Mike Wingate had a rough childhood—he was abandoned at a playground at four years old and raised in foster care. No one ever came to claim him, and he has only a few, fragmented memories of his parents. Now, as an adult, Mike is finally living the life he had always wanted—he’s happily married to Annabel, the woman of his dreams; they have a precocious eight-year-old daughter, Kat; and his construction company is about to finish a “green” housing development that will secure a solid future for them all. Then the unimaginable happens: Something from Mike’s own past, a past he doesn’t even remember, comes back to visit terror upon him and his family.
Menacing characters show up and begin threatening Mike, and when he reports them, the police seem more interested in Mike’s murky past than in investigating or protecting his young family. Now, with Mike, his wife, and their daughter suddenly under attack from all sides, Mike must turn to Shep, a truly dangerous man—and Mike’s only true friend—from their childhood days together in foster care. Together, the two of them will do whatever it takes to protect Mike’s family against the hidden men behind the terrifying warning “You’re Next!”
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About the Author
GREGG HURWITZ is the critically acclaimed, internationally best-selling author of eleven novels, most recently, They’re Watching and Trust No One. In addition, he is a screenwriter, consulting producer, and writer for the network television series V, and writes for Marvel Comics. He lives in Los Angeles.
Read an Excerpt
By Gregg Hurwitz
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2011 Gregg Hurwitz
All rights reserved.
Mike lay in the darkness, his gaze fixed on the baby monitor on the nightstand. He had to be up in three hours, but sleep wasn't coming any easier than it usually did. A blowfly had been circling the bedroom at irregular intervals as if to ensure his continued alertness. His mother used to say that a blowfly in the house meant that evil was stalking the family — one of the only things he remembered about her.
He took a moment to catalog some less morbid memories from his early years. The few imprints he'd retained were little more than sensory flashes. The scent of sage incense in a yellow-tiled kitchen. His mother bathing him. How her skin always seemed tan. Her smell, like cinnamon.
The red light bars fanned up on the monitor. A crackle of static. Or was that Kat coughing?
He nudged the volume down so as not to wake Annabel, but she shifted around beneath the sheets, then said hoarsely, "Honey, there's a reason they call it a baby monitor."
"I know. I'm sorry. I thought I heard something."
"She's eight years old. And more mature than either of us. If she needs something, she'll march in here and announce it."
It was an old argument, and Annabel was right, so he muted the volume and lay morosely staring at the damn thing, unable to click it off altogether. A little plastic unit that held a parent's worst fears. Choking. Illness. Intruders.
Usually the sounds were just interference or crossover noise from other frequencies — a charge in the air or the neighbor's toddler snuffling from a cold. Sometimes Mike even heard voices in the rush of white noise. He swore there were ghosts in the thing. Murmurs from the past. It was a portal to your half-conscious mind, and you could read into its phantom whisper whatever you wanted.
But what if he turned it off and this proved to be the night Kat did need them? What if she awakened terrified and disoriented from a nightmare, sudden paralysis, the blowfly's evil spell, and lay stricken for hours, trapped alone with her fear? How do you choose the first night to take that risk?
In the early hours, logic and reason seemed to fall asleep before he did. Everything seemed possible in the worst kind of way.
He finally started to drift off, but then the blowfly took another loop around the night-light, and a moment later the red bars flared again on the muted unit. Kat crying out?
He sat up and rubbed his face.
"She's fine," Annabel groaned.
"I know, I know." But he got up and padded down the hall.
Kat was out cold, one slender arm flung across a stuffed polar bear, her mouth ajar. Chestnut hair framed her serious face. She had her mother's wide-set eyes, pert nose, and generous lower lip; given her looks and whip-smart demeanor, it was sometimes hard to tell whether Kat was an eight-year-old version of Annabel or Annabel a thirty-six-year-old version of Kat. The one trait that Kat had received from Mike was at least an obvious one — one brown eye, one amber. Heterochromia, they called it. As for her curls, who knew where she got those?
Mike leaned over her, listened for the whistle of breath. Then he sat in the glider chair in the corner and watched his daughter. He felt a stab of pride about the childhood he and Annabel had given her, the sense of security that let her sleep so soundly.
"Babe." Annabel stood in the doorway, shoving her lank hair off her forehead. She wore a Gap tank top and his boxers and looked as good in them as she had a decade before on their honeymoon. "Come to bed. Tomorrow's a huge day for you."
