Valyruh’s #CBR4 Review #90: The Survivor by Gregg Hurwitz
This book by Hurwitz is the heart-breaking –and heart-pounding– story of a former soldier whose severe case of post-traumatic stress leads to the disintegration of his marriage and of his relationship to his beloved daughter. On top of that, he is diagnosed with ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and realizes that he would rather kill himself now than force his alienated family to have to deal with his deteriorating and doomed condition. But things go awry, and while standing on the 11th floor ledge of a bank building preparing to jump, he hears gunshots inside and watches horrified as 6 gunmen begin to indiscriminately kill guards, tellers and clients while savaging the bank deposit boxes in the open bank vault. His soldier’s training kicks in and that, along with his suicidal frame of mind, enables him to face down unbeatable odds and miraculously take down five of the six masked gunmen before being stabbed by the last fleeing gunman. Although he is a hero to the city, the cop who takes his statement senses that Nate isn’t telling the whole truth about why he just “happened” on the robbery, and begins to watch Nate.
Nate goes home to try another suicide attempt, but is delivered a message instead by the boss behind the foiled bank heist, a terrifying Ukranian gangleader who threatens the torture and murder of Nate’s daughter unless Nate recovers the item in the bank’s vault deposit boxes that the robbery was intended to retrieve. Nate has five days to get the item to the terrorist … or else. A cat-and-mouse game ensues as Gregg has to not only retrieve the object but then keep it from the terrorist without getting the police involved. His wife and daughter, about to acquire a new husband and father, at first want nothing to do with Nate’s trouble, but slowly are drawn, then entangled, then fleeing, from “Nate’s mess.”
The end is as stunning as it is inevitable, and Hurwitz’s ability to convey Nate’s desperation, and the strength he derives from that desperation, is truly awesome. An exciting read