Audiobook Review: You’re Next by Gregg Hurwitz

23 12 2011

You’re Next by Gregg Hurwitz

Read by Scott Brick

Brilliance Audio

Length: 14 Hrs 1 Min

Genre: Thriller

Quick Thoughts: You’re Next is a taunt, well paced thriller which is not just full of harrowing action and surprising twists, but some truly heart breaking emotional moments. I enjoyed You’re next so much, don’t be surprised if I start binging of Gregg Hurwitz titles in the near future.

Grade: B+

I have actually taken a bit of a break from the sciency fictiony type audiobooks I have been listening to recently and decided to read some thrillers. Thrillers used to dominate my reading lists, but over the past few years my reading has begun to become much more speculative fiction heavy. I used to find an author I like, and then go on a binge, reading everything they have out. This is a little harder to do with audiobooks because of the inconsistency of older titles being available in unabridged audio form. Yet, I still like taking frequent trips into this genre. I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to thrillers. I basically want three things, an interesting premise, well drawn characters and an underlying mystery for me to speculate on. If a writer manages to put these three things together, I’m game. If they can throw in some character depth, non clichéd action, and some truly surprising twists, then they have created a fan. Last year, I listened to The Crime Writer by Gregg Hurwitz, and really enjoyed it. Hurwitz did a great job setting the hook, yet even better, executed the rest of the story well. So, earlier this summer when You’re Next came out, I grabbed the audiobook, but, for some reason it fell to the side, and out of my mind. Luckily, I was reminded of the book by my favorite crime fiction blog, Jen’s Book Thoughts and quickly added it to my To Be Listened To digital pile. I am really glad I did.

One of the more interesting things about You’re Next, was the opening hook. You’re Next opens with the main character, Michael as a four year old child, being driven by his obviously distressed father, offering rambling apologies before abandoning him at a playground. This opening had me hooked into the main character of the story almost instantly. I needed to know why Michael was being abandoned, by a father who seemed to love him, yet more so, I wanted to know how being abandoned so early in life would affect him in the future.  Although it took me a while to really get into the overall story, I was totally invested in the main character from the start. Hurwitz definitely fulfilled my requirements of a good thriller, in those first moments. The premise, characters and mystery was presented even before the main arch of the story began. Yet, You’re Next is more than just a satisfying thriller, it’s a truly unique look how far someone will go to protect their family. OK, yes, this seems like a typical thriller trope, but here, it’s anything but typical. Hurwitz does a great job using Michael’s rough past and tough upbringing to guide his actions against a seemingly unstoppable foe. I love that Hurwitz explores familial bonds beyond the normal, allowing Michael to not just be a father and husband looking to save his family, but also part of a "stronger than brother" pact with his foster brother Shep. You’re Next is a taunt, well paced thriller which is not just full of harrowing action and surprising twists, but some truly heart breaking emotional moments. I enjoyed You’re next so much, don’t be surprised if I start binging of Gregg Hurwitz titles in the near future.

If you are an audiobook fan, more than likely you have listened to a title narrated by Scott Brick. Brick is a solid professional who handles everything from Thrillers, to Science Fiction to High Fantasy well. Brick’s reads You’re Next with his normal flair. Brick’s signature rhythm and vocal style adds depth to Hurwitz’s action scenes. I really enjoyed Brick’s reading of Shep, he captures the characters outward slowness while at the same time displaying his moments of profundity well. You’re Next has many truly emotionally devastating scenes, and Brick never tries to force them on you, allowing Hurwitz’s words to do what they are meant to. You’re Next, with its focus on family and its fascinating characters offers much to thriller fans of all types. While initially a summer read, it’s themes also work well during the Holiday season, and, would definitely make a wonderful gift for those thriller fans in your family. 

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