Human after All

Human after All

by Chris Wendel

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Overview

Every day for Becker Gray is a struggle to keep himself from collapse, and the best way he's discovered to do that is to hide from his past, his guilt, and his pain. He's been known to over think, over drink, and under sleep. His job as a detective in the major crimes division affords him the luxury of keeping his mind off his tragic personal life, being too busy to drink, and making good use of the time he's not sleeping. And this kidnapping case is another great opportunity to avoid his life.

That is, until he identifies too much with the victim.

Valerie Hardy was terrorized as a child. As a result, her protective parents forced her into an existence of isolation and detachment -- just as Gray had framed his own life. When the man returns after ten years to terrorize Valerie again by abducting her, Gray must figure out what's happened before the kidnapper fulfills his promise to kill her. Yet, in the process, Gray collapses, losing control of himself and, briefly, even reality. Worse, during his lapse of self control, the sadistic kidnapper turns his wicked attention to Gray.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615672847
Publisher: Holden Publishing, Inc.
Publication date: 05/13/2012
Pages: 414
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Chris Wendel is a Florida native and author of multiple titles in multiple genres, which span his love of fiction and his experience as a small business owner. When not writing, Chris is an avid soccer fan, enjoys listening to music, cooking, and traveling. He lives in Florida with his family.

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Human After All 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
GillianH More than 1 year ago
I’m a huge fan of mystery and suspense and I read them all the time. Unfortunately, after a while many of them start to feel the same, like many authors (especially new ones) are using the same recycled plot over and over again. But I like trying out new authors and thought the premise of “Human After All” sounded interesting enough, and I immediately liked Wendel’s writing style. But while I fully admit I didn’t have the highest expectations going in…well, consider me blown away! I read “Big Flies” in a few short nights, quite a feat considering I have no free time! Chris Wendel is a natural thriller/suspense writer I think, and I was hooked in by the way he weaved so many interesting characters and twisted individual plotlines together to create a wholly addicting story that I couldn’t put down until the final, surprising conclusion. It was really fast-paced with snappy dialogue and super short chapters that were free from many clichés that riddle this genre (except for just a forgiven few…). I was curious to see how this would all work out in the end, and I wasn’t at all disappointed, even though it’s not really how you expect it to end – but it works for the spirit of the story. Felt professionally executed (great editing!!). Recommend for fans of mystery/suspense/drama.
LaylaM1 More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I thought “Human After All” to be very good—excellent writing and a compelling, shocking, yet believable plot set against a familiar background. I like the fact that it is a fully-realized mystery/ thriller, and drama without all the bloat that can sometimes weigh down a fast-paced book like this one. Chris Wendel fills us in as we go without getting bogged down in describing every last thing, but still maintains great character development and plot integrity. The story moves forward and you can't help but get sucked into the genuine dialogue that makes us really feel like we are there with Gray and Parker and the others as the action takes place. There is no “being a bystander” in this book – we are part of the twisted (and disturbing) action start to finish.. And I haven't even begun to talk about the characters, which were authentic, flawed, crazy, funny, and move the story forward nicely. There are some things that are a definite TRIP and will make your jaw drop!! Some similar themes and motifs found in mystery/thriller/suspense lore, but Wendel does a fantastic job of putting his own spin on them. Recommend for mature fans of thriller and suspense.(
JGoldmanJG More than 1 year ago
lately I’ve been in a rut of putting down books and not picking them up again because I lost interest at one point and just never continued. This was definitely not the case with this book, “Human After All” by Chris Wendel! From the very beginning of the book we are drawn into this disturbing world (with a flashback to events of the past) then we are brought to current times where Valerie’s world is about to take a dark and dangerous turn because of the “Pen Pal”, and Becker Gray and his partner have to save her in time. The action flowed seamlessly from one page to the next, and was unpredictable and shocking enough to make me just *have* to see what would happen next. Not formulaic or cookie-cutter at all, even though there are plenty of “common elements” necessary for a suspense/ thriller. What I really liked was how the characters seemed to have a deeper, more layered and personally complex, not just a ‘stock characters”. But touches on real life issues and problems people face, and there is good character development, especially from Becker. Was profoundly surprised a few times at how it all played out, and while I thought the end felt quite abrupt and sudden, the epilogue helps to smooth it out. Overall I was impressed with Chris Wendel’s energetic writing style and will look for more works from him in the future in future installments of the series. This is just book 1, so I’m curious to see where he takes Becker Gray in the future.
MarcellaGonz More than 1 year ago
