Monday, September 8, 2014

Don't Look Back - Gregg Hurwitz

It's no secret that I love to read thrillers. When asked for recommendations at the library, I offer up Linwood Barclay, Harlan Coben and Gregg Hurwitz as really good authors in this genre.

Hurwitz's latest book, Don't Look Back, uses a premise that I never tire of - an everyday person put into an untenable situation with everything on the line. Fun escapist reading, akin to watching action movies.

After a divorce, Eve decides to follow through with a planned trip to a wilderness escape in Mexico, despite the fact that she'll now be travelling alone. When she wanders off the path on one of the first outings, she comes across a frightening looking man practicing throwing machetes at a human target. She quickly ducks down and finds a broken camera on the ground. She grabs it and quickly runs away. But when she looks at the photos, she sees disturbing images of this same man. She also discovers that the owner of the camera is a former guest of the resort - now gone missing.

All the right ingredients are here for a thrilling read - a very scary guy with his own agenda who you won't see coming,  a tropical storm that knocks the power out and along with it any outside communications. Throw in that everyday woman with a young son back in the States and you've got a great David and Goliath match. Welcome to the jungle....

Eve is a well drawn protagonist, not overly capable in the beginning, but growing into her untapped strengths as the danger grows. There's a mixed cast of supporting characters, but much like those scary suspense films, not all of them make it 'til the end.

Hurwitz's choice of setting was well described and offered up lots of additional danger via the jungle and the wildlife. The swarm ants make my skin crawl.....

As for the antagonist, his agenda is an oft used one lately, but it's still very effective at engaging and enraging the reader. And will have readers frantically urging Eve on. Although I did find myself skimming over some of his diatribes.

Hurwitz has crafted a page turning thriller that you'll end up devouring in no time flat. Don't Look Back went to the beach with me one day and was almost done by the time I headed home. The action is non-stop and the tension ratchets up and up with every page turned. Over the top? Yes, in parts it is, but go with it, it's a heck of a good escapist piece of fiction. Think scary movie at the drive in.

Read an excerpt of Don't Look Back. You can find Gregg Hurwitz on Facebook and on Twitter.

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