What Comes Nextby John Katzenbach
“Katzenbach’s wonderful, tense narrative flows effortlessly, drawing you deeper and deeper into a chilling atmosphere of evil, darkness, and shadows.” —The Miami Herald
A retired professor is diagnosed with a rare degenerative disease that will lead him to lose his memory and die within a few years. On his way home from the doctor’s office, he witnesses a young girl being kidnapped right off the street. As the police drag their heels, he realizes that if he doesn’t act the girl may never be found alive. The kidnapped girl is being held prisoner by a sadistic couple who run a Web site—”What Comes Next”—where viewers can watch, in real time, the horrors inflicted on their victims. She’s at the mercy of her kidnappers, with thousands tuning in for every episode of her ongoing nightmare.
What Comes Next is a bold and timely thriller about what lurks within the depths of society’s most depraved minds, and how a girl at the beginning of her life must depend on a man nearing the end of his own to save her.
“Powerful . . . a fiendish story told with Katzenbach’s usual skill and professionalism. . . . This is an exceptional novel–and a most troubling one.” —Washington Post
“Katzenbach reinvents the formula several times over in this absolutely gripping novel.” —Booklist (starred review)
“I raced through this book. . . . I read a ton of novels in this genre and thought I had the ending figured out within the first fourth of the book or so. Wrong. Even if you are a better guesser than I am, you will be entranced with What Comes Next. Don’t miss it.” —BookReporter
“Reading What Comes Next is an experience akin to riding the scariest roller coaster ride: You gulp with the rush of both trepidation and excitement—and you sigh with relief when it’s over.” —New York Journal of Books
“Katzenbach has crafted a suspenseful cat-and-mouse thriller, a perfect literary mash-up of The Truman Show and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Already an international best seller, this will be widely popular with psychological thriller devotees.” —Library Journal
One of Booklist‘s 101 Best Crime Novels of the Past Decade
He played it all out again, this time jotting down a few details on a blank page.
The girl . . . she was looking straight ahead and he didn’t think she had even seen him when he drove past her. She was in the midst of something. That he could tell, just from the direction of her eyes and the pace of her walk. She had a plan—and it was shutting out everything else.
The woman and the man . . . he had pulled into his driveway before the white van approached, he was sure of it. Did they see him in his car? No. Unlikely.
The brief hesitation . . . they had seemed to shadow the girl, even if just for a few feet. He was sure of that. It was like they were sizing her up. What must have happened then? Did they talk? Was she invited into the van? Maybe they knew each other and this was just the friendly offer of a ride. Nothing more. Nothing less.
No. They departed far too rapidly.
What did he see as they went around the corner? A Massachusetts license plate: QE2D . . .
He tried to recall the other two digits, but could not. He wrote those down. But what he really remembered was the sharp sound of the van accelerating.
And then the hat that was left behind.