One man infiltrates the dark web to stop a sadistic game: A Booklist 101 Best Crime Novels of the Past Decade, from the New York Times–bestselling author.
Adrian Thomas is a psychology professor whose career was spent delving into damaged minds. Diagnosed with a fatal degenerative disease that is causing hallucinations and stripping him of his memories, Adrian wants to end his life—until he sees a girl snatched off the street and dragged screaming into the back of a van. Dismissed as an unreliable witness, Adrian must act alone. He knows what he saw, but he has no idea how dark it’s going to get.
Out of the basement of their Massachusetts farmhouse, a sadistic husband and wife run a website called What Comes Next. A global audience of subscribers is tuning in to watch an ongoing nightmare inflicted in real time—and to cast their votes on the fate of the kidnappers’ latest catch. For victim Number Four, time is running out.
“An experience akin to riding the scariest roller coaster,” What Comes Next is a bold and timely thriller about what lurks within the depths of society’s most depraved minds (New York Journal of Books).
“Powerful . . . fiendish . . . This is an exceptional novel—and a most troubling one.” —The Washington Post
“Draw[s] you deeper and deeper into a chilling atmosphere of evil, darkness, and shadows.” —The Miami Herald
“[A] re-imagining of The Pit and the Pendulum for the digital age.” —Kirkus Reviews
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 clich s of dementia, while deftly showing the inner resolve that Adrian and Jennifer each discover in themselves.