"Be there in a moment."
She crossed, and they kissed quietly, and then she trudged off to bed again.
The movement of the glider was hypnotic, but his thoughts kept circling back to the unresolved business of the coming day. After a time he realized he wasn't going to be able to sleep, so he went into the kitchen and made a pot of coffee. Back in the chair, sipping contentedly from his mug, he soaked in the pale yellow walls, the raft of dolls on the floating shelf, his daughter in angelic repose. The only interruption was the occasional buzz from the blowfly, which had stalked him down the hall.CHAPTER 2
Kat skidded through the kitchen, her ponytail loose and off center. Annabel paused above the omelet pan and regarded the fount of curls. "Your father did that, didn't he?"
Kat shoved her stuffed polar bear into her backpack and climbed onto a counter stool next to Mike. Annabel slung the omelet onto Kat's plate, then leaned over and readjusted her daughter's hair tie with a few expert flips and tugs. She dropped the pan into soapy water, mopped the leak beneath the farmhouse sink with a foot-held paper towel, and moved back to finishing Kat's lunch, cutting the crust off her peanut-butter — no jelly — sandwich.
Slurping at his third cup of coffee and watching his wife, Mike felt like he was moving in slow motion. "I'll fix the sink tonight," he said, and Annabel gave him a thumbs-up. He noted the furry white arm protruding from his daughter's backpack. "May I ask why you packed a polar bear for school?"
"I have a report today."
"Another report? Aren't you in third grade?"
"It's for that enriched-learning thing after class. I'm talking about global warming —"
Annabel, sarcastic: "No kidding."
"— and this isn't just any polar bear."
Mike lifted an eyebrow. "No?"
Kat pulled the stuffed animal from her backpack and presented it theatrically. "This is no longer Snowball, Childhood Friend. This ... this is Snowball, the Last Dying Polar Bear." She removed her eyeglasses from their case and put them on. The round red rims added gravity to her expression. Not that she needed the help. "Did you know," she asked, "that polar bears will probably be extinct by the time I'm a grown-up?"
"Yes," Mike said. "From that Al Gore movie. With the melting icecaps and drowning polar bears. You cried for two days."
Annabel said, "Eat your omelet."
Kat picked at the edge. Mike gave the nape of her neck a squeeze. "Want me to walk you to class today?"
"Dad, I'm eight."
"So you keep reminding me." Mike tugged his sturdy cell from his pocket and hit "redial." A few rings, and then the bank manager picked up. "Hi, Mike Wingate again. Did the wire hit?"
"Just a minute, Mr. Wingate." The sound of keyboard typing.
As Kat and Annabel negotiated how many more bites Kat had to eat, Mike waited, drumming his fingers nervously on the counter.
It had taken him thirteen years to work his way from hired hand to carpenter to foreman to contractor. And now he was on the brink of closing out his first deal as a developer. He'd taken some ulcer-inducing risks to get here, leveraging their house and maxing out a handful of loans to buy a section of undeveloped canyon at the edge of town. Lost Hills, a Valley community thirty miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, had a number of advantages, the main one being that real estate was merely expensive, not obscene. Mike had carved the land into forty generous parcels and built a community of ecological houses that he had named, uninventively, Green Valley. Not that he was a die-hard ecofreak, but Kat had shown an interest in environmental stuff from an early age and he had to admit that those futuristic computer-generated photos of Manhattan flooded due to sea-level rise scared the hell out of him.
The state's offer of green subsidies had helped the houses sell quickly, the cash from the final cluster of sales due to be wired from the title company this morning. This wire would get him out from under the bank — finally, entirely — after three and a half years and meant they'd no longer have to eyeball their checking-account balance before deciding to go out to a meal.
The bank manager's breath whistled over the line. The typing stopped. "Still nothing, Mr. Wingate."
Mike thanked him, clicked his cell closed, and ran the sweat off his forehead with the heel of a hand. The little nagging voice returned: What if, after all this work, something did go wrong?
He caught Annabel looking at him, and he said, "I shouldn't have bought that stupid truck yet."
She said, "And what? Duct-taped the transmission together on your beater pickup? We're fine. The money's there. You've worked hard. So hard. It's okay to let yourself enjoy it a little."
"And I certainly didn't need to drop eight hundred bucks on a suit."
