What Comes Next

What Comes Next

3.7 19
by John Katzenbach
     
 

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When a retired academician witnesses a lovely young woman snatched off the street, he is unsatisfied by the police response and vows to find her on his own. She has been kidnapped and held prisoner by a married couple who have started an exclusive website, named “What Comes Next,” on which viewers can watch, in real time, what befalls their… See more details below

Overview

When a retired academician witnesses a lovely young woman snatched off the street, he is unsatisfied by the police response and vows to find her on his own. She has been kidnapped and held prisoner by a married couple who have started an exclusive website, named “What Comes Next,” on which viewers can watch, in real time, what befalls their victims.

What befalls the pretty teenager at the hands of the depraved couple, as thousands follow every moment of her nightmare, provides one of the most terrifying novels of the year.

Editorial Reviews

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
From the Publisher
“William Roberts turns in an effective, nuanced performance in this audio edition. His evocative reading captures the horror of the dark basement in which Jennifer Riggins finds herself held hostage, and his rendition of Jennifer’s inner monologue is sincere and touching. Roberts also successfully navigates a potential minefield in his balanced portrayal of the convicted sex offender. . . . [An] entertaining listen.”
Publishers Weekly

“Roberts’ exacting voice and reading pace fit this psychological thriller. . . . [He] instinctively emphasizes certain words to increase tension or indicate possible clues while never losing momentum. . . . Don’t miss a word of this horrifying tale of depravity.”
Booklist

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:
9780802194473
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
06/05/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
76,318
File size:
1 MB

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