They're Watching

( 69 )

Overview

All Patrick Davis ever wanted to do was make movies, but after he gets his big break and sells his first screenplay, his life collapses. His Hollywood dreams crumble almost immediately, sending him back to his dreary day job, and he also finds his storybook marriage on the rocks.
Then ominous DVDs start being delivered to him — DVDs that show that someone is watching him and his wife, that the two of them are being stalked and recorded by cameras hidden around and within their ...

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They're Watching

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Overview

All Patrick Davis ever wanted to do was make movies, but after he gets his big break and sells his first screenplay, his life collapses. His Hollywood dreams crumble almost immediately, sending him back to his dreary day job, and he also finds his storybook marriage on the rocks.
Then ominous DVDs start being delivered to him — DVDs that show that someone is watching him and his wife, that the two of them are being stalked and recorded by cameras hidden around and within their house. Next the e-mails start, and someone offers to fix everything, to take the mess his life has become and make it all right. Patrick figures it’s the offer of a lifetime.
But Patrick couldn’t be more wrong. With every step, he moves deeper and deeper into a web of intrigue that threatens everything he still has and values in this world. Before he knows it, he’s in, and in deep — and the only way out is to outwit and outplay his unseen opponents at their own game.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly Audio
Even with narrator Linda Emond's flair for Canadian-French accents and the proper pronunciation of multisyllable Hawaiian names, Reichs's 13th novel featuring forensic anthropologist Dr. Temperance Brennan could qualify as a test of audio comprehension. The unnecessarily complicated plot spins on a corpse whose fingerprints identify him as a man who supposedly died in Vietnam years before during that war. Brennan decides to check out the four-decades-old death with Danny, a former lover assigned to the POW/MIA Accounting Command in Hawaii. While there, another corpse is consigned to her care, this one a possible shark victim. Along with detailed autopsies, street-mapped trips around the island replete with history and lore, Brennan's muddled love life, her relationship with her daughter, Danny's relationship with his daughter, Vietnam War history, and a murderous island gang that makes several ineffectual attempts on Brennan's life, there are a collection of misidentified corpses and incognito characters. Emond's delivery is as clear as a bell, but there's just too much information to keep track of. A Scribner paperback (Reviews, June 21). (Aug.)
Publishers Weekly
Scott Brick has a subject worthy of his considerable talents in Hurwitz's hapless protagonist, Patrick Davis. The down-on-his-luck ex-screenwriter who's being sued by a film company, and whose wife is talking divorce, is notified one morning by an unknown but clearly sinister group that he's under their constant observation and must do their bidding or else. The author's cleverly complex tale puts Patrick through hell, and since the character is not merely its hero but also its narrator, Brick is under pressure to accurately reflect his feelings as the all-knowing watchers begin manipulating him to fit their hidden agendas. Brick brilliantly conveys Patrick's emotions as he pinballs from glum depression to confusion, from terror to a renewed sense of purpose. A tour de force performance from the always reliable Brick. A St. Martin's hardcover (Reviews, May 31). (July)
From the Publisher
Praise for

THEY’RE WATCHING

“Riveting, emotionally rich, original, and beautifully written, this book kept me up too late reading, had me sneaking in pages the next day. They’re Watching reminded me what it’s like to be in the thrall of a great story: helpless until the end, loving every minute of it.”—Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Die for You

 “Rousing…intriguing…one shocking surprise after another…Always a master of the gripping setup, Hurwitz outdoes himself in this ultra-suspenseful thriller.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride! From the anxiety-inducing first page to the nerve-wracking last, They’re Watching will keep you riveted as one man fights for his family, his career and his very life.” —Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Live to Tell

“A strong Hitchcock vibe… Hurwitz has the smarts and the writing chops to earn his suspense in a way that lesser writers simply can’t….[he] has firmly established himself as one of the top writers in the suspense genre. He can be counted on to consistently deliver enough thrills to satisfy even the most demanding readers.”—Chicago Sun-Times

“Invasion of privacy reaches sinister new levels in thriller maestro Hurwitz’s latest….With cinematic pacing and strong echoes of countless other twisty suspenses, this one is a natural for the big screen.”—People

“Turns with equal skill and mastery down the nightmarish road paved by Harlan Coben…Hurwitz’s grasp of Hollywood noir is firm and his command of his story makes They’re Watching riveting in all respects.”—Providence Journal-Bulletin