"You've got a photo shoot with the governor, honey. We can't have you show up in ripped jeans. Besides, you can wear it again at the award ceremony. Which reminds me." She snapped her fingers. "I need to pick it up from the tailor this morning after class. Kat's got that back-to-school checkup this morning. Can you take her on your way in? Meet back here at lunch?"
In the past year, their schedules had gotten more complicated to coordinate. Once it had become clear that Kat and third grade were getting along, Annabel decided it was time to go back to Northridge University for her teaching degree. State-school tuition was manageable, as long as they bent the budget here and there.
Mike flipped his phone open and checked the screen in case he'd missed the bank calling back with good news. He rubbed a knot out of his neck. The stress, still holding on. "I don't know what was wrong with my old sport coat."
Kat said, "I don't think anyone wears plaid jackets anymore, Dad."
"It's not plaid. It's windowpane."
Annabel nodded at Kat and mouthed, Plaid.
Mike had to smile. He took a deep breath. Tried for a full exhale. The money was already at the title company. What could go wrong?
Annabel finished at the sink, tugged off her rings, and rubbed lotion into her hands. The engagement ring, a fleck of pale yellow diamond that he'd scraped together two paychecks to afford, gave off a dull sparkle. He loved that ring, like he loved their nice little house. The American dream distilled into two bedrooms and fifteen hundred square feet. Having money come in would be great, sure, but they'd always known to be grateful, to appreciate how fortunate they were.
Annabel reached for his hands. "Come here, I got too much lotion." The light from the window was pouring over her shoulders, bronzing her dark hair at the edges, and her eyes, picking up the frost blue of her shirt, looked translucent.
He raised the cell phone, framed her in the built-in camera, and snapped a picture. "What?" she said.
"Your hair. Your eyes."
Annabel rolled her hands in his.
"Gawd," Kat said. "Just kiss and get it over with already."
* * *
The Ford F-450 gleamed in the garage like a spit-polished tank. The four-ton truck guzzled enough diesel to offset whatever help Green Valley was lending the environment, but Mike couldn't exactly haul gear to a construction site in a Prius. The truck was extravagant — irresponsible, even — but he had to confess that when he'd driven it off the lot yesterday, he'd felt more delight than seemed prudent.
Kat hopped into the back and stuck her nose in a book, the usual morning procedure.
Pulling out of the driveway, Mike gestured at the roof-mounted TV/DVD player. "Stop reading. Check out the TV. It's got wireless headphones. Noise-canceling."
He sounded like the brochure, but couldn't help himself; the new-car smell was making him heady.
She put on the headphones, clicked around the channels. "Yes!" she said, too loud, since the volume was cranked up. "Hannah Montana."
He coasted up the quiet suburban streets, tilting down the sun visor, thinking about how nervous and yet excited he was about today's photo shoot with the governor. They passed a jewelry shop, and he looked at all the glimmering ice in the storefront window and thought that once that wire hit, just maybe he'd stop by and get something to surprise Annabel.
As they neared Dr. Obuchi's, Kat's face darkened, and she tugged off the headphones. "No shots," she said.
"No shots. It's just a checkup. Don't freak out."
"As long as there are no needles, there will be no freaking out." She extended her hand with a ceremony beyond her years. "Deal?"
Mike half turned, and they shook solemnly. "Deal."
"I don't believe you," she said.
"Have I ever broken a promise to you?"
"No," she said. "But you could start."
"Glad to see I've built up trust."
"I'm eight. I'm supposed to be difficult."
Her mouth stayed firm for the rest of the drive and all the way into the examination room, where she shifted back and forth on the table, the paper crinkling beneath her as Dr. Obuchi checked her reflexes.
The doctor finished the physical and eyed Kat's chart. "Oh. She never got her second MMR, since Annabel wanted me to spread out the vaccines." She tugged at a lock of shiny black hair. "We're late on it." She fussed in a drawer for the vial and syringe.
Kat's eyes got big. She stiffened on the table and directed an imploring stare at her father. "Dad, you swore."
"She prefers to get ready for shots," Mike said. "Mentally. A little more notice. Can we come back later in the week?"
"It's September. Back to school. You can guess what my schedule looks like." Dr. Obuchi took note of Kat's glare. Unwavering. "I might have a slot Friday morning."
Mike clicked his teeth together, frustrated. Kat was watching him closely. He put his hands on his daughter's knobby knees. "Honey, I'm wall-to-wall with meetings Friday, and Mom has class. It's my worst day. Let's just do this now and get it over with."
