- Solid plot.
- Good secondary characters (Shep, Kat, Boss Man, Dodge, etc); the author does a good job of making the secondary characters very likable or easy to hate.
- Pretty good writing for the action sequences.
- Dialogue between secondary characters is good.
- The main character, Michael Wingate, is so whinny and weak it is painful following his story. He spends all his time weeping over little things (a contractor screwed him) and big things (actual bad things happen to him).
- Dialogue between Michael and anyone else is painful to read. Michael is way too lost and whining. It is realistic for a man to act this way, but it is no fun to read.
- Way way way too much talk about how much Michael loves his wife and kid. Ok, we get it. He loves them. He's worried. This book could have been reduced by 25% and lost nothing just by cutting a few thousand words on this topic. Hey, we love his wife and daughter, too, because the author did a good job of making them likable. But we don't need to listen to Michael's inner voice incessantly bemoaning the family's situation.
I almost stopped reading after Chapter 13, then in Chapter 14 met Shep. Shep is a really well written, interesting character - and unfortunately, that caused me to keep reading. This book has a lot of potential, but it is lost in the bitching and moaning of the main character.
Oh, and it is poorly narrated, as Scott Brick speaks in something of a fading soft voice. This actually amplifies Michael Wingate's whining - just narrate with a strong voice, the weak, fading soft voice was really annoying.
If you want to read a good book with this sort of genre, I recommend "The Son" by Jo Nesbo.
Say something about yourself!
It is fairly obvious the writer is a screenplay writer/editor. The story drips of Hollywood style flow. Not sure i would purchase another by this author. Also, not sure what the praise of Scott Brick is all about. I would say RC Bray is twice the narrator. I have heard much worse than Brick, returned several books within 1 chapter based on reader. I would certainly not return anything with Brick based on his reading, but i think the praise may be a little over the top.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
Gregg Hurwitz was 1-1 with me. I liked Tell No Lies for its group therapy setting, but I didn't care for The Survivor, just another Liam Neeson script. I said I'd give him another chance to prove which was the exception, which was the rule. Glad I did, because You're Next did not disappoint -- not quite as good as Tell No Lies, but way better than The Survivor in almost every way.
There's always a gimmick with Hurwitz, an opening gambit that kicks off the proceedings in a distinct way, establishing a springboard for plot, characterization, and themes. At least, that is the case given my sample size of three. In Tell No Lies, group therapy. In The Survivor, and man about to commit suicide is forced to save the lives of others, that conceit being the best part of a book that goes down hill from there.
You're Next sets the stage in the same straightforward way: four-year-old Mike is abandoned in a playground by his father, who has just apparently killed his mother, and he is forced to grow up in a sketchy foster home, bedeviled and befriended by ne'er-do-wells. This past continually comes back to haunt him, to the point where he even has to put his own daughter into foster care with the promise to do for her what his father failed to do for him -- come back to get him.
Now a family man himself, his past long suppressed, he suddenly finds himself the target of some seriously evil dudes, evil dudes smart enough to make the police think Mike is the seriously evil dude, hence launching your standard double chase. Problem is, Mike has not a clue what these dudes want from him, what they want him for -- in Hitchcockian terms, what the mcguffin is, which is important only to the point where the reader/viewer/listener believes that the bad guys are fully committed to the mcguffin, whatever it may be.
The main plot driver is the unfolding of that particular mystery. There are no surprise twists, only the one major reveal and some ancillary reveals that stem from it. Rather than a twisty turny road that careers and careens in different directions, this route is pretty much a straight line, but one with unexpected scenery along the way. And as always in a Hurwitz, some good action.
Hurwitz doesn't get sucked too far into his mcguffin or any of his red herring mcguffins, but there is nevertheless some interesting subtext within the foster home setting, his current job building green homes, political corruption, and in the context of the mystery (which I shall not reveal). Nothing overt, which is good. Maybe open to criticism for being to thin, but I felt he drew an appropriate line and stuck to it.