Great book. Once I started reading “Human After All” I didn’t want to put it down until I’d finished. Seemed never a good place just to stop for a while as the action continued to build and build with one shocking development after another. And those chapters are just so short, so tempting to keep on going – took a page out of James Patterson or Dan Brown’s books - But seriously, this was one roller coaster ride that I was not expecting, and a lot darker too (but in a good way). It’s a fast read, one I finished in just a few sittings, and the quick dialogue and minimal narrative is perfect tempo for a book of this genre. Mr. Wendel uses great word economy and doesn’t bore us with too many unnecessary details. Fast, focused, and to the point, “Human After All” is an entertaining book with some twisted characters, and definitely has its serious, more gritty and raw side as well. I do feel that there could have been a bit more depth to some of the characters (some just feel like names-mostly the supporting cast), and some scenes seemed a bit too rushed. Liked the ending, though, and didn’t expect some things to happen that did. For those who enjoy high-stakes thrills and drama this is a good one for you. Looking forward to book #2 in the series. Adults only.
LauraClarke More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars It took me some time to get into this book, and at first I wasn’t really sure where it was going. But the more I read the more I got into it, the more wrapped up I got in this world and characters Chris Wendel created. I have a feeling that this book and the characters and their fates will stay with me for some time. At first I worried that because this is part of a series and I hate when books end on cliffhanger and the next isn’t published yet, but that’s not the case here at all and it works fine as a standalone book and wraps up well, even though it gives us a glimpse into Gray’s life. I thought the overall plot and narration was good, but it could have used a bit more polish as there was some parts that just seemed like ‘filler/fluff’ that didn’t really add to the storyline, and some head-hopping amongst the characters. I thought a few things seems a little predictable, and honestly the whole “heavy drinking, too many personal issues, detective’ thing is pretty cliché. It didn’t ruin the book by any stretch – just could have used a tad more originality there. But the ending was crazy (and heartwarming) and definitely a book worth reading. Makes me want to read more in this series when it comes out as Wendel is truly a gifted storyteller AND writer (not necessarily the same thing…)
ElizaBEB More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I was hooked from the first intriguing pages of “Human After All” and my interest never faded for a moment! I loved the creative and strong characters and plots that continued to build with tension and shock and surprise. Just when you think you know what’s happening, something comes along to throw a wrench in it. This is good because I hate books that are super predictable. And this one isn’t. Although there are some familiar themes and tropes at play, (as one might expect for the genre) Chris Wendel brings a fresh attitude and literary style and makes it all his own and doesn’t just follow the same old formula that we always see. I liked that even though Gray totally has his issues (drinking, etc…) we see his softer side too, as well as his resilience. He is a complex character and the ending of the book hints at more of what causes his demons. It was more intense than I expected it would be, and I’ve read a ton of mystery/thrillers & suspense over the years so I’m rarely surprised by anything anymore but I can say that this author managed to do it (more than once!!). I appreciated the quick rhythm of the character dialogue and the descriptive details that really brought the story to life – authentic world building (and character/plot development) is absolutely crucial in selling a believable story and it is done quite nicely here… and nearly flawless editing!! (I notice and appreciate things like that). Recommend for anyone (adults) who enjoy a well-written, action packed, thriller with unexpected twists.
essieh More than 1 year ago
whoa…… what an awesome book! Holy smokes. Okay, I don’t even know where to begin because so much happens (especially in the second half) and I don’t want to give anything away… “Human after All” by author Chris Wendel is one of the most interesting, fun, creepy, and just flat-out addicting thriller/ mystery novels I’ve read in so long. I liked it for so many different reasons, first the writing was stellar. The strong word choice and fluid, fast-paced narrative and witty dialogue makes it a very easy book to sink into and is perfect for the genre. There are enough descriptions where you can picture everything perfectly, but not so much that it bogs down the pacing. The chapters are short and brisk, so you keep wanting to read ‘just one more’… and another and another (although they did seem a bit TOO short on occasion, almost ending abruptly, but no big deal). The characters were great, from Becker to Parker and even “the Pen Pal” and all the others who come one the scene… It definitely shocked me several times and isn’t predictable. While remaining firmly within the confines of the ‘mystery/thriller/suspense’ genre I like that Wendel wasn’t afraid to think outside the box on occasion and it has a dark edginess that I really liked, even when unnerving. Recommend for mature readers thriller/suspense as there are scenes of violence and some language. Ready to read more in the series.
suzipask More than 1 year ago
This book is exciting with many unseen twists. This would be great for book club discussions. I would read any other books written by Chris Wendel. He is a very talented writer.