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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Michael Koryta's "The Prophet" is a stunner!


Summary:  Adam Austin hasn't spoken to his brother in years. When they were teenagers, their sister was abducted and murdered, and their devastated family never recovered. Now Adam keeps to himself, scraping by as a bail bondsman, working so close to the town's criminal fringes that he sometimes seems a part of them.


Kent Austin is the beloved coach of the local high school football team, a religious man and hero in the community. After years of near misses, Kent's team has a shot at the state championship, a welcome point of pride in a town that has had its share of hardships.

Just before playoffs begin, the town and the team are thrown into shock when horrifically, impossibly, another teenage girl is found murdered. When details emerge that connect the crime to the Austin brothers, the two are forced to unite to stop a killer-and to confront their buried rage and grief before history repeats itself again.
Michael Koryta, long hailed as one of the best young thriller writers at work today, has written his greatest novel ever-an emotionally harrowing, unstoppably suspenseful novel that proves why Michael Connelly has named him "one of the best of the best."


Particulars of the Book:
Publisher:  Little, Brown & Co.
Pages:  432
Available on Barnes & Noble
See more about author Michael Koryta here:  http://www.michaelkoryta.com


Author Profile :

Michael Koryta (pronounced ko-ree-ta) is the author of many novels, some of which have won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Great Lake Books Award, and St. Martin's Press/PWA Best First Novel prize, while also earning nominations for the Edgar, Quill, Shamus and Barry awards. In addition to winning the Los Angeles Times prize for best mystery, his novel Envy the Night was selected as a Reader's Digest condensed book. His work has been translated into nearly twenty languages. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, Koryta graduated from Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice. He currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Bloomington, Indiana.


The Dame's Review :

I'm a tainted reviewer on this one, have to tell you right up front.  Michael Koryta is my latest favorite writer in this suspense thriller genre along with the likes of Dennis Lehane, William Landy, and  Jeffrey Deaver. 

There are many good writers who can tap into the genre, but there are few masters.  Michael Koryta is a master of it.  His work is complex and psychologically blistering!  It's pure joy to read.  He's so far above the average writer we nearly need to create his own category.  This is a thriller you won't expect, you won't see the outcome ahead, and you'll love the trip through the mineshaft to discover it.

The psychological characterizations of two distinctly different brothers who are torn by their own reactions to their only sister's horrific murder when they were all teenagers, is genius.  Koryta develops both of his characters in depth.  Adam, the bail bondsman who stepped from the gridiron as a rough, hard-hitting giant/hero when his sister was killed, continues to embrace his gladiator actions and attitudes.  While Kent took refuge in the coaching side of football, the thinking man's side; embracing the spiritual and the mind-over-matter concepts while directing those who would use their hearts and bodies to win the game.  Koryta employs both these men and their persona's to catch a killer who seems to "copycat" the kidnapping and murder of their sister in the new death of one of the coach's football hero's girlfriends.

The psychology of the killer is also creative and engrossing.  Koryta's development of a sociopath/psychopath is methodical and fearsome.  It's not until the last pages of the book that I finally put together all of the meanings of "The Prophet."

While I was initially yawning about football "plays," because I'm not a fan of the technical per se, I could see that they were necessary to understanding why the Coach and the Gladiator were making their choices in approaches toward the killer of the girl.  Once I got hold of that fact, the football aspects seemed to flow well for me. 

"The Prophet" ultimately, is not just a book about a serial killer or a psychopath, but it is the astute study of a family torn apart and changed by the actions of one.  It's the story of the ultimate sacrifices made by that family; the psychological tortures they endure and how it shapes their lives, and the outcomes of that.  It's also the story of every person's fantasy..."What would happen if a family member of a tortured and murdered child got to stalk and kill the murderer?"

This is a book you won't forget, and one you'll be recommending to everyone.  Men and women alike will love the book.  It's already on my Christmas list for my family.

5 perfect stars!          Go out and get it for the weekend!!

Deborah/TheBookishDame



2 comments:

bermudaonion

A thriller with football sounds practically perfect to me!

Christine Beall

The part of being a thriller got my attention. I like a good suspense and scare in my books makes them interesting to read

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