Kat's face colored.
Dr. Obuchi said, "It's just a prick. Over before you know it."
Kat tore her gaze from Mike and looked at the wall, her breath quickening, her arm almost as pale as the latex glove gripping it. Dr. Obuchi dabbed some alcohol on Kat's biceps and readied the needle.
Mike watched, his discomfort growing. Kat kept her face turned away.
As the stainless-steel point lowered, Mike reached out and gently stopped the doctor's hand. "I'll make Friday work," he said.
* * *
Mike drove, chomped Juicy Fruit, and tried to keep from checking in with the bank manager for the fourth time that morning. As they approached Kat's school, he rolled down the window and spit his gum into the wind.
"That's not good for the environment."
"Like if a bald eagle chokes on it?"
"Okay, fine," he said. "I won't spit any more gum out the window."
"Snowball the Last Dying Polar Bear thanks you."
He pulled up to the front of the school, but she just sat there in the backseat, fingering the wireless headphones in her lap. "You're getting some award thing for the green houses, aren't you?" she asked. "From the governor?"
"I'm being recognized, yeah."
"I know you care about nature and stuff, but you're not, like, really into it, right? So why'd you build all these green houses?"
"You really don't know?" He angled the rearview so he could see her face.
She shook her head.
He said, "For you."
Her mouth came open a little, and then she looked away and smiled privately. She scooted across and climbed out, and even once she was halfway across the playground, he could see that her face was still flushed with joy.
Letting the breeze blow through the rolled-down window, he took in the scene. A few teachers were out supervising the yard. Parents clustered among the parked cars, arranging play dates, coordinating car pools, planning field trips. Kids whooped and ran and tackled one another on the grass.
It was a life he'd always dreamed about but barely dared to believe he could have for himself. And yet here it was.
He dialed, raised the cell phone to his face. The bank manager sounded a touch impatient. "Yes, Mr. Wingate. I was about to call. I'm pleased to tell you that the wire came through just this instant."
For a moment Mike was rendered speechless. The phone sweaty in his grip, he asked for the amount. And then asked the bank manager to repeat it, just to make sure it was real.
"So the loan is paid off now, yeah?" Mike said, though he knew he had just received enough to close out the remaining debt five times over. "Fully paid off?"
A note of amusement in the man's voice. "You are free and clear, Mr. Wingate."
Excerpted from You're Next by Gregg Hurwitz. Copyright © 2011 Gregg Hurwitz. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Having recently read Trust No One and They're Watching, two of the author's previous works, my advice to him is to slow down. Perhaps writing so many books thins the herd. I loved Trust No One, and really liked They're Watching. But, You're Next pales in comparison to the first. It was hard to care much for the characters, although I did like the bond between Mike and Shep. But the story was pretty hokey, as if the author was out of good ideas. So, take a rest. We can wait for What's Next.
This is a fantastic, very suspenseful book! I could not put it down! Definitely a must-read if you are looking for a suspense/mystery novel that is action-packed and will keep you on the edge of your seat
After being abandoned as a pre-school aged child and growing up in foster care, Mike Wingate has worked his way up from the ooze below the ladder of success to the top. He lives with his wife Annabel and their eight years old daughter Kat in Lost Hills near Los Angeles and runs a profitable contracting business. The Boss Man sends two of his thugs William and Dodge to Lost Hills and threatens the Wingate family. They steal Kat's toys go the child's school to cause mischief, harass Mike and assault Annabel. The police ignore the two punks instead blaming Mike for something he must have done in his past. Mike turns to his only friend from foster care Shep the dangerous criminal. They take the fight to the two predators and their boss. Although at first the assaults seem over the top of the Sierras (even to Mike), once he and Shep learn why the Boss Man sent his thugs, readers and Mike will know this super thriller is grounded. Fast-paved from the first attack to the final confrontation as Mike learns what lies and avarice can do to am unsuspecting person and his loved ones. Harriet Klausner
