Retired psychology professor Adrian Thomas has spent a lifetime delving into other people's disturbed minds. Now he's been diagnosed with degenerative dementia, and all his thoughts are of ending his own life while he still can. But his clouded mind clears when he witnesses a kidnapping: a teenage girl, snatched off the street and bundled into a ...
Retired psychology professor Adrian Thomas has spent a lifetime delving into other people's disturbed minds. Now he's been diagnosed with degenerative dementia, and all his thoughts are of ending his own life while he still can. But his clouded mind clears when he witnesses a kidnapping: a teenage girl, snatched off the street and bundled into a white van. The police dismiss him as a confused old man. But Adrian knows what he saw. And he knows he might be this young girl's only hope for rescue. His search will lead him into the chilling world of online pornography, and the elite community who subscribe to the website What Comes Next. A website where the viewers decide what happens to their on-screen hostage. A website that is about to feature a new star: a frightened teenage girl known only as Victim Number Four...
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Publishers Weekly, 2012-03-26 Set in a small western Massachusetts college town, bestseller Katzenbach's impressively powerful and emotional thriller delves into dementia, teenage angst, and Internet voyeurism. After receiving a diagnosis of degenerative dementia, a slow but sure death sentence, Adrian Thomas, a retired professor alone in the world who has "spent much of his academic life studying fear," decides to go home and shoot himself, but fate intervenes. When Adrian pulls into his driveway, he witnesses a man and a woman in an unmarked van kidnap 16-year-old Jennifer Riggins, who's running away from home. The couple have seized Jennifer to star in Whatcomesnext.com, a Web site where viewers watch the girl's torture in real time. Despite his failing mind, Adrian is able to use the psychological insights he gleaned as a professor to hunt for Jennifer. The tense plot smoothly shifts between Adrian, who teams with a skeptical, compassionate detective, and the captive girl. Katzenbach (The Wrong Man) avoids the cliches of dementia, while deftly showing the inner resolve that Adrian and Jennifer each discover in themselves. Agent: Moses Cardona, John Hawkins & Associates. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2012-07-30 Katzenbach's latest thriller charts the efforts of retired college professor Adrian Thomas to solve a kidnapping he witnessed on the usually peaceful streets of his picturesque New England town. His journey leads him into a sinister world of unspeakable sexual exploitation, available for viewing via the Internet with just a few clicks of a mouse. William Roberts turns in an effective, nuanced performance in this audio edition. His evocative reading captures the horror of the dark basement in which Jennifer Riggins finds herself held hostage, and his rendition of Jennifer's inner monologue is sincere and touching. Roberts also successfully navigates a potential minefield in his balanced portrayal of the convicted sex offender who uses his unsavory experiences and desires to help Adrian work the case and attempt to free Jennifer. And while Roberts occasionally fails to distinguish the book's male characters during sections of dialogue, this is a minor flaw in an otherwise entertaining listen. A Mysterious Press hardcover. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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