Hurwitz (They're Watching) masterfully provokes feelings of extreme dread in this thriller centered on Mike Wingate, who's worked his way up from the bottom to become a successful home contractor in Lost Hills, "a Valley community thirty miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles." Without warning, two thugs, William and Dodge, show up and begin threatening Mike; his beautiful wife, Annabel; and their environmentally aware eight-year-old daughter, Kat, in really creepy ways. William and Dodge sneak into the house and steal Kat's toys, harass Mike at a ceremony honoring him, go to Kat's school, and attack Annabel. Mike, who was raised in a foster home, summons his only friend from those days, the formidable Shep, who has grown up to be a career criminal of considerable skill. The thugs work for the mysterious Boss Man, whose intentions remain unknown until Shep and Mike fight and sleuth their way through intensifying mayhem until they find the unexpected answer to the Boss Man's motive. (July)
Someone recognizes Mike Wingate's picture in the newspaper and begins to destroy Mike's life. But why? Tagged a terrorist, Mike winds up on the run from the cops and a nasty crew. He and a friend from his foster home days follow a faint trail back to the surprising source of the plot. The bad guys are suitably evil and the mystery satisfying, but Hurwitz's (They're Watching) real success is depicting Mike's hard-won life as a husband, father, and successful businessman. A first-rate thriller. [Library marketing; see Prepub Alert, 1/24/11.]
In Hurwitz's (They're Watching, 2010, etc.) latest thriller, Mike Wingate learns it's no fun to confront a bad guy who watches C-SPAN to discover the technique of water-boarding.
Labeled Michael Doe by a jaded social-services worker after being abandoned by his father, who many suspect of having murdered his mother, Michael spends 14 years under the neglectfully benign foster care of Couch Mother. He meets stoic Shepherd White, another youngster tossed into the nobody-wants-these-kids jungle, who teaches Mike what matters in life are "loyalty and stamina." Mike earns Shep's undying loyalty by taking a rap for him just as Mike was ready to leave the system, saving Shep from a third strike. But that kept Mike from college. Shep became a safecracker extraordinaire. Mike became a laborer, then a foreman, then the developer of green housing. Mike also married Annabel, daughter of a lawyer who never learned to respect Mike. But life is good, complete with a beautiful little girl, Kat, who shares Mike's trait of one brown eye, one amber. Mike is photographed shaking hands with the governor while celebrating Mike's green development. Mike doesn't realize it, but the distinctive eyes, identical to his mother's, mean he has rights of inheritance to a multibillion-dollar industry. The "Boss Man" sees the photo and sends his killers. The action begins. Stolen cars. Knifings. Shootings. Mike slowly begins to realize why he is a target, and worse, why his daughter Kat is also in jeopardy. Enter Shep, with his underworld skills. What follows is a danger-filled trek around the Golden State. Along the way, Mike and Shep encounter a mystery surrounding an extinct Indian tribe; learn why Mike's mother died and father disappeared; and battle William and Dodge, assassins for hire, to a bloody but sentimental conclusion.
A thriller that grabs readers by the seat of the pants and gives them a Wow, what next! action thrill ride.