Another all-nighter with Gregg HurwitzI¿ve been reading Greg Hurwitz since the very beginning of his career. It¿s no surprise to me that the man knows how to write. Still, I have to admit that the description of this novel¿s plot struck me as a little ho-hum. The thing is, the description was perfectly accurate, but this novel was the furthest thing from ho-hum! In fact, I thought I was going to read straight through the night; once I started reading, I couldn¿t put this book down.Actually, You¿re Next is exactly the sort of story that Hurwitz excels at. He takes a likeable and relatable man and places him into an incomprehensible and terrifying situation. Mike Wingate is a self-made man¿so self-made that he literally invented his own name. He has a rather tragic past. He was abandoned by his father as a four-year-old. He suspects that his mother is dead. He grows up in a rough foster home never truly knowing his past or his own identity. He bonds fiercely with a foster brother, but as they grow up, they grow apart, with Shep becoming a career criminal and Mike becoming a respected businessman and devoted husband and father. As the novel opens, Mike¿s life has never been better¿and then it all starts to unravel. Dangerous men seem to be making inexplicable threats against Mike and his family. The situation escalates rapidly, and Mike has to fight with everything he¿s got.Even now, it still doesn¿t sound that exciting to me. There are several reasons why I think the novel works so well. First, Hurwitz does a great job of making you really care about this family in peril. As a reader, I was very invested in their fates. Shep is a terrific character, and the villains are suitably villainous. The other thing that Hurwitz does so well is pacing. It didn¿t take long at all to get sucked into this book, and I wasn¿t lying¿ I think I was up past 3:00AM reading. I had to force myself to turn off the lights. My pulse was racing so much as I read that I wasn¿t sleepy at all! Needless to say, I finished the book in record time the next day. The ultimate explanation of why this family was targeted was completely unexpected. I won¿t pretend that You¿re Next is great literature, but it was pretty darn entertaining. I¿m a satisfied reader. And description or no, I¿ll have more faith in the future. Mr. Hurwitz hasn¿t let me down yet.
I received this book through Early Reviewers; this is my first book that I have read by Gregg Hurwitz. It is about a man who was abandoned by his parents at the age of 4 - but nor one knows why or even who he is. Through the story, "Mike" finds out who is and why his parents disappeared when he was a young child. Overall, this book is action filled and keeps moving, but mostly it is about the love a father has for his daughter and how he is going to save her from all the hurt and uncertainty he had as a child. I would recommend this book to those who love lots of action and suspense.
Mike Wingate is haunted by a past he can't remember. Abandoned by his father when he is four, he remembers little about his early years and does not know if his parents are alive or dead. A tough foster home - he manages to stay in the same one from age 4 to 17 - juvenile run-ins with the law all shape him as an adult. Yet somehow he manages to become a model citizen. It all falls apart when he realizes that someone for some reason wants him and his family dead. I will not give away the rest of the plot. I took me a couple of days to get into this book, but once I did, I literally could not put it down. Fast-paced, plot twists, good characters all keep your interest in the outcome. The reason he is being hunted down comes a little out of left field. The ease in which Mike gets out of trouble as a young man also stretch plausibility. But overall, you forget those issue as you get caught up in the chase and the wrenching decision he has to make to save his family. I found his relationship with his daughter particularly touching and she was one of the most enjoyable characters.
You're Next by Gregg Hurwitz is the second book I have read by the author. The book is action packed and suspenseful; especially towards the end of the novel. It also shows the love a father has for his daughter and ultimately his family and his unwavering strength to bring his family back together. He faces obstacle after obstacle in his journey to do so. If you like fast paced novels that have surprising and unexpected twists than this should be your next read.
INCREDIBLE! I really enjoyed this book. This is one of those authors who grabs your attention within the first few paragraphs and keeps you hooked all the way to the final sentence. We have a murder mystery, action, suspence thriller with lots of twists and turns to keep you turning page after page and not wanting to put the book down. And, for once the story is unique as to the why and who is being targeted. Even the bad guys are different from your usual villans. The whole story comes together quite nicely and leaves the reader satisfied.
You're Next starts a bit slow but becomes a suspenseful page turner as the threat, and the action, increases. Mike WIngate is a man with a mystery - abandoned as a child, he doesn't know who he is or where he came from - but someone else does. When a local housing project brings Mike an award and media coverage, his unknown past comes to his door intent on finishing a crime that began when Mike was a child. I really enjoyed this book - Mike and his family are sympathetic characters - and what Mike learns about family, friendship, and loyalty help to make this book more than just another beach read. And the reason Mike is being hunted is a real surprise - and a nice twist to the story. A definite keeper!