“[A] labyrinthine thriller…full of twists and turns and unexpected revelations. Hurwitz frequently sets us up to expect one thing but delivers something entirely different. He keeps us constantly on our toes, and—this is especially good—he keeps us guessing right until the very last pages about exactly who has targeted Patrick and why. Highly recommended, especially for fans of Dean Koontz, Linwood Barclay, and Harlan Coben.”—Booklist (starred review)

“You’ll be gripped by this terrific read from page one.”—The Sun

“They’re Watching is a thrilling novel, dripping with mystery, suspense, violence, and even a little romance.  It contains all the ingredients for a bestseller.”—New York Journal of Books

Library Journal
First-time screenwriter Patrick Davis is in big trouble. Accused of punching the star of his first film, estranged from his wife, and failing at his teaching job, he's pressed to the limit. Then his troubles really start. Frightening DVDs, mysterious emails, and threatening phone calls push him off balance and into a frame-up for murder. VERDICT Scary fun, handled with skill by veteran Hurwitz (Trust No One). [See Prepub Alert, LJ 2/15/10; 125,000-copy first printing and library marketing.]
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781441874337
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 7/28/2010
  • Series: Playaway Adult Fiction Series
  • Format: Other
  • Edition description: Playaway pre-loaded audio player
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Gregg Hurwitz
GREGG HURWITZ is the critically acclaimed, internationally best-selling author of eleven novels, most recently, They’re Watching and Trust No One. In addition, he is a screenwriter, consulting producer, and writer for the network television series V, and writes for Marvel Comics. He lives in Los Angeles.
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Read an Excerpt

THEY'RE WATCHING

In my boxers I stepped out onto the cold flagstones of my porch to retrieve the morning paper, which had landed, inevitably, in the puddle by the broken sprinkler. The apartments across the street, Bel Air in zip code only, reflected the gray clouds in their windows and sliding glass doors, mirroring my mood. L.A.'s winter had made a late entrance as always, slow to rise, shake off its hangover, and put on its face. But it had arrived, tamping the mercury down to the high forties and glazing the leased luxury sedans with dew.

I fished out the dripping paper, mercifully enclosed in plastic, and retreated back inside. Sinking again into the family-room couch, I freed the Times and pulled out the Entertainment section. As I unfolded it, a DVD in a clear case fell out, dropping into my lap.

I stared down at it for a moment. Turned it over. A blank, unmarked disc, the kind you buy in bulk to record onto. Bizarre. Even a touch ominous. I got up, knelt on the throw rug, and slipped the disc into the DVD player. Clicking off the surround sound so as not to wake Ariana, I sat on the floor and stared at the plasma screen, rashly purchased when our bank account was still on a northerly heading.

A few visual hiccups jerked the image, followed by a placid close-up shot of a window framed by plantation shutters, not quite closed. Through the window I could see a brushed-nickel towel rack and a rectangular pedestal sink. At the edge of the frame was an exterior wall, Cape Cod blue. The view took only a second to register—it was as familiar as my reflection, but, given the context, oddly foreign.

It was our downstairs bathroom, seen from outside, through the window.

A faint pulse came to life in the pit of my stomach. Apprehension.

The footage was grainy, looked like digital. The depth of field didn't show compression, so probably not a zoom. My guess was it had been taken a few feet back from the pane, just far enough not to pick up a reflection. The shot was static, maybe from a tripod. No audio, nothing but perfect silence razoring its way under the skin at the back of my neck. I was transfixed.

Through the window and the half-open bathroom door, a slice of hall was visible. A few seconds passed in a near freeze-frame. Then the door swung in. Me. I entered, visible from neck to knee, the shutters chopping me into slices. In my blue-and-white-striped boxers, I stepped to the toilet and took a leak, my back barely in view. A light bruise came into focus, high on my shoulder blade. I washed my hands at the sink, then brushed my teeth. I exited. The screen went black.

Watching myself, I'd bitten down on the inside of my cheek. Stupidly, I glanced down to determine what pair of boxers I had on today. Plaid flannel. I thought about that bruise; I'd banged my back standing up into an open cabinet door just last week. I was trying to recall which day I'd done it when I heard Ariana clanking around in the kitchen behind me, starting breakfast. Sound carries easily through the wide doorways of our fifties open-plan two-story.

