What Comes Next

What Comes Next

3.7 19
by John Katzenbach
     
 

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A retired university professor is diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease that will lead him to lose his memory and die within a few years. On his way home from the doctor’s office, he witnesses a pretty young girl being kidnapped right off the street. As the police drag their heels, he realizes that if he doesn’t act the girl may never be found… See more details below

Overview


A retired university professor is diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease that will lead him to lose his memory and die within a few years. On his way home from the doctor’s office, he witnesses a pretty young girl being kidnapped right off the street. As the police drag their heels, he realizes that if he doesn’t act the girl may never be found alive.

Jennifer Riggins, the kidnapped girl, is being held prisoner by a perverted couple who run an exclusive Web site called “What Comes Next,” on which viewers can watch, in real time, the horrors inflicted on their victims. Given the moniker “Number Four,” Jennifer is at the mercy of the depraved pair, with thousands tuning in for every episode of her ongoing nightmare.

What Comes Next is a bold and timely thriller about what lurks within the depths of society’s most depraved minds, and how the only hope for a girl whose life is just beginning is a man whose life is nearing its end.

Praise for What Comes Next

"This is an exceptional novel — and a most troubling one." -Washington Post

"Katzenbach reinvents the formula several times over in this absolutely gripping novel." -Booklist (starred review)

"Katzenbach has crafted a suspenseful cat-and-mouse thriller, a perfect literary mash-up of The Truman Show and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Already an international best seller, this will be widely popular with psychological thriller devotees." -Library Journal

"I raced through this book, not even pausing to involuntarily shout “Gosh darn it!” “Shoot!” and words to that effect. I read a ton of novels in this genre and thought I had the ending figured out within the first fourth of the book or so. Wrong. Even if you are a better guesser than I am, you will be entranced with What Comes Next. Don’t miss it."-BookReporter

"Reading What Comes Next is an experience akin to riding the scariest roller coaster ride: You gulp with the rush of both trepidation and excitement—and you sigh with relief when it’s over." -The New York Journal of Books

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is an exceptional novel — and a most troubling one." -Washington Post

"Katzenbach reinvents the formula several times over in this absolutely gripping novel." -Booklist (starred review)

"Katzenbach has crafted a suspenseful cat-and-mouse thriller, a perfect literary mash-up of The Truman Show and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Already an international best seller, this will be widely popular with psychological thriller devotees." -Library Journal

"I raced through this book, not even pausing to involuntarily shout “Gosh darn it!” “Shoot!” and words to that effect. I read a ton of novels in this genre and thought I had the ending figured out within the first fourth of the book or so. Wrong. Even if you are a better guesser than I am, you will be entranced with What Comes Next. Don’t miss it."-BookReporter

"Reading What Comes Next is an experience akin to riding the scariest roller coaster ride: You gulp with the rush of both trepidation and excitement—and you sigh with relief when it’s over." -The New York Journal of Books

Patrick Anderson
…a fiendish story, told with Katzenbach's usual skill and professionalism…[Katzenbach] offers in-depth characterizations and a gripping plot…This is an exceptional novel—and a most troubling one.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Set in a small western Massachusetts college town, bestseller Katzenbach’s impressively powerful and emotional thriller delves into dementia, teenage angst, and Internet voyeurism. After receiving a diagnosis of degenerative dementia, a slow but sure death sentence, Adrian Thomas, a retired professor alone in the world who has “spent much of his academic life studying fear,” decides to go home and shoot himself, but fate intervenes. When Adrian pulls into his driveway, he witnesses a man and a woman in an unmarked van kidnap 16-year-old Jennifer Riggins, who’s running away from home. The couple have seized Jennifer to star in Whatcomesnext.com, a Web site where viewers watch the girl’s torture in real time. Despite his failing mind, Adrian is able to use the psychological insights he gleaned as a professor to hunt for Jennifer. The tense plot smoothly shifts between Adrian, who teams with a skeptical, compassionate detective, and the captive girl. Katzenbach (The Wrong Man) avoids the clichés of dementia, while deftly showing the inner resolve that Adrian and Jennifer each discover in themselves. Agent: Moses Cardona, John Hawkins & Associates. (June)
Washington Post
What Comes Next may be Katzenbach’s best book since The Traveler and is even more relevant. . . . This is an exceptional novel—and a most troubling one.”
Washington Post
Booklist
What Comes Next may be Katzenbach’s best book since The Traveler and is even more relevant. . . . This is an exceptional novel—and a most troubling one.”
Washington Post
Library Journal
Retired psychology professor Adrian Thomas, recently diagnosed with progressive dementia, witnesses the abduction of a neighborhood teen named Jennifer. Adrian reports the crime to police but also launches an independent search. Despite memory loss and frequent hallucinatory "visits" from deceased relatives, he battles to solve the crime. His investigation leads to the seedy underworld of Internet pornography and snuff pages and eventually to a popular pay-per-view website where voyeurs worldwide are consumed with what comes next for an imprisoned teen known only as Number 4. Will Adrian locate Jennifer before illness overwhelms him? Will his investigation help or deter the police? Will the fate of Number 4 continue to attract online viewers, or will her captors gain more if she dies? Spellbound readers will be turning pages quickly to see what comes next. VERDICT Katzenbach (The Madman's Tale; Hart's War) has crafted a suspenseful cat-and-mouse thriller, a perfect literary mash-up of The Truman Show and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Already an international best seller, this will be widely popular with psychological thriller devotees.—Mary Todd Chesnut, Northern Kentucky Univ. Lib., Highland Heights
Kirkus Reviews
Katzenbach (The Madman's Tale, 2004, etc.) sets an amateur sleuth living on borrowed time to hunt a kidnapped teenager whose time is even shorter in this pulp-ish re-imagining of "The Pit and the Pendulum" for the digital age. Jennifer Riggins is the fourth victim her abductors have taken, and by now they've gotten most of the bugs out of their routine. Deftly snatching her as she's running away from home yet again, the criminal lovers hood her and chain her in a basement in a Massachusetts farmhouse they've rented and put a video feed online for thousands of voyeuristic subscribers around the world who can't stop watching the ultimate reality show. There's only one fly in the ointment: The kidnapping was witnessed by Adrian Thomas, a retired psychology professor on his way home to kill himself after getting a diagnosis of Lewy body dementia, a rare illness that acts like Alzheimer's speeded up. Adrian is already prone to hallucinations and short-term memory lapses, and Det. Terri Collins doesn't find him the ideal witness. On the other hand, now that he's summoned them from the grave, his late wife, his late brother and his late son all provide him with genuinely helpful suggestions, and it doesn't hurt to have Jennifer, now known to her global audience as Number 4, sought by someone with absolutely nothing to lose. Leaning on Mark Wolfe, a registered sex offender, for help doing the unspeakable online research, Adrian slowly zeroes in on the basement where she's being held. But can he rescue her from the fiendish torments her inventive captors have lined up for her? So sadistically measured in its pace that readers will have plenty of time to ask themselves how different they really are from the perverts tuned in to Number 4's sufferings.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802121257
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/11/2013
Pages:
464
Sales rank:
614,966
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.40(d)

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