Gregg Hurwitz is one of the constantly good writers and he provides another enjoyable read in "You're Next."Mike Wingate is left at a playground by his father when Mike was age four. Mike's father told him that it wasn't his fault and then disappeared from Mike's life.What happened that could cause a parent to apparently abandon a young child? The answer to this question stimulated my curiosity as I read the book.Mike is raised in a foster home and befriends a boy named Shep. They become inseparable but get into a lot of trouble. Mike is given a break and with hard work, builds up his construction business and finds happiness with his wife, Annabel and precocious daughter, Kat, age eight.After Mike's photo is in the paper for winning a prize, a number of shady people beging following him in a threatening manner. When Mike complains to the police, they seem more interested in Mike's unusual background and don't help.Finally, when Mike gets a notice "You're Next," he calls his friend Shep for help.I enjoyed Mike as a character and was interested that he was trying to determine who was trying to hurt him and his family and why. The search for Mike's prusuers takes him to a place that the reader cannot forsee and the conclusion is done with cinematic description and is satisfying and engrossing.
Imagine being dropped off and abandoned at a playground as a four-year-old child. Now imagine that you spend the next fourteen years in the foster care system and the only "family" you now have is basically a juvenile delinquent. You don't know why your parents disappeared or even what your last name was but you are determined to turn your life around. This is Michael Wingate's life in You're Next by Gregg Hurwitz. This psychological thriller builds layer upon layer of intrigue by providing glimpses into Michael's past. But these glimpses only reveal the past after he was abandoned. Obviously abandonment leaves emotional and mental scars, and Michael has his fair share. As a result he is determined to never let down his daughter Katherine. Michael is now a successful contractor and is about to win an award for building green homes that aren't completely green. When Michael is confronted by a stranger at the award's party and basically threatened, he is first confused and then later angry. The anger builds when his daughter is threatened and his wife, Annabel, is seriously injured. What does all of this have to do with Michael? Could his unknown past be rearing its ugly head and intruding on his present? How much of a past could a four-year-old child have had? Michael embarks on a hunt for the answers. The only person he knows he can depend on is his childhood best friend and surrogate brother, Shep. When pushed to the edge Michael pushes back and uncovers a history of dirty little secrets that are best kept uncovered. How far is Michael willing to go? Read the book, trust me on this one. If you don't add any other book to your reading list, You're Next is definitely one to read. Kat is a lovable and precocious child with a core of inner strength. Michael is a man that wants to do right at any cost but realizes that lifetime sometimes has to be lived in the murkier gray areas. Shep is, well words can't describe Shep but he is the type of friend you want when backed into a corner and facing really bad guys. I enjoyed reading You're Next so much that I've promptly added many other works by Mr. Hurwitz to my TBR list. I've found another favorite author!
I enjoyed You¿re Next, the characterisations were good and the story very compelling. I really wanted to find out why Mike was abandoned in a playground at the age of four. It didn¿t reach 5 stars since the beginning dragged a bit, the violence was too graphic and the police involvement unbelievable at times. BUT these are minor points!
When he was four years old, Mike¿s father dropped him off a school yard and never returned. Mike was christened Mike Doe by the courts, placed in the foster care system, and assigned to a foster home run by a decent but overstretched foster mother. In the home he met Shep, who became his foster brother, fellow petty criminal, and lifelong friend. When Mike turned 18, he reinvented himself as Mike Wingate and got his life together. He eventually became a successful home builder, married the woman of his dreams, and started a family. Just when Mike¿s business takes off, shadowy characters come in to his life. Is the trouble from a business mistake or does the trouble go all the way back to his mysterious childhood? Mike calls on Shep to help him figure out who he is before he loses everything. Although the premise of the book had potential and the author kept me guessing to the end, as a reader, the payoff was hardly worth the effort. Hurwitz failed to make the characters interesting early in the book, so I struggled to connect for the first hundred pages or so. One the numerous characters finally start to intertwine the story picks up considerably. However, as the pace and action ratcheted up, so did my incredulity. No matter how hard I tried to suspend disbelief, I just couldn¿t buy into the story. Overall this felt like a second rate plot from a third rate author. This was my first Gregg Hurwitz book and it will probably also be my last.