The DVD's placement—tucked into the Entertainment section—struck me as deliberate and pointed. I clicked "play," watched again. A prank? But it wasn't funny. It wasn't much of anything. Except unsettling.

Still gnawing my cheek, I got up and trudged upstairs, past my office with the view of the Millers' much bigger yard, and into our bedroom. I checked my shoulder blade in the mirror—same bruise, same location, same size and color. In the back of the walk-in closet, I found the laundry basket. On the top of the mound were my blue-and-white-striped boxers.

Yesterday.

I dressed and then went down to the family room again. I pushed aside my blanket and pillow, sat on the couch, and started the DVD once more. Running time, a minute and forty-one seconds.

Even if it was just a tasteless joke, it was the last thing Ariana and I needed to deal with right now. I didn't want to upset her, but I also didn't want to withhold it from her.

Before I could work out what to do, she walked in carrying a breakfast tray. She was showered and dressed, a mariposa lily from her greenhouse shed tucked behind her left ear, the flower a striking contrast with the chestnut waves of hair. Instinctively, I clicked off the TV. Her gaze scanned over, picked up the green light on the DVD. Shifting her grip on the tray, she flicked her thumbnail against her gold wedding band, a nervous tic. "What are you watching?"

"Just a thing from school," I said. "Nothing to worry about."

"Why would I worry?"

A pause as I worked out what to say. I managed only a contrived shrug.

She tilted her head, indicating a thin scab across the knuckles of my left hand. "What happened there, Patrick?"

"Caught it in the car door."

"Treacherous door lately." She set the tray down on the coffee table. Poached eggs, toast, orange juice. I paused to take her in. Caramel skin, the mane of almost-black hair, those big dark eyes. At thirty-five, she had a year on me, but her genes kept her looking at least a few younger. Despite her upbringing in the Valley, she was a Mediterranean mutt—Greek, Italian, Spanish, even a little Turkish thrown in the mix. The best parts of each ethnicity had been distilled into her features. At least that's how I'd always seen her. When I looked at her, my mind drifted to how things used to be between us—my hand on her knee as we ate, the warmth of her cheek when she awakened, her head resting in the crook of my arm at the movies. My anger toward her started to weaken, so I focused on the blank screen.

"Thanks," I said, nodding at the breakfast tray. My low-grade detective work had already put me ten minutes behind schedule. The edginess I was feeling must have been evident, because she gave a frown before withdrawing.

Leaving the food untouched, I got up from the couch and stepped out the front door again. I circled the house to the side facing the Millers'. Of course the wet grass beneath the window showed no marks or matting, and the perp had forgotten to drop a helpful matchbook, cigarette butt, or too-small glove. I sidestepped until I got the perspective right. A sense of foreboding overtook me, and I glanced over one shoulder, then the other, unable to settle my nerves. Gazing back through the slats, I felt a surreal spasm and half expected to watch myself enter the bathroom again, a time warp in striped boxers.

Instead Ariana appeared in the bathroom doorframe, looking out at me. What are you doing? she mouthed.

The ache in my bruised knuckles told me my hands were clenched. I exhaled, relaxed them. "Just checking the fence. It's sagging." I pointed at it like an idiot. See, there. Fence.

Smirking, she palmed the slats closed as she set down the toilet seat.

I walked back into the house, returned to the couch, and watched the DVD through a third time. Then I removed the disc and stared at the etched logo. It was the same cheap kind I used to burn shows from TiVo when I wanted to watch them downstairs. Purposefully nondescript.

Ariana passed through, regarded the untouched food on the tray. "I promise I didn't poison it."

Grudgingly, I smiled. When I looked up, she'd already headed for the stairs.

I tossed the DVD into the passenger seat of my beater Camry and stood by the open door, listening to the quiet of the garage.

I used to love this house. It was at the summit of Roscomare Road near Mulholland, barely affordable and only because it shared the block with those cracked-stucco apartments and a neighborhood shopping strip. Our side of the street was all houses, and we liked to pretend we lived in a neighborhood rather than on a thoroughfare between neighborhoods. I'd had so much pride in the place when we'd moved in. I'd bought new address numbers, repaired the porch light, torn out the spinsterly rosebushes. Everything done with such care, such optimism.

