Book review: ‘You’re Next’ serves up heart-stopping thrills and first-rate chills

Published: Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT


“YOU’RE NEXT,” by Gregg Hurwitz, St. Martin’s Press, $24.99, 407 pages (f)

Raised in foster care under difficult circumstances,
Mike Wingate has defied all odds to build a successful life for himself.
Mike is married to the woman of his dreams and has a beautiful
8-year-old daughter. The construction company he owns is on the brink of
completing a popular “green” housing development, the proceeds from
which promise to land Mike and his family on solid financial footing.

But a past that has remained dormant since his father
abandoned him at a playground at the age of 4 suddenly resurfaces.
Shady characters begin threatening Mike, leaving him confused and
searching frantically for answers. Mike soon discovers that their
sinister threat, “You’re next,” is both immediate and life-threatening
for him and his family.

As the horrific truth continues to unfold in Gregg
Hurwitz’s novel “You’re Next,” Mike finds it necessary to utilize all
the survival techniques he relied on during his teenage years —
including enlisting the help of his best friend who is a convicted felon
— to save all that he holds dear.

“You’re Next” contains graphic violence including
descriptions of torture and a moderate amount of swear words. A few
brief sexual encounters are described without gratuitous details.

Once the mystery behind the threats becomes evident,
the storyline might feel somewhat implausible. If this thought should
surface, it will likely be fleeting. By this point in the book, the
mystery and suspense and pure terror of what Mike is experiencing is
riveting enough that the credibiliy of the plot will be of minor

Hurwitz proves himself a master of suspense, dread
and extreme terror. “You’re Next” is also beautifully written,
heartbreaking and emotionally riveting.

It is physically and emotionally exhausting to race
through the pages of “You’re Next,” hoping against all hope and logic
that Mike will defy impossible odds to save and protect the happiness he
has worked so diligently to secure for his family.