by Gregg Hurwitz
New York Times & USA Today Bestseller
“A strong Hitchcock vibe… Hurwitz has the smarts and the writing chops to earn his suspense in a way that lesser writers simply can’t….[he] has firmly established himself as one of the top writers in the suspense genre. He can be counted on to consistently deliver enough thrills to satisfy even the most demanding readers.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
All Patrick Davis ever wanted to do was make movies. But after he got his big break and sold his first screenplay, his life collapsed. His Hollywood dreams crumble almost immediately, sending him back to his dreary day job, and also he finds his storybook marriage on the rocks.
Then, ominous DVDs start being delivered to him. DVDs which show that someone is watching him and his wife, that the two of them are being stalked and recorded by cameras hidden around and within their house. Next the e-mails start, and someone offers to fix everything, to take the mess his life has become and make it all right. Patrick figures it’s the offer of a lifetime.
But Patrick couldn’t be more wrong. With every step he is deeper and deeper into a web of intrigue that threatens everything he still has and values in this world. Before he knows it, he’s in and in deep – and the only way out is to outwit and outplay his unseen opponents at their own game.
Navigating a hairpin turn, I gripped the steering wheel hard and did my best not to slide in the driver’s seat. If the butcher knife tucked beneath the back of my thigh shifted, it would open up my leg. The blade was angled in, the handle sticking out toward the console, within easy reach. The acrid smell of burning rubber leaked in through the dashboard vents. I resisted the urge to flatten the gas pedal again; I couldn’t risk getting pulled over, not given the deadline.
I flew up the narrow street, my hands slick on the wheel, my heart pumping so much fear and adrenaline through me that I couldn’t catch my breath. I checked the clock, checked the road, checked the clock again. When I was only a few blocks away, I pulled the car to the curb, tires screeching. I shoved open my door just in time. As I retched into the gutter, a gardener watched me from behind a throttling lawnmower, his face unreadable.
I rocked back into place, wiped my mouth, and continued more slowly up the steep grade. I turned down the service road as directed, and within seconds the stone wall came into sight, then the iron gates that matched the familiar ones in front. I hopped out and punched in the code. The gates shuddered and sucked inward. Hemmed in by jacaranda, the paved drive led straight back along the rear of the property. At last the guest quarters came into view. White stucco walls, low-pitched clay-tile roof, elevated porch—the guesthouse was bigger than most regular houses on our street.
I pulled up beside the cactus planter at the base of the stairs, tight to the building. Setting my hands on the steering wheel, I did my best to breathe. There were no signs of life. Way across the property, barely visible through a netting of branches, the main house sat dark and silent. Sweat stung my eyes. The stairs just outside the driver’s side window were steep enough that I couldn’t see up onto the porch. I couldn’t see much of anything but the risers. I supposed that was the point.
I waited. And listened.
Finally I heard the creak of a door opening above. A footstep. Then another. Then a man’s boot set down on the uppermost step in my range of vision. The right foot followed. His knees came visible, then his thighs, then waist. He was wearing scuffed worker jeans, a nondescript black belt, maybe a gray T-shirt.
I slid my right hand down to the hilt of the butcher knife and squeezed it so hard that my palm tingled. Warmth leaked into my mouth; I’d bitten my cheek.
He stopped on the bottom step, a foot from my window, the line of my car roof severing him at the midsection. I wanted to duck down so I could see his face, but I’d been warned not to. He was too close anyway.
His knuckle rose, tapped the glass once.
I pushed the button with my left hand. The window started to whir down. The knife blade felt cool hidden beneath my thigh. I picked out a spot on his chest, just below his ribs. But first I had to find out what I needed to know.
His other hand came swiftly into view and popped something fist-sized in through the open gap of the still-lowering window. Hitting my lap, it was surprisingly heavy.
I looked down.
A hand grenade.
I choked on my breath. I reached to grab it.
Before my splayed fingers could get there, it detonated.