You're Next by Gregg Hurwitz is a thriller about a man named Mike Wingate. Mike, having been abandoned at age four, grew up in foster care. Although he and his foster brother, Shep, got into a bit of trouble in their adolescence, Mike has worked hard and finally achieved the life he always dreamed of. He has a beautiful wife, an 8-year-old daughter, and owns his own construction company, which is about to finish a job that will give them a financially secure future. But things suddenly take a turn for the worst. Some unknown force is coming after him. And this force is somehow connected to a past that he doesn't even remember. When the police prove to be of no help, he turns to his foster brother Shep, who chose an alternate route in life. Shep promises to help Mike, his wife, Annabel, and his daughter, Kat, to find out who is after his family, and why. As the mystery slowly unravels, Mike starts finding out who he is and where he came from. And why his past is coming back to haunt him.Full of twists with plenty of suspense, You're Next is a great read. Although a little slow at times, this book is definitely worth reading. With characters everyone can relate to and wonderfully written details, this book is a great addition to the thriller/suspense genre.
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.Mike Wingate is a man without an identity. Abandoned by his father when he was four, Mike was raised in foster care and lived his life without knowing who he was or why his parents left him.Now, married and with a daughter of his own, Mike finds himself running from men who have one goal¿to kill him and his daughter.Mike enlists the help of his foster brother, Shep, to help him avoid his would-be assassins and discovers that his true identity is making him and his daughter targets in this high-stakes game.A well-paced story with an intriguing plot and wonderful characters. I highly recommend this book.
I received this book through early reviewers having never read any of Mr. Hurwitz's previous work. I am now a huge fan and plan to go back and read his other books. This book was amazing with great characters (both good and evil), a great plot (though a bit unrealistic at times), and a pace that leaves you breathless at times. His writing is the quality that makes you feel part of the story and in this book that is quite scary at times. The story is about Mike Wingate who after a hard childhood (in which he was abandoned by his father, raised in a foster home, and was involved in petty crimes) is now a husband, father, and is beginning to make it as a green builder. When all seems to be going well, he and his family are targeted by powerful people who want him out of the picture. Who can he turn to for help in finding out what is going on? He turns to his friend, Shep, from his foster home days who lives his life as a safecracker, is street smart, and as loyal a friend as one can have. Can Shep help save Mike, his wife Annabelle, and his daughter Kat from those seeking to destroy them and in the meantime find out what Mike has done to cause their wrath? I strongly recommend this book!
I will start by menyioning that [You're Next] is the first Gregg Hurwitz book I read. I had never even heard his name. What I will add is that I have read five or six more of them since I finished this one. I guess that would count as a reccomendation. I enjoyed the book well enough to seek out other books by Hurwitz. That being said, I don't think it is his best. It is well crafted and suspenceful, and the writing is decent. I felt that the most interesting character in the book was the main characters somewhat shady childhood friend. I think I would enjoy a book with him as the main character. (I have noticed this in other books of his; namely the character Ed Pinkerton in [Do no Harm].)As I said, the writing was decent and Hurwitz does a nice job of keeping his characters realistic and human. The good guy has his flaws, although the bad guys, while interesting are pretty strictly evil. The author I would most closely compare Hurwitz to is Kyle Mills, although I think I like Mills a bit more. Overall this book is a quick, fun read and definitely worth the effort.
Mike Wingate, abandoned at age 4, raised in a foster home, has grown into a responsible adult, and everything, suddenly, has gone wrong. At this point this book turns dark and foreboding. Mike is obviously targeted for elimination, but why? He's helpless to defend himself , even the cops are out to get him, rather than to protect him.At wits end, Mike turns to his old pal and partner-in-crime, Shep from the foster home.For the first 100 pages or so, I thought this was a disappointing effort from Greg Hurwitz, but when it got going, it was a great read, if the ending was a bit far-fetched.
Well defined characters and a fast pace make this thriller an enjoyable read. Hurwitz does a wonderful job in establishing the father daughter relationship that is so important in the book. And the villains are very creepy.
I had a little bit of trouble getting into the novel, which admittedly might be my fault. This is the first "real" tangible book I've read in a good while, and I can see now how effortless e-reading has become for me. That said, there is a fair amount of backstory in the beginning with a dash of foreshadowing, but the real action takes a little time to get heated up. This slow-burn was frustrating and I was anxious to get to the meat of the plot. I did find the backstory interesting, it's just that when I read a suspense novel, I expect the suspense to commence early enough to hook me right away.While it's mostly suspense, YOU'RE NEXT also delves into familial relationships, trust, what it means to be an honest person, and the bonds formed by brothers-in-foster hood. Over all, it's a compelling read. Just push through the slower beginning and you won't be disappointed.
Good suspense and well written. Much better than expected.