For ages, people have been recommending Gregg Hurwitz thrillers to me, but I just hadn’t gotten around to reading one yet. I have a friend that writes mystery/thrillers (and I’m just realizing, I am a lousy friend for not reviewing one and getting the word out about his books…add Chris Mooney* books to the list ASAP) who is always blogging and tweeting about Gregg Hurwitz, and really, that should have been enough to get me to pick up one of Hurwitz’s books. I have no excuse, and am sorry that I am arriving late to the Gregg Hurwitz party.
The Survivor tells the tragic tale of Nate Overbay, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan who just so happens to be dying of ALS (this is not a spoiler, as we find out about in on page 1). As the book begins, Nate is about to jump off a building — his marriage is over, his daughter hates him, and he doesn’t want to become a burden to anyone as he becomes weaker and weaker and eventually dies. However, suicide isn’t so easy…the window he is standing next to leads in to a bank (I know, really, a bank on the 11th floor?) where there happens to be a robbery going on. Nate’s curiosity gets the better of him and he peeks in the window just in time to see the armed thieves shooting and killing bank employees and threatening a toddler. Nate’s military training takes over, and BOOM, he takes out five of the six bad guys. As the sixth man makes his escape, he warns Nate that he has ruined the plans of a very bad man, who will be very angry with him.
And so begins the roller coaster ride of Nate Overbay.
I really enjoyed the story, and particularly liked the surprises tossed at me by Hurwitz. Every time I thought the book would go in a certain direction, he surprised me with a new detail that changed everything. And the descriptions and detail regarding ALS as a progressive disease were heartbreaking. I will most definitely be reading more by Hurwitz (I hear good things about You’re Next) and will keep an eye out for his books.
I should note that I received a free galley copy of this book from Netgalley. The Survivor will be released on August 21 by St. Martin’s Press.
*FYI, if you like Dennis Lehane or James Patterson type books, give Chris Mooney a shot. He writes Boston-based thrillers, and has a few characters with their own series. He’s a great writer. I would definitely recommend Remembering Sarah, especially to anyone who read the Kenzie/Genarro books by Dennis Lehane.