Awards & Accolades
New York Times Bestseller
USA Today Bestseller
Instant International Bestseller
Bestseller UK, Ireland
Finalist for a Romantic Times Book Award for Best Suspense/Thriller
Crimespree Magazine Best of 2010
Shortlisted for RUSA Adrenaline Award 2010
Texas Library Association’s Lariat List – Best of 2010
“Always a master of the gripping setup, Hurwitz outdoes himself in this ultra-suspenseful thriller….Hurwitz sure-handedly leads everyone…through this tale of mystery and murder, serving up one shocking surprise after another…A rousing conclusion ties up all the intriguing threads.”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (STARRED REVIEW)
“Invasion of privacy reaches sinister new levels in thriller maestro Hurwitz’s latest….With cinematic pacing and strong echoes of countless other twisty suspenses, this one is a natural for the big screen.”
“Wow. That single word sums up this outstanding thriller…You won’t be able to stop reading…Don’t miss this one.”
“A strong Hitchcock vibe… Hurwitz has the smarts and the writing chops to earn his suspense in a way that lesser writers simply can’t….[he] has firmly established himself as one of the top writers in the suspense genre. He can be counted on to consistently deliver enough thrills to satisfy even the most demanding readers.”
“Scary fun, handled with skill by veteran Hurwitz.”
LIBRARY JOURNAL (STARRED REVIEW)
“This is a very well constructed thriller, full of twists and turns and unexpected revelations. Hurwitz frequently sets us up to expect one thing but delivers something entirely different. He keeps us constantly on our toes, and—this is especially good—he keeps us guessing right until the very last pages about exactly who has targeted Patrick and why. Highly recommended, especially for fans of Dean Koontz, Linwood Barclay, and Harlan Coben.”
BOOKLIST (STARRED REVIEW)
“Simply put, Gregg Hurwitz is one of my favorite writers. And THEY’RE WATCHING is the perfect example why. Riveting, emotionally rich, original, and beautifully written, this book kept me up too late reading, had me sneaking in pages the next day. As a writer, sometimes it’s easy to forget that you were a reader first. THEY’RE WATCHING reminded me what it’s like to be in the thrall of a great story: helpless until the end, loving every minute of it.”
“Buckle up and get ready for a wild ride! From the anxiety-inducing first page to the nerve-wracking last, THEY’RE WATCHING will keep you riveted as one man fights for his family, his career and his very life.”
“THEY’RE WATCHING is a thrilling novel, dripping with mystery, suspense, violence, and even a little romance. It contains all the ingredients for a bestseller.”
THE NEW YORK JOURNAL OF BOOKS
“You’ll be gripped by this terrific read from page one.”
“This is one of those can’t put it down novels; a thriller that moves so fast that it leaves you gasping for breath, with a hero Raymond Chandler would approve of and dialogue to make you laugh out loud if you weren’t so frightened. Aficionados already know how good Hurwitz is; this is his third thriller, but for my money it’s his breakthrough book.”
THE DAILY MAIL
“Superb, spine-tingling. THEY’RE WATCHING is one of those compulsive thrillers that grabs from the first page … be prepared for an all-night sitting!”
LANCASTER EVENING POST
“Gregg Hurwitz’s new thriller doesn’t let up. THEY’RE WATCHING is intricate, thought-provoking and breathlessly paced. Few crime writers keep momentum hurtling forward without sacrificing character and plausibility as he does. He just may be the most original new talent around.”
“…turns with equal skill and mastery down the nightmarish road paved by Harlan Coben, though with a Hollywood twist….riveting in all respects.”
THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL
“A contemporary thriller writer of the highest order.”
“It just may be impossible to consider that there is a more riveting, exciting thriller on this summer’s reading list than Gregg Hurwitz’s THEY’RE WATCHING….Combining a solid story with cultural literacy, Hurwitz has produced a book that absorbs from start to finish. In fact, I was so engaged by it that I actually got up three hours early to continue reading it after a late-night start.”
“Hurwitz hooked me with style, reached out and grabbed my attention, and made me think I could easily figure out everything that was going on. Man, I was wrong. Again and again, I was wrong, wrong, and wrong. Every time I thought I had a handle on who was doing what to whom, the ground beneath me shifted and I had a whole new view of the horizon…THEY’RE WATCHING may be the most intricately plotted Hurwitz novel ever, and Patrick Davis one of his most compelling characters…a Hitchcockian movie experience trapped between book covers.”
“Another tour de force in [Hurwitz’s] latest plot-twisting, prediction-defying achievement that will repeatedly provoke conjecture, only to leave you blindsided by the author’s brilliant machinations….range of brilliance, thrill, and emotion.”