Monday, August 27, 2012

The Prophet by Michael Koryta

The Prophet by Michael Koryta
Release Date – August 7, 2012
Publisher Website –  Little Brown and Company
Publisher Social Media -  Twitter
Pages -  416 pages
My Rating- 4/5
**obtained from publisher via BEA for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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.
 Faith, forgiveness, and redemption. How closely are they tied, and who should grant it? The Austin brothers are forced to examine themselves, and the death of their beloved sister when a high school student in their town is discovered murdered. This classic mystery is not filled with twist and turns but rather focuses on character development and a sound plot.

The writing in this taunt “whodunit”  keeps the reader on edge and fully invested in the characters. It could have skimped on character development in favour of the mystery but the author equally fleshes out both.  The emotional struggle each brother faces make the story more dynamic and made me care about the outcome much more. The characters are flawed, but even their negative choices are true to character. The author even made the football part of the story. A perfect backdrop to the main plot of two brothers trying to find their own way to forgive themselves for their perceived roles in events leading to not only their sister’s murder, but the recent crime as well.

The overall mystery is strung together with the idea of faith and if it can be broken. Faith not only in religion but faith in yourself. Adam and Kent each are tested in their own way. They are each dealing with the death of their sister in different ways. Kent has grieved, moved on and believes that there is no point in drudging it back up. Adam hasn’t dealt with it in the slightest and still struggles daily. The guilt each man is carrying is palpable. It was intriguing that they each blamed themselves, but part of their anger was directed at the other as well.  It made the characters more realistic as most are prone to rationalize away their guilt, or look for others to attach it to.

The bond between the brothers, even through everything they have dealt with, is believable and stronger than they think. The author manages to show that no matter what family will always be there for each other when it counts.

A novel that is so much more than your typical crime thriller. A tightly written, thought provoking murder mystery that delves a little deeper than I was expecting. A wonderful portrayal of family bonds, and how forgiving ourselves can be the hardest thing to do.


  1. Just stumbled on your blog, love it! Thanks for the review, adding it to my TBR list now...

  2. Sounds great! Love crime thrillers AND literary fiction. Both = bonus! :D

  3. I read murderer/mystery sometimes, I'll keep this in mind the next time I'm craving for one. Thanks for sharing!


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