From the eleventh storey of a Los Angeles high-rise, Nate looks out on the city – the traffic, the trees, the beach beyond. He breathes deeply. And then he moves one foot off the ledge and into thin air.
But before he can jump, gunshots ring out from within the building.
A robbery is in progress. And Nate, with nothing to lose but the life he was about to give up, decides to intervene.
What happens next plunges Nate into mortal danger . . . and reunites him with the family he hasn’t known for years – a family he will do anything to protect.
Just for one second forget that this is an action book. Forget it’s a thrill a minute high octane romp for survival and or revenge. Forget that this is one man against countless Ukrainian’s who enjoy nothing more than inflicting damage – and I mean serious damage – on people and a boss determined to hold those accountable for a crime that was out of his control – initially. This book for me was all that and more but the overriding emotion I took from the book was thanks to the wonderful narrative looking at ALS also known as Lou Gehrig’s. Breathtakingly sensitive and poignant in parts – not the sort of emotion I thought I’d come away with – brutal and energetic in others.
Although I’d heard of Lou Gehrig’s I had no knowledge of the cause, its symptoms or the side effects of an incredibly debilitating illness. For those not familiar with the disease it might be worth reading up on it when you get the opportunity, I actually found myself – on numerous occasions – putting the book down and reading more about ALS and the New York Yankee legend Lou Gehrig just to feel a closer affinity with the leading character. Of course this isn’t at all necessary but it certainly adds another dimension to the story. Totally unexpected and to coin a phrase from baseball this part of the book came right at me from left field but what it does do, and Hurwitz is a champion at this, is that it adds a whole new level and the sympathetic way he treats the disease is just right.
The balance between action/thriller and the treatment of Lou Gehrig’s is incredible and just reading how it was affecting not only Nate but his immediate family and friends was touching to say the least and on more than one occasion I had a lump in my throat as I turned the pages. There’s a scene in the hospital around Halloween that simply took my breath away, it may not for you, but I was emotionally invested by this point and the narrative consumed me! It’s not hard to be taken in by the story, the book reads like a film script and as you would expect from this genre it moves at a frenetic pace.
Nate is one of those characters you have an affinity with from the very beginning. A cross between Bruce Willis and Mel Gibson, you’re immediately drawn to his actions and you find yourself shouting for the underdog. We all love and underdog don’t we? With our protagonist about to leap to his death from the window ledge on the 11th floor he hears gun shots. Pausing, he notices that a robbery is in progress but what happens next I’ll leave you to discover. I just wonder how many of us would do the very same – but then again Nate has nothing to live for – right?
The Survivor is a real page turner and weighing in at just under 500 pages it’s a terrific summer read and well worth its weight in gold.
An ever evolving plot The Survivor is written for character such as Nate Overbay. Struggling to come to terms with events from his past and his illness he finds he has something to live for after all purely by accident and happenstance. One event leads to another and for me it wasn’t so much about what happens at the conclusion but the journey we – as readers – take with Nate throughout the book.
Excellent and very enjoyable read.
· Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Sphere (12 April 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0751545406
- ISBN-13: 978-0751545401
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