There also happens to be one great character here. Not the protagonist Mike, who is serviceable enough but not a franchise character, but his sidekick, Shep, a bullied foster brother who grows into a criminal savant, an expert safecracker who loves the challenge of thievery, and who lives by a code of loyalty and stamina which he has imparted to Mike.
Unfortunately, narrator Scott Brick gives Shep a comic book voice that detracts from the person he is, which shines through nevertheless on the strength of Hurwitz's characterization. Brick is his usual self, tolerable at 1.25x speed, overworked to a higher degree than that. He needs a break, so that we can get a break.
The questions the story raises--"Why are they after the Protagonist? Or is it the Protagonist they want?"--keeps you listening. The novel is wonderfully plotted with well-drawn characters and is far less predictable than most novels in this genre.
Overall, Mr. Brick did well, better than many narrators, but I would say, however, that when the story called for a "casual" or a "thoughtful" voice, Mr. Brick's voice sounded "bored" or " tired." (When someone is bored or tired, they exhale when they talk and their enunciation drags; I'm a transcriber by profession.) Yes, I found it distracting, but not unduly so. And the story was exciting enough to keep me listening.
Moved me and irritated me...the ending. I thought the protagonist acted 100% realistically; II thought the child reacted 100% counter to how a child would react in life. That said, the author did an excellent job at pulling all the pieces together at the end.
I generally don't repeat listening to audio books, because there is so much out there yet to explore.
I generally don't listen to a book all in one sitting, but I did find myself sitting in the driveway on more than one occasion. I wasn't ready to turn it off.
I love mysteries, but even the best writers can be somewhat predictable. I didn't "see it coming" a few times in this story. It might be because this is my first time listening to Gregg Hurwitz, but it won't be my last.
This was a great edge of your seat thriller! It was just what I needed to get me out of my reading slump; it was very hard to stop listening!
When Mike was 4 years old his father dropped him off at a school playground and told him he’d be back but he never returned and Mike spent his whole life wondering why? And what happened to his mother? Now a grown man with a child of his own strange things are starting to happen to him and his family, Mike thinks he is being followed and from there things go from bad to worse as history repeats itself in an awful way.
This book kept me guessing all the way to the reveal; because Mike was so young when he was abandoned he has no clue about his parents so he decides to hire a private detective to help him find out who they were and what happened to them but this one decision changes his entire life.
After things get really bad Mike reaches out to his foster brother Shep, (I loved Shep!) who is always there for Mike no matter what, I don’t think Mike would have made it through without him and I loved his last line in the book! Shep is a great character because we see in flashbacks what it was like for him in foster care and how he and Mike bonded and became true brothers but Shep is also a criminal and he and Mike had a bit of a falling out but he was right there the minute Mike called him and that just endeared him to me even more.
I don’t want to spoil this book for anyone so I don’t want to give too many details away but if you are looking for a great thriller look no further than this book. This was my first book by Hurwitz but it definitely won’t be my last!
Scott Brick’s narration was as always amazing and he really brought the pain, worry and anxiety in the characters voices to life beautifully. I love Brick’s voice for mystery/thrillers he always gives a great performance.
4 ½ Stars
I really enjoyed this book. It kept me in suspense constantly. Good reader too.
engaging the feels
The character Shep was my favorite thing about this book...and Catherine, she's a sassy little one!
Junkyard pay back.
Not a husband. Not a father. Nothing to lose.
I initially bought this title just from listening to the audio example. Not one word went by where I did not regret my buy.
Yes, it is a page turner so to speak. The plot is full of twists and the narration adds to it as well.
Shep is my favorite character as his heart if bigger than his feet.
This was one I wanted to listen through from beginning to end. Truly enjoyable.
I want this to be a movie. It is suspenseful, heartwarming, heart wrenching and even humorous in spots. Loved it!