Simply brilliant: My review of "The Prophet" by Michael Koryta @mjkoryta

The Prophet


about the book....



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. As details emerge that connect the crime to the Austin brothers, the two must confront their buried rage and grief-and unite to stop a killer.

Michael Koryta, widely hailed as one of the most exciting young thriller authors at work today, has written his greatest novel ever-an emotionally harrowing, unstoppably suspenseful novel that Donald Ray Pollock has called "one of the sharpest and superbly plotted crime novels I've read in my life."



my review...

The Prophet grabbed me from the first page with its break-neck pace and well-plotted suspense, and held me captive until the last page. Rarely do I experience those moments near the end of a story where the identity of the murderer is revealed and my jaw literally drops in shock as I think "no way!". But that is precisely what happened with The Prophet, a book that will not only entertain you, but will also leave you thinking about faith and forgiveness, loyalty and family. Koryta takes breathers in the story, moments where he draws you deeper into the character's lives until you can’t keep them off your mind. Brothers Adam and Kent are superbly developed characters, utterly human, prone to make mistakes as they are faced with ethical dilemmas like any of us, and desperate to experience those moments of forgiveness and acceptance that we all long for.  Kent especially is a character whose inner thoughts contain gems that I take away from the story, such as when he contemplates, "How much better would the world be if everyone operated under the lights and before the crowd, if they were not granted moments alone in the dark?" The story goes on to explore exactly what happens when both Kent and Adam retreat from that light and are faced with moments of darkness, and let me tell you that it is quite a ride!

A brilliant mix of superbly crafted suspense and profound moments hidden within the story, The Prophet wins a high recommendation from me. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of the publisher, Hachette Book Group (Little, Brown & Company), for the purposes of this unbiased review.

a side note....

One word of warning: As this book is not listed as Christian fiction, it does contain some foul language. I am personally not the type to be turned off by such a thing, finding it easy to skim over such words without them impacting me. However, if such language serves to distract or upset you, look for a different book.


about the author...

Michael Koryta Michael Koryta (pronounced ko–ree–ta) has written nine novels, praised by such authors as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane, and The Prophet was called "Friday Night Lights meets In Cold Blood...a flawless performance" by Kirkus. His last three novels, The Ridge, The Cypress House, and So Cold The River were all New York Times notable books and nominated for several national and international awards. In addition to winning the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, his novel Envy the Night was selected as a Reader's Digest condensed book. Koryta's work has been translated into more than 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.


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