The Survivor Review
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It’s not especially difficult to find a book that will give you an adrenaline rush. In fact, the shelves of your favorite bookstore are loaded with perfectly good thrillers. But few will keep your heart racing while packing the emotional punch of author Gregg Hurwitz’s edge-of-your-seat thriller, The Survivor.

One morning, Nate Overbay writes a note and sets it in a noticeable place in his apartment. He goes to the bank, retreats into the bathroom, and steps out onto the eleventh-story ledge. Then, just as he’s about to jump, six masked men enter the bank and begin shooting.

A former soldier who’s suffering from ALS and battling demons from his past, Nate doesn’t see himself as a hero. Quite the contrary, in fact. But he doesn’t really have anything to lose—so he quietly climbs in through a window, grabs a discarded weapon, and manages to kill all but one of the bank robbers.

  
 
As the city’s media outlets begin clamoring for interviews, Nate’s act of heroism also attracts the attention of Pavlo Shevchenko, the Ukrainian crime boss behind the robbery. And if Nate doesn’t retrieve the item that the men were hired to steal, Pavlo will take the one thing that still matters to Nate: his family.

From the opening pages of The Survivor, you’ll realize that it isn’t the same old thriller—and Nate Overbay isn’t the same old hero. While many action-packed reads feature damaged heroes, rarely are they quite as damaged as Nate. Not only is he heartbroken by the loss of his family…not only is he guilt-stricken by events that took place during and after his time in the military…but he’s also suffering from an illness that is guaranteed to take his life—slowly and painfully. Nate truly believes that he has nothing more to lose—and although that gives him a kind of strength that he never thought imaginable, his discovery that he actually does have something left to lose makes him even stronger.

Still, there’s more to The Survivor than just one fascinating character. The story is also unexpected, with emotional twists and turns that you won’t see coming. In the beginning, Nate’s task seems pretty straightforward: just get what Shevchenko wants, and it’s all over. But just when you begin to wonder how Hurwitz could possibly drag the action out for nearly 400 pages, he throws a curveball that opens the story up into something bigger and more complicated than expected.

The pacing, meanwhile, has its ups and downs. At times, it’s so gripping that it’ll have you gasping to catch your breath. At other times, however, as Nate waits for the next move, it slows. But while the action feels a little drawn out toward the novel’s end, the suspense rarely lets up—and it’s made all the more thrilling by the touching twists that play out along the way.

If you’re just looking for an exhilarating thriller, The Survivor definitely fits the bill. But it’s more than just a few fast-paced chase scenes strung together. It’s a riveting read that will hold your attention—and your heart—from beginning to end.

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