The sound of steadily passing cars filtered into the dark space around me. I clicked the button to open the garage door and sneaked under it as it went up. Then I circled back through the side gate and past the trash cans. The window overlooking the kitchen sink gave a clear view of the family room, and of Ariana sitting on the arm of the couch. Steam wisped from the coffee mug resting on her pajamaed knee. She held it dutifully, but I knew she wouldn't drink it. She'd cry until it got cold, and then she'd pour it down the sink. I stood nailed to the ground as always, knowing I ought to go in to her but blocked by what little remaining pride I had left. My wife of eleven years, inside, crying. And me out here, lost in a haze of silent devastation. After a moment I eased away from the window. The bizarre DVD had pushed my vulnerability up another notch. I didn't have it in me to punish myself by watching her, not this morning.

THEY'RE WATCHING Copyright © 2010 by Gregg Hurwitz

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 69 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(29)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(4)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 69 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Trust This One

    Having enjoyed Trust No One, the author's first novel, I picked this up and enjoyed it too. He keeps his cards close to the vest. Even though the beginning is a bit cute, the pace picks up as the book moves along.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 8, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Book with great story line. Kept me entertained

    Great Book with great story line. Kept me entertained

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 30, 2012

    Good pace

    Liked this a lot. Have read others by him and liked them too.

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2010

    UGH!!!

    I wish I'd have been forewarned about this book I'd have saved some money. If Mr. Hurwitz thinks this is a good measure of his imagination then he is mentally vacant. He's off my authors to look for list.

    6 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    WOW

    One of the best books that I have read, a must read. This book will consume you. Enjoy!!!!!!!!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Great

    I read this in one day. I could not put it down. Highly reccomend as it was very entertaining.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2012

    The Gold Standard for Thrillers!

    This is an incredibly good book if you like thrillers at all. The action and the need to never stop reading begins right at the beginning of the book, and never lets up. It has an original plot, very well developed, with characters you will remember. I will be buying more of Gregg Hurwitz's books, for sure.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    This could make a Great Screenplay!

    Interesting story with suspense and thriller tone. The writing gets a little slow at times, but stick with the story - It is worth the read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2012

    Review

    Original turn of events dealing with murder and set up, kept me guessing. A very good read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2012

    Fast read

    It may take a few chapters to get into it but once it starts picking up the pace it races to the end.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 7, 2012

    Exciting and fast paced

    I enjoyed trying to figure out who was messing with the main character's life and who was framing him for murder. Who would bother taking such elaborate steps to set up a college professor and part time writer? I enjoyed reading this as the story unfolded. It didn't go where I thought that it would, but in the end it did make sense. This is an exciting book that I think most readers will enjoy. I would NOT recommend it for younger readers due to some profane language peppered throughout the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2012

    very good!

    Kept me guessing right up to the end of the book! Very suspensful!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    Couldn't put it down! Entertaining, fast paced and keeps you ro

    Couldn't put it down! Entertaining, fast paced and keeps you rooting
    for the good guy

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Slow Start But Quick to Pick Up

    Do not be fooled by the beginning. The story quickly picks up into a whillrlwind of conspiracy that is difficult to set aside.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2012

    Anonomous

    This was an awesome book! I couldn't put it down. I will for sure look for more books by Hurwitz.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2012

    Great book!

    A great book that you won't want to put down

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2014

    Starts very slowly ends like a three minute mile.

    Takes a while to get this tale in motion. Once the story gets moving, the action is pretty much nonstop. Finish is like a whole group of elite marathoners, thundering down that last quartermile to the finish line. Very good read!

    J M Lydon

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2013

    spooky

    great book but it can get your mind playing tricks on you

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    Too much

    The story was ok. There were simply too many characters too many twists to the story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    Anonymous

    The more I read, the more I became convinced I had made a mistake buying this book. The plot simply did.not make any sense to me. The main character, Patrick lacked personality, the author never gave a real visual insight of who he really was or looked like. Ariana, the wife, was just a background character contended to stay that way. Their marriage was pathetic, nothing solid, void of any feelings, passion, romance, communication. It seems that this author concentrated on only one thing, "Who was watching." This could have been a fantistic book, but lt lacked all the ingredients that make a reader rave about it and give it a five star rating.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 69 Customer Reviews

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