YOU’RE NEXT by Gregg Hurwitz has met with critical and reader acclaim, and with every good reason.
YOU’RE NEXT story cuts right to every nerve we have. The characters, particularly protagonist Mike Wingate, face complex choices influenced by forces over which he doesn’t have direct control (anyone who has ever had work done in his or her home by a contractor will understand the feeling). YOU’RE NEXT has absolutely perfect pacing—to the point it will, quite literally, take your breath away.
YOU’RE NEXT was released in Europe in January, and European readers put it on bestseller lists, and kept it there for months. Again, not a surprise because this is one of those books you will want to not just recommend, but insist your friends read. This month, after an altogether too-long wait, YOU’RE NEXT has arrived on American bookshelves.
“Thriller” is not a term I use lightly, but I don’t hesitate for a second using it to describe YOU’RE NEXT. Hurwitz has created characters we care about from the get-go; we care about their health, happiness, safety, and well-being. Mike Wingate has a compelling back-story, having been raised in a foster home after his mom and dad become…unavailable (to give you spoilers would lessen the impact of the story), and his hard-won personal and professional success is suddenly and drastically threatened. Sounds a little trite, right? Wrong. Extremely and completely wrong.
In addition to a compelling protagonist, Hurwitz introduces us to one of the best sidekicks since Clete Purcel in the form of Shep, Mike Wingate’s childhood friend. I hope we see Shep again because as much as we learn about him in YOU’RE NEXT, I expect there’s much more to him, and I’d like to know what it is.
Hurwitz is an incredibly smart author, and his references to everything from popular culture to California politics are subtle without being too “inside baseball.” These references can be tricky, sometimes too specific to stand the test of time or understandable only by those who have direct experience of certain places. Absolutely not the case here. Hurwitz brings his story to life with a perfect mix of the familiar and fantastic.
YOU’RE NEXT is not a particularly comfortable read; as Mike’s life unravels, we feel his distress. Nothing in this story is clear-cut, and it moves at breakneck speed. Ultimately, this is a story—and a cast of characters—about whom we really and truly care.
Blurb: A richly textured, breathtaking tale