Thursday, June 18, 2020

Ash, Kooky & Light-Hearted Throughout, Tries To Piece Together What Happened To Her & Why!

An in-depth review for my thriller, Coma Confidential:

Reviewed in the United States on June 14, 2020
This is book one of the Ash Suspense Thrillers with a Dash of Romance series.

Ashley Winters loves her new apartment. It is near the University of California Irvine where she is working on her masters and she feels incredibly safe there. Although she needs a job to help pay down her mounting student loans, life is good. But something went horribly wrong.

Ash awakes in the hospital unable to remember who she is. She desperately tries to focus in on her surroundings for clues as she struggles to remain conscious. Doctors and nurses speak about her, but nothing about her personal life. She does learn that she is in a coma, though, and may not make it.

Ash listens intently as visitors come and go. Bored to death, she has just two goals. First, to figure out who she is and what happened. Second, to get out of the hospital, because she soon learns she has reason to believe her life is in jeopardy.

A handful of visitors sit at Ash’s bedside at various times - her mother (Ma), her father (Pa), Betty, and Michael. There is a police officer posted outside her room. She can’t rule anyone out.

Ma is a little strange. She hardly speaks and hates Michael.

Pa is remarried and lives in Florida. He once worked at Southern California Edison but was forced out of his job due to downsizing. The company had brought in cheap overseas labor to replace the more expensive American employees. He was bitter about it.

Betty is her former nemesis from Costa Mesa High School. There is an unpleasant history between the girls. Betty was the party girl that stole Ash’s boyfriends.

Michael, her boyfriend, is a college dropout but a brilliant software developer. Has been working on a startup in his garage. Ash occasionally works with him on developing a Virtual Reality model. He chose not to pursue hacking, despite his talent.

The headlines are filled with stories about Russian cyber attacks on the electrical grid causing havoc. A group known as Dragonfly has infiltrated U.S. power companies. The power in the hospital ominously comes and goes. The mystery deepens when Ash overhears someone talking to a man named Vlad about her condition. While the story wraps up in the end, an important loose end remains.

Ash, kooky and light-hearted throughout, tries through observation and recollection to piece together the mystery of what happened to her and why. She shows incredible courage and fortitude in spite of her grave condition and the horrible event that placed her in her present state. She is on heavy pain medication for much of the book, which might explain her attitude, but in the small bit she isn’t under the influence of drugs she comes across in a somewhat similar manner.

Ash’s story is an unorthodox and unique whodunit. For a story about the victim of a horrific crime, it is written in an incredibly light-hearted way that only the victim herself can accomplish from her point of view. The story is quick read and well-written. It is plot-driven. I rate this book 4.5 stars.

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