Monday, June 25, 2012
Book Review - "What Comes Next" by John Katzenbach
Jennifer Riggins is a sixteen-year-old student who hates her life. At least she thinks she does. She plans to run away, though exactly how and where to are a little fuzzy. As she's on her way to the bus stop, she's snatched by a couple in a white van.
Adrian Thomas is a retired psychology professor who's just received the news that he has a disease worse than Alzheimer's because the decline in mental ability is so much faster. He's pulled into his driveway and is still in his car when he sees Jennifer and the white van. He doesn't actually see her get grabbed, but when she's not there after the van leaves he fears the worst.
Terri Collins is a police officer who's dealt with Jennifer and her family before on the teen's previous attempts to run away, so she gets the call when the girl disappears again. Collins has very few clues to work with, but she does her best.
Jennifer's fate has been appearing online in a series of live webcasts. Viewers from around the world, with varying degrees of perverseness, log on to see what she is doing, what's being done to her, and what will ultimately happen. Can Adrian and Terri find her before it's too late?
This is definitely a novel of suspense, and from a master of the genre according to the review blurbs on the back cover. The premise sounded interesting to me so I picked up the book, but I'm not sure I want to read John Katzenbach's other books if they are as dark as this one. It's a page-turner, yes, but it delves into areas of the mind that I prefer not to explore too often. I recommend it for those who like their suspense on the seedy side. It's not overly graphic or violent, but it does mess with your mind in ways that might keep you up at night.