Mike Wingate, abandoned by his father at four and raised in foster care, is finally living the life he always dreamed of—he’s happily married with a precocious 8-year-old daughter, and his construction company is about to finish a “green” housing development that will secure a solid future for them all. But then something from his own past, a past he doesn’t even remember, comes back to visit terror upon him and his family.
Shady characters begin threatening Mike and, when he reports them, the police seem more interested in Mike’s murky past than in protecting him. Now, with Mike, his wife Annabel and daughter Kat suddenly under attack from all sides, Mike turns to Shep, a dangerous man—and Mike’s only true friend— from his childhood days in foster care. Together they will do whatever it takes to protect Mike’s family against the hidden men behind the terrifying warning, “You’re Next.”
Amazon Exclusive: David Baldacci Reviews You're Next
David Baldacci is a worldwide bestselling novelist. His books have been published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries; more than 110 million copies are in print. His most recent book is The Sixth Man.
I'm no stranger to Gregg Hurwitz's work. I tore through Trust No One like a meth addict on a binge. The guy does his best work, I think, when he takes a murky past and slams it in the face of his protagonist decades later. You're Next is right in this wheelhouse. The Prologue is pure adrenaline, heart-wrenching and starts the novel off on a terrific trajectory. A little boy wakes up and over the course of a few pages he is abandoned by his father. The reader takes an emotional arrow right in the heart. Right away we want to know more about the kid and what became of him. Lots of questions unanswered. But you know with Hurwitz that while the questions eventually will be answered, they won't be in ways the reader can easily predict.
The boy has grown into a man, but he can't escape his past. Mike is a good guy trying to make a living for his family. An environmentally conscious builder, he works hard and tries to stand by his word. Before he can draw a breath he's hit by a tsunami. Events tumble out, each one more inexplicable and seemingly disconnected than its predecessor. What Hurwitz also does extremely well is put one in the moment. Big scenes are tough to write, but the smaller ones are tougher still. It's like the tendons and ligaments connecting the large muscle masses together. You mess those up, nothing else works right. He's also a fine wordsmith. "A gloved fist the size of a dumbbell flew at her, shattering her eye socket and knocking her back into the front door, rocketing it inward so hard the handle stuck in the drywall. A moment of tranquility. Even the crickets were awed into silence...His plain, handsome face was oddly smooth, almost generic, as if his features were pressed through latex." Good, good stuff.
What Mike now faces are demons from his past. Desperate, organized, efficiently ruthless men are coming for him. But now it's not just Mike. He has a family, wife Annabel and their daughter Kat, a precocious eight-year-old. He has an ally from old days, before he was Mike, husband, businessman, father. The survival instinct takes over and the battle is engaged. I read lots of thrillers and mysteries, and have gotten pretty good at separating the wheat from the chaff, figuring out the foreshadowing, what seemingly insignificant clues, what seemingly throw-off lines and what nuggets of seemingly useless information are actually critical to understanding the plot. But Hurwitz is a skilled hand and at the end of the day I say just let this baby ride till the last page. Then you can close the book, stammer something about that SOB getting you again, and you can wait with breathless anticipation for the man to reload his Glock and fire away on his next thriller.