Fast-paced and gripping, Gregg Hurwitz’s The Survivor is bound to keep you awake all night
Your’e Next Hurwitz’s previous book has a chilling opening scene where a father abandons his four-year-old son on a playground, Hurwitz grabs the reader in a stranglehold of tension and doesn’t let go until the final satisfying page.
Well, it seems like Hurwitz has a thing for dramatic openings. In The Survivor we find Nate Overbay, the protagonist standing on the ledge of a bank in Southern California contemplating suicide. Nate suffers from ALS, it is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
He knows he’s slowly dying and that he will slowly lose control of his nervous system and muscle functioning, but Nate doesn’t want to wait for that day when he’s unable to move. He is about to take the plunge when he hears gunshots from behind, unknowing to himself the training he received in the army kicks in and he thwarts a bank heist. He is left with a cryptic warning, “He will make you pay in ways you can’t imagine.”
Nate’s world comes crashing down, not that the thought of battling with ALS and watching his family from a distance sounds like a thrilling alternative. But now a bunch of Russian thugs will stop at nothing to get even with him. He is kidnapped by Pavlo, a savage Russian mobster and mastermind of the failed heist. Since his job has been botched up the intrusion of Nate, Pavlo gives him an ultimatum—break in and get what he needs or watch Pavlo slowly kill the one thing Nate was trying desperately to protect from pain— his family.
Now Nate thinks of this as an opportunity to make up for all the emotional and physical damage he has caused his family and he will do anything to save his teenage daughter Cielle and ex-wife Janie, even though if it will be the last thing he can do.
Hurwitz throws in some emotional turmoil and father-daughter love in good measure. On one side you have Nate pining for his daughter’s love and anguished at the pain he’s caused her and on another hand you have an over indulgent father, Pavlo, who will go to any lengths to protect his daughter’s crimes even if it meant killing people randomly.
Hurwitz’s grip on his plotlines is tremendous, it seems like he steers you into moving on. When things move towards being extremely dangerous, his stylistic prowess expertly drags you back from the edge. An experience which is no doubt thrilling to say the least.
The story is fast paced and leaves you on the edge, waiting and watching to see what happens next.
Coming to his characters, not often will you find such characters that you are bound to sympathise with them. So much so, that as you race towards the end of the book the only question that remains is whether Nate finishes his mission as he knows his days are numbered. For a reputed writer who has more than 12 bestselling thrillers to his credit Hurwitz writes creates a world larger than the genre demands, and the back-story of Nate’s failed marriage and dysfunctional relationship with his daughter is nimbly handled. No disappointments in this book.
Name: The Survivor
Author: Greg Hurwitz
Publisher: Hachette India
About the Author (Author Profile)
Am a dreamer, writer and traveller. Still trying to find my niche but what counts is being able to give wings to my imagination.