings aspects of her fascination with medicine, forensic science, and human psychology into her gripping thrillers. I am honored that she read my work. This is what she says about Coma Confidential:
The writing of this book is mesmerizing. From the first line, I found myself getting quiet and still, just listening to the main character’s voice: “Growing up, I didn’t care for fairytale characters. The one I disliked the most was Sleeping Beauty. Unfortunately, now I’ve turned into one. It’s the Sleeping part that frightens me…”
The character who speaks is a young woman named Ash, who has been beaten and raped, and lies in a hospital in a coma. But she can think, and hear everything going on around her. To the nurse, she imagines she looks like a mummy in her bandages. She hears her mother, the comments of others, the monitor emitting its pattern of beeps. She is startled by a power outage, and though the hospital has backup generators, she is further startled to hear those in the room speak of outages throughout the city and state.
She also remembers the rape; hears the brutal, Russian-accented voice of the monster who did this to her. She hears her boyfriend Michael come, and her mother’s hostility to him. Michael is a college dropout and a brilliant computer genius who has started his own software company. Distraught, he tries to explain to Ash that there might be a connection between him and the assault on her.
The story then catapults into stunning action. “The doors of the hospital take a hit. They crack, explode in a shower of glass slivers.” Terrorists next use the scheme of kidnap and blackmail, using Ash as the bargaining chip to force Michel to do their bidding. But he’s a hero, and Ash is determined to be whole again. This story is great romantic suspense, with the bonus of wonderful character development and a deep grasp of the human mind. Five big shiny stars!