The premise is so crushingly perfect that most Hollywood screenwriters would give a kidney to have dreamed it up…The plot unfolds with propulsive determination…Things go from bad to worse, and for page after irresistible page, Hurwitz ramps up the tension, ending in a climax that's not one bit less satisfying for being predictable. It's so thrillingly cinematic that if Ryan Gosling hasn't already been pitched the role of Nate, he should fire his agent.
Hurwitz’s hair-raising stand-alone stars an unlikely hero, 36-year-old Nate Overbay. Diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease nine months earlier, Nate is about to leap off an 11th-floor ledge of a bank building in Santa Monica, Calif., when he notices a robbery in progress through the window next to where he’s standing. Nate climbs back in the window undetected, grabs a handgun a masked man has conveniently set down, and, thanks to his ROTC firearms training, succeeds in shooting dead five of the six robbers. In revenge, the thwarted theft’s mastermind, a notorious Ukrainian mobster, vows to brutally kill Nate and his teenage daughter unless Nate can retrieve the robbery’s objective: an envelope stored in one of the bank’s safe deposit boxes. In between tight, compelling action scenes, Hurwitz (You’re Next) sensitively depicts Nate’s struggles with ALS. While Nate’s exploits may be a little beyond his skill set at times, thriller fans won’t let this one gather any dust on the nightstand. Author tour. Agent: Aaron Priest. (Aug.)
“Hurwitz can take a high-concept thriller and deliver the extras needed to elevate it further…[With] The Survivor, he outdoes himself.” Washington Post
“In between tight, compelling action scenes, Hurwitz sensitively depicts Nate's struggles…thriller fans won't let this one gather any dust on the nightstand.” Publishers Weekly
“Hurwitz demonstrates his mastery of the thriller genre...The book opens as dramatically as a reader could hope for and doesn't relent....succeeds on every level.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A riveting, potboiler of a tale, featur[ing] one of the most original, and daring, setups seen in many a thriller…a jigging and jagging hybrid of Rear Window and a Bourne tale with a brain. Just call it terrific.” Providence Sunday Journal
“Surely Hurwitz can't keep this up forever. Lately, each new book he publishes is his best so far, and this one's no exception...It's hard to imagine that he can top this one, but, based on past performance, don't bet against it.” Booklist (starred review)
“This book evokes a wide range of emotions, from horror at the shocking violence to sympathy for children whose parents are absent. The plot, characters and their actions will keep you thinking for days...” RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
Divorced and terminally ill, vet Nate Overbay stands 11 stories up on the ledge of a bank building, ready to end it all. When robbers break into the bank, he rushes down to save the day but is later kidnapped by the Russian mobster behind the break-in. He's got a job Nate had better do—or his ex-wife and daughter will suffer. Hurwitz's You're Next was an LJ Best Thriller of 2011.
Hurwitz demonstrates his mastery of the thriller genre. Nate Overbay stands on an 11th-story building ledge as gunshots erupt inside. Curiosity overcomes his suicide plan as he looks through the bank window and witnesses a robbery in progress. He climbs back inside, shoots five criminals dead and saves the day. Thus, instead of splattering himself on top of a Dumpster, Nate becomes an unwilling hero. He suffers from ALS and simply wants to spare himself the agonizing end that is only months away. The trouble is, now he has angered Pavlo, the Ukrainian mobster who had directed the heist. Pavlo is an unusually sadistic sort who plans to make Nate pay in the worst possible way--through Nate's daughter. The book opens as dramatically as a reader could hope for and doesn't relent. That Nate must die is inevitable, given his fatal illness. The question is whether he dies on his own terms. Nate's been a hero once before, but he's also been weak. Now he must protect and re-bond with his estranged family in the face of vengeful monsters. Hurwitz's writing is crisp and economical, and he steers clear of hackneyed phrases and one-dimensional characters--Nate's and Pavlo's back stories are well-crafted, although the ghost of Nate's dead friend Charles seems inspired by a James Lee Burke novel. A fine thriller that succeeds on every level. How often do you read about a hero who just wants to die in peace?