In an isolated stretch of Eastern Kentucky, on a hilltop known as Blade Ridge, stands a lighthouse that illuminates nothing but the surrounding woods. For years the lighthouse has been considered no more than an eccentric local landmark - until its builder is found dead at the top of the light, and his belongings reveal a troubling local history.
For Deputy Sheriff Kevin Kimble, the lighthouse-keeper's death is disturbing and personal. Years ago Kimble was shot while on duty. Somehow the death suggests a connection between the lighthouse and the most terrifying moment of his life.
Audrey Clark is in the midst of moving her large-cat sanctuary onto land adjacent to the lighthouse. Sixty-seven tigers, lions, and leopards and one legendary black panther are about to have a new home there. Her husband, the sanctuary's founder, died scouting the new property, and Audrey is determined to see his vision through.
As strange occurrences multiply at the Ridge, the animals grow ever more restless, and Kimble and Audrey try to understand what evil forces are moving through this ancient landscape, just past the divide between dark and light.
The Ridge is the new thriller from international best seller Michael Koryta, further evidence of why Dean Koontz has said "Michael Koryta's work resonates into deeper strata than does most of what I read" and why Michael Connelly has named him "one of the best of the best."
I've been bouncing around between books for months now, trying to find something that captured my attention. This book did the trick. One of the other reviewers compared it to a campfire story, and I would agree that the base of this book had that type of base. But while that reviewer considered that a negative, I loved that aspect of it. Campfire stories have to cut right to those deeper situations that make people shiver. It wasn't a jump out of your seat, get nightmares scary by any means, but it made me think a lot during it and I was delighted at the imagery and the storytelling. Come on, a lighthouse in the middle of the woods? That image immediately makes you curious, and there are so many instances of those types of strong, lasting images throughout.
The reason I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars is that I reserve 5 star books for those I absolutely cannot put down. The ones that make my guts wrench with some sort of emotion, either grief or excitement or tension, and this book was more of a fun, solid ride than a truly epic one. The author also gave some good characters that brought us through the book, and they did the job well, but I do love when relationships (meaning friendships, romances, trust, animosity) develop or change in big ways over the course of a novel, and that didn't happen in this one--the characters were more allies that happened to be working toward the same cause than ever developing any real feelings or connections to each other. But I would have given it far less stars if I thought this got in the way of the storytelling. I don't find books I love on a 5-star level very often, so take that rating keeping in mind that I may be particularly hard to please.
The narration was great. This audiobook actually dabbled in sound effects (slight echoing for over-the-telephone, spooky background music at supernatural parts). At first, I thought it was kind of cheesy, but I grew to like it and found it actually pretty effective at creating a mood.
This book is less of a lightning fast scream ride, and more of a thoughtful, get under your skin, character-developing campfire-esque tale. Though it's not quite a ghost story, it's a story for those who like that vibe. If you're not intrigued by the sample above, maybe this isn't for you.
All I can say is it's the first book in a while that I'm going to recommend to friends.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Ever since I read The Cypress House, I have been enjoying Koryta's books. This was by far the best of the bunch that I have downloaded. The story line is the strongest and most compelling, with Kimball now rating as my favorite of his heros (I have not read any of the Lincoln Perry books yet, only the stand-alone titles). He has conveyed a vivid sense of place and atmospere that allowed me to visualize the setting as well as the characters. The cats are a marvelous part of the whole. I tried predicting what turns the story would take, and although I never really had the outcome fully figured out, it wasn't because the author played unfair tricks - he just had better ideas. The last hour of the book had me mesmerized. I will say that if you just do not enjoy stories with a strong element of the supernatural, this may not be for you. I don't actively seek out ghost stories, but Koryta's ability to make you buy into the existence of other-worldly beings is masterful.
The reading by Robert Petkoff was excellent. This book was a real treat and highly recommended.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
I really enjoyed this book! It is well written and the characters seem to have depth. My favorite part of the book is the way that Koryta has used the big cats' emotions to drive the story's suspense level.
I hope to hear more from this author...no slashers, no graphic sex scenes (come on people, we know what happens), and no gratuitous gore.
Also, I don't see too many well-written ghost/horror novels out there right now, so discovering this author is great...can't wait for the next one!
12 of 13 people found this review helpful
If you like suspense with a more than touch of the paranormal, you won't be disappointed here. I've heard comparisons between Michael Koryta and Dean Koontz, but I prefer Koryta. After producing "Watchers", a really first rate, well-developed and enjoyable suspense novel, and a couple of others with some imagination, Koontz has progressively sunk into a pattern of cycling vicious violence, underdeveloped characters, and weirdness that never quite makes the cut to believable. What can I say? It sells. Koryta, however, has so far avoided this trap. "The Ridge", as well as "The Cypress House" has all the elements that attract readers to the best of Koontz, but unlike Koontz, he has retained his subtlety.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to The Ridge the most enjoyable?
This one is a real page turner. The Ridge starts slowly, almost lazily, giving each character flesh and personality, then allows the reader to see into the minds of each. The other impact that I felt when reading, was that it is so visual. One can see the deep woods surrounding the town; the beauty of the cats at the preserve; and the omnipresent lighthouse.
Kevin Kimball is revealed to be a man of intelligence, great honor, and fortitude, and he does not waver. His is a lonely life, but he attends to duty in the face of all odds. He is truly the strong, silent savior of his town from the beginning to the very last, nail biting end.
This is a ghost story, but not one that can be totally labeled as such. It is not quite like any that I have read, mainly because of the way that it is told. Upon completion, I was filled with a tinge of sadness, but the end is a matter of just the way it had to end. I cannot give any hints about this story, because to do so would be unjust to the reader who has not read this book, but I must say, you will not be disappointed. The Ridge is one of the best books I have read in some time, and now, I am hoping that a movie is made. This one really needs to be on film.
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
I put So Cold The River high on my favorites list....but man, this book was so different and so so good right from the start....don't hesitate to download this one....you won't want to stop it til it's done
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
But not a great book. I listen when I'm working outside, in a doctor's office and at the end of the day when there's time. If the book is really good it holds my attention. If not, my mind strays and I have to back track. Found it hard to focus on this one some of the time.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Creepy enough to give you the shivers without ever being gross, like the best kind of campfire tale. I enjoyed the characters and the story. The narration was excellent.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
I couldn't put this book down once I started it. The narrator was very good and brought the characters to life for me. This book was well worth it.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Or did I???????
This book was horribly slow. My ears glazed over. It did not come together by the time I gave up in the 2nd to 3rd quarter. There were 2 story lines that I could not tell why each were in the book. The big Cat Habitat or whatever - Held nothing that drew me in. It was like Michael threw that in to add pages to a book. Maybe it came together with the guy that killed himself in the lighthouse - If it did - It was way too late for me. Speaking of the other story line. That was also slow coming together & By the time I started hearing about spirits and blue lights - I started drifting. I thought this was a murder mystery book - Not a ghost story... Whatever it was - It was bad.
I try to weed out the reviews that start with "This is my 7th Michael Koryta book & He's such a good writer"...... I wish there was a non groupie section for reviewers that weren't so easily entertained.
Good news..... A good review coming for Michael Koryta's "The Prophet"
6 of 9 people found this review helpful