Nate Overbay, a former soldier suffering from PTSD and ALS, goes to an 11th-floor bank and climbs out the bathroom window onto the ledge, ready to end it all. But as he’s steeling himself to jump, a crew of gunmen bursts into the bank and begins viciously shooting employees and customers. With nothing to lose, Nate climbs back inside, confronts the robbers, and with his military training, starts taking them out, one by one. The last man standing leaves Nate with a cryptic warning: “He will make you pay in ways you can’t imagine.” Soon enough, Nate learns what this means.
He is kidnapped by Pavlo, a savage Ukrainian mobster and mastermind of the failed heist. Now blocked from getting into the bank vault to retrieve the critical item inside, Pavlo gives Nate a horrifying ultimatum: Either break in and acquire the item or watch Pavlo slowly kill the people Nate loves most - his estranged wife, Janie, and his teenaged daughter, Cielle. Nate lost them both when he came back from Iraq broken and confused. Now he’s got one chance to protect the people he loves, even if it’s the last thing he is able to do.
©2012 Gregg Hurwitz (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature
"The Survivor" is one of those rare books that truly affects the reader. This is more than your typical thriller - the characters draw you in; the story visceral and horrifying, and Scott Brick's narration is, as always, spot on.
I listen to thrillers for pure entertainment and escape, so I wasn't prepared for the emotions brought up by "The Survivor." Hurwitz managed to touch my nerves to such an extent that, at times, I had to stop listening in order to recover from the horrible images he planted in my imagination.
Be prepared to be terrified. This is no ordinary book.
I really loved this book, Scott Brick is the best Narrator, he can bring a story to life however no matter how gifted he is in his narration he cannot make a bad story good, in this case he didn't have to attempt it, excellent story, excellent narrator, perfect marraige of both! Worth a credit and then some!
This is one of the most enjoyable thrillers I've listened to in the past couple of years. A PTSD veteran with his life in shambles redeems himself to his family and the best friend he failed, all while defending himself against one of the most vicious mobsters you'll ever encounter in a novel. Even with the dire, often depressing plot, Hurwitz manages to inject some humor (a bacon-eating vegetarian) and a poignant scene in a hospital ward, where severely sick children are trick-or-treating the other inpatients on Halloween. Scott Brick, who rightfully labels himself a "performer" rather than a "reader," is at the top of his game.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
This was a thrill ride from the opening, setting the scene at 100 miles an hour. Then Hurwitz eases off the accelerator and backs us up to meet the characters and really know who we are dealing with. It works. I was quickly invested in both the action and the relationships, including those with the bad guys. Oh and they are really bad - the danger meter well into the red.
As with most action thrillers, there is at least some need to suspend disbelief and just roll with it, and that's true in this story too. Overall I think it was handled well, but the one weak link was the daughter's obstinancy and, in one case, impulsive behavior in the face of proven danger, that only heightened the peril to herself and her parents. I had a hard time believing that any adolescent in these circumstances would take it on herself to pull the stunt she did, but it was a device to move the story to its next level, so once I stopped rolling my eyes I just jumped back on the ride and kept going. However, it did remove one star from the story. In spite of that weakness, when assessing the overall rating I still give it a 5. I just couldn't put it down and listened well into the night to get to the end, a conclusion that matched the opening.
I couldn't put this book down once I started it. There were a lot of twists and turns that kept you eager to read more - and prevented the book from being predictable!
If you're wondering whether it's worth a credit - It Certainly Is and you won't regret it.
This is one of those books that I'll read again in time.
My husband (who only reads nonfiction) and I are currently listening to The Survivor. We take trips in our car, and dream up places to go, just to listen to this book. It's outstanding!!
I love books!
First time author for me, suggested by audible. An ill, depressed ex-soldier suffering from PTSD in Afghanistan gets in trouble with the Ukranian mafia in LA. If you can believe it, the Ukranian mafia is worse than the Russian mafia, which means they're very bad! This story is how he works through it all. Sometimes it seemed a bit implausible but, hey, it was entertaining. If you like this genre then you'd like this story.
I don't know if I could finish reading a novel ever again. I am so addicted to listening to books I have little interest in reading!
When I read the summary I wondered if this was going to be like Die Hard, which wouldn't be bad. But no, this is much more complicated.
The mystery and suspense not withstanding, Hurwitz spins a desperate drama of a man suffering from LDS, even more so from PTSD. It is a story of reconciliation and redemption.
The mystery is why the hero is hunted. The suspense comes in so many parts I cannot think of how to describe it. There is so much suspense I grew a bit weary at times, but no way I was quitting on this book.
An interesting note, Hurwitz uses a ghost to portray the hero's conscience in clever way. He then introduces a living shadow of the ghost in the form of the daughter's boyfriend.
I have listened to a lot of Gregg Hurwitz's books. I totally adored Crime Writer when I heard it. As the years have passed and Scott Brick has been chosen over and over as narrator, I am getting warn out. The plot is relatively predictable - kind of a Hurwitz formula. The drama.in.every.sentence.....added by Brick. is exhausting to listen to. There is no climax because every third sentence IS a climax.
I had to suspend my disbelief more than I do with other writers such as Connelly, Laura Lippman, Jeffrey Deaver and David Rosenfelt. That got old too. I think I would skip the next Hurwitz book, especially if Brick narrates that one.
This book is not impossible to listen to, just not as good as others or older Hurwitz books.
the story is unrealistic the characters are not believable, the whole approach of the story is based on creating a negative feeling from a depressed and suicidal person with a personality that is hardly realistic. The mobsters are science fiction characters planted in a country and environment that we can not recognize. The whole environment from the security officer in the bank and absent police force leaves a void in the scenario. The reactions of the teenage daughter, the wife or the wives boy friend, are just not believable, maybe the author has never had a wife or children? The cast, therefore the story, does not hold together.
Yes, there is no difficulty differentiating the characters.
Scot Bricks, has exaggerated the depressive character of the person by using a naration tone of a person who has abandoned all values and is in deep depressed shock, a lost and limp soul who does not have the energy to put the next foot forward once out of bed in the morning! this exacerbates the non believable aspect of the character whose actions are more that of a person with a strong and dinamic personality. This renders the main character week and despicable. Not the kind of character that you want to read about!
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