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.
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 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!
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Okay, a tad manipulative and emotive, but whoa! what a fast paced and different listen. I don't want to reveal anything so I'm not going to touch the plot. The title is hint enough. I have not liked Scott Brick in other places and times… This time, I get his fan appeal. Gosh he's atop this read. He was virtually invisible and his characters instead played around my imagination with power.
Yep, this is a taut thriller with twists that frequently made me mutter, "Oh!". I'm off to find another Gregg Hurwitz and I've referred it to two friends already, only hours after it ended audibly, but I'm sure these characters won't stop careening around my mind for a while.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
EVEN THE RUSSIANS ARE AFRAID OF THE UKRAINIANS!!!!
Do not be fooled by the sample. The sample is part of chapter one. Chapter one thru four are great and then... I loved the first four chapters and thought I was in for a great book, especially after reading Your Next. Then the book goes unbelievable stupid. I am capable of suspending belief in a couple of events, but when it happens over and over, it just gets too stupid. Let's start with the bad guy. We get a background on him and he sounds like one real tough dude. You even admire the guy for his toughness and ability to survive the life he lead. Then this, shoot first, ask questions later type of guy starts to get pushed around by a loser, simply because he has a terminal illness and does not fear death. I guess the Ukrainians have not heard of torture, even though they have pictures. There is one scene where the Bad Ukrainian wants to prove how bad he is, so he disrobes in the middle of a restaurant and shows our hero all of his tattoos. He explains the meaning of most of the tattoos. He even drops his pants. Am sorry, but I got lots of friends who have tattoos and some of them are soft overweight marshmallows who would not hurt a fly. There are several more examples where the tougher then Russians, mafia character acts like a cute kitten. If your going to build up a bad guy, keep him in character and dazzle me with his toughness.
One of the more improbable things is how everything just goes right for our main character. He sneaks into a crime scene after the police have given it a going over and just happens to come upon what he needs. He manages to go into a bank and steal out of a deposit box, with security standing over his shoulder. He is questioned by the police and never gives anything away, etc...
The teenage daughter goes above and beyond stupid. I know teenagers don't make the best choices in life, but this one makes so many, that are life threating to her and her family, it stretches belief too far. The parents continue to let her do these things, cause she insists that she needs to be in on the decision making process. Yet, she makes decisions that could cost the whole family their lives on several occasions, without or against her parents warnings.
I am one of Scott Bricks biggest critics, but I believe he did well in this and it is not his fault the story is so unbelievable.
I need to change my slogan to, I will listen to no BORING book and no STUPID book.
Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.
Way too violent for my tastes, but plot had me tightly held before it hit, and I did finish it late into the night. I quite enjoyed the story, although it was improbable and I consciously had to accept the over the top premise and... Language is clean, no sexual messiness, writing skills decent. Nice family guy with PTSD versus the Russian mafia to protect his family. Scott Brick always does a great job on narration. My husband would love this... me... way too many images I really hope I will forget.
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.
Don't miss the Bino Phillips series by AW Gray. They are largely unknown, but as good as any ive read!
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 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.
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