Nick Corrigan is just an ordinary bloke. Recently moved back to his home town and working with the homeless, he has just began to feel settled after seventeen years of running. He no longer wakes at 2:18 every morning, from the memories of his past. That is until a Swat team literally crash into his apartment one night.
Within a few minutes Nick is being whisked away on a black hawk helicopter to divert a disaster, a terrorist has barricaded himself in a nuclear power plant. But why is he demanding to speak to Nick?
It soon becomes clear that these events are connected to the past and the death of Nicks hero, his step father Frank. Suddenly life is spiraling out of control, Franks old employers, the secret service, are breathing down his neck, the President and his nearest rival are both eager to speak with him, someone is secretly photographing his every move and his estranged mother isn't coping too well with the reunion.
Apart from an ex girlfriend and a homeless drunk Nick doesn't know who to trust and after seventeen years looking over his shoulder he is understandably paranoid. Will he run again?
Nick is an easy character to like. Not knowing the full story, or even the basic concept really, I was already championing Nick within the first few pages, not an easy task for any author, it usually takes me at least a couple of chapters to 'get to know' my leading man, let alone like them, so hats off to Hurwitz for that. Although my knowledge and understanding of Nick changed through out the growing story line, my peception of him didn't. We learnt a great deal about him within the first few chapters, although he has endured a tough life at a young age he is still built as a honest but slightly confused character who is trying to make the best of things and I was still endeared to him until the end.
I really enjoyed the fast paced, action packed beginning of the book and it quickly had me hooked. I also liked learning about Nicks history and the explanation of the lead up to Nicks current life. When I realised the storyline was leading into political territories, I did begin to lose interest as it just isn't my thing but my relationship with Nick had begun to take effect by then, I cared about the guy and wanted to know how things were going to pan out. Thankfully, the thread was centred more around the politicians private lives than boring, drawn out explanations of their policies.
To be honest there were quite a few occasions where I though 'oh come on!', these moments are adequately explained away, but as in most books of this genre, the answers and evidence are found a bit too easily by rank amateurs. I also found a bit of an inconsistency in Nicks character, for some one so jumpy most of the time, (he wakes up at the same time - 2:18 every morning in a panicky sweat because of his past) you do feel he is maybe a little too calm and level headed in some incredible situations. These moments don't detract too much from the story, when reading books of this type it helps to let your imagination stretch a little!
The plot moved along nicely, I never found it difficult to follow and it changed direction a few times which kept my interest piqued. There was a little twist three quarters in which I didn't see coming and I will confess to having a tear in my eye! The actual ending I had worked out, but liked the way it was delivered so I wasn't overly disappointed.
All in all a well written and easy to read book. It doesn't keep you on the edge of your seat the whole way through and it's not going to test your intellect, but with a likeable hero and an interesting storyline I definitely recommend it as an entertaining read.
I bought my copy from my local Co-op for £1.99.
We Know who you are...
We Know where you live...
We Know what you've done...
Those words above form the basis for this action packed thriller by Gregg Hurwtiz as we are introduced to Nick Horrigan - an ordinary guy living in L.A.
Thinking he has his life back on track after some traumatic years which began when he was eighteen, Nick has put the past behind him and has been more or less content with his life working for a charity which helps the homeless.
Following seventeen years of nightmares and a tendency to wake at exactly 2.18am every night, Nick has recently began sleeping right through the night at last and believes that finally the bad times are behind him.
That is until one night, Nick wakes at 2.18am once again and seconds later a SWAT team are descending onto his balcony from a Black Hawk helicopter. Breaking into his apartment, they tell Nick that a terrorist has penetrated a nuclear power station and has demanded to speak to Nick or he will blow it up.
Nick has no choice other than to accompany the SWAT team and is whisked away to the power plant in the middle of the night via the helicopter, where Nick begins to learn that although he has put the past behind him, there are clearly some people who have not. They know what he did and they are going to make him pay...
'We Know' is the third book I have read by Gregg Hurwitz and having enjoyed the previous two, I hoped I was in for another good read.
My favourite author is Harlan Coben and the fact he endorses this author's work as "pure nail-biting, stay-up-all-night suspense" was enough to get me interested and I haven't been disappointed.
The action starts on the very first page and I was quickly drawn into this thriller, which is exactly what I enjoy when starting to read a book.
You are thrown into the story as Nick is taken away by the SWAT team to a nuclear power plant and placed in a potentially life threatening situation.
The story begins to unfold from this point and the reader is taken back to events in Nick's life which shed some light on why Nick is in the situation he now finds himself in. Although the chapters looking back at Nick growing up with his mum Callie and stepfather Frank take you away from the action, it does make for very interesting reading and I found myself as hooked on reading about Nick's past as I did reading about the present. The story flows well and it doesn't feel as if you are being jerked about from past to present, as it helps the reader to piece together how events in Nick's past are now threatening his future.
