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Review: The Prophet by Michael Koryta

31 Aug

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary via Goodreads.com:

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.

I can’t help coming out of reading this thinking it was a nice book.

That’s a truly strange word to describe a creepy book with an insane killer on the loose.

But for me, the strength of the book was in its portrayal of small town life, and in two interesting characters with the Austin brothers. It’s the story of how their lives were affected by the death of their sister many years ago, and a look of the role of football in the development of two generations of young men.

And then there is the murderer on the loose.

The two lead characters were fantastic for me,   Bit by bit, I saw who they were, and how the past had gotten them there.  In many ways, the long past murder of their sister was the core and driving influence on the book, more so than the more recent murder by the title character.  That one gives a reason to dig deep into the past, to explore how they react to another loss, one with more than the obvious echos.

It isn’t that this is a bad mystery. If you removed half of the character stuff, you’d still have a decent book left. Nothing spectacular, but a solid entry in the field. I really wouldn’t suggest doing that, though.

Just think of this as getting two books in one.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 31, 2012 in books, reviews

 

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One response to “Review: The Prophet by Michael Koryta

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