Nick's stepfather Frank Durant was a Vietnam veteran who later had a job with the Secret Service, protecting the presidential candidates. Because of this, Frank was very security conscious in his own home which at times seemed to be bordering on paranoia. But did Frank have good reason to be this way?
Frank is a hero to young Nick back then and it is only when many years later when the SWAT team come for Nick, he begins to realise that he must seek some answers from his past in order to be finally free of it.
Nick finds himself unearthing some secrets which involve the president and secret service which makes everything become clearer and helps him to make sense of things. But is it all too late?
Hurwitz's character development is one of the strengths of the book. Nick is just an ordinary 'nice' guy and the author's description of his younger years with his mum and Frank are well written. Nick's relationship in his teenage years with Frank I found quite touching as the author manages to describe a bond of mutual respect between the two without making it seem soppy or weak.
There are also some interesting characters we meet along the way, such as 'Homer' the drunken homeless guy who Nick has met through his work, as well as the likeable warm characters such as Nick's mum and ex-girlfriend, Induma.
The chemistry between Nick and Induma was strong, but not irritating in anyway as these things can often be if the author goes over the top. Indeed Hurwitz gets the balance right throughout the book to ensure it makes for a compelling read in all aspects.
Although some of the story seems a little far fetched, it held my interest throughout and there were one or two twists towards the end which I particularly enjoyed. There are no lengthy character or place descriptions in this book, nor does the author bore you with descriptions of products and procedures. Hurwitz has written a tense action packed thriller, including exactly what the reader needs to know to enjoy and make sense of the story without long or needless descriptions. At no time did I find myself skimming paragraphs.
If I had any gripes with this book they are minor ones relating to the unrealistic aspects of it. I found towards the final third of the book I was thinking that Nick hardly ever seemed to eat or sleep. Although the action is almost non-stop, the days and nights are passing by yet Nick does not seem to need to eat or rest. This is only a minor gripe though and didn't spoil the book, it was just one of those things I noticed which made it seem a little unrealistic.
Overall, this is a decent well written thriller which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
If you enjoy reading thrillers by authors such as Harlen Coben or Simon Kernick as I do, then I can recommend you try Gregg Hurwitz.
I know I enjoyed 'We Know'.
(This is my first proper book review, I love reading but I'm not so good at reviewing them so any advice is appreciated!)
I read Gregg Hurwitz's I See You back in 2007 and I enjoyed it, so when I saw his new book, We Know, I had to buy it.
**About the Author**
Gregg Hurwitz is an international best selling author of several books, who now lives in LA. He completed a BA from Harvard and a Master's from Trinity College, during which he wrote his first novel. He has been shortlisted for best novel of the year by International Thriller Writers and nominated for the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger.
The book starts off brilliantly. I love a book that starts really well, as you are immediately hooked. If books start off slow then it tends to become a struggle to get to the good parts.
The book starts off with Nick Horrigan at his apartment in Los Angeles. He wakes up around 2:00am, as he does nearly every night, and he notices a rope hanging down onto his balcony. Before he knows it a SWAT team has smashed the door down into his apartment and burst in from the balcony and are tearing the place apart as he get's shoved to the floor. After some questions he's dragged outside, still in his pyjamas into a waiting helicopter. He is told a terrorist has taken over a nuclear power plant and will blow it up unless he can speak to Nick.
As the story unfolds Nick discovers a dangerous secret involving the presidential race, and he's on the run from the Secret Service.
Whilst this storyline is rather far fetched, it is very addicting. The explosive start to this book keeps you hooked and you keep reading. Admittely the storyline does get a bit far fetched but Nick Horrigan is a likeable character, a 'normal man' constantly outwitting the secret service and some very shady character's! He's a very paranoid man who is suspicious of everything, just like his Step-Father, a presidential candidate's body guard, Frank Durant.
The book goes back in time to past events and flips to the current, and you learn more of past events from him as a young adult, and as the story unfolds you can begin to piece things together. For example how he ended up having a distant relationship with his mother, and in the future how they're trying to rebuild that relationship. I enjoyed reading the events from the past and the book didn't drag at any part, nor did I struggle to read any of it.
During the book we meet an ex-girlfriend and learn that he still has feelings for her, which he tries to hide, as she is with another man now. The two remain good friends but sometimes I did just want them to get together, they seem really good together but of course there's a back story to their relationship. Throughout the book the tension between the two makes you want them to get back together, but all's not well that ends well, so to speak.
This is a nice fast paced thriller, with something new happening with each chapter, however not so fast that you don't get to know and understand the characters.
The ending was a surprise, a nice big twist to this rollercoaster ride of a book. If you like your thrillers, believeable or not, then you will certainly enjoy this one.
Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Sphere (21 Aug 2008)
Available at Amazon for £5.59.