The newest thriller from Michael Koryta, New York Times best-selling author.
When 13-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he's plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare.
The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are slaughtering anyone who gets in their way in a methodical quest to reach him. Now all that remains between them and the boy are Ethan and Allison Serbin, who run the wilderness survival program; Hannah Faber, who occupies a lonely fire lookout tower; and endless miles of desolate Montana mountains.
The clock is ticking, the mountains are burning, and those who wish Jace Wilson dead are no longer far behind.
Remember the two creepy villians in the Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever? Well the bad guys here aren't Mr Wint and Mr Kidd, they are the handsome, blond haired, blue eyed Blackwood brothers, but they are every bit as creepy, resourceful and deadly. Like the Bond movie, they carry on polite conversation with each other, in front of their victims, even while inflicting great pain. Certainly Koryta used the Bond villains as his inspiration, and it works exceptionally well.
Since I started with the bad guys, it's important to note they wouldn't be near as creepy and terrifying without the superb reading of Robert Petkoff. His performance is nothing short of magnificent.
Another aspect that makes this novel so interesting is the woodsmanship and wilderness training explained through the Mai character and hero, Ethan Serbin.
This is a fast, suspenseful read!
18 of 19 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Those Who Wish Me Dead?
This was a really good fast paced adventure packed story. I would have like if it were a little longer. Characters were pretty fleshed out, enough for the story.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I think I liked Hannah the best. Her story came out little by little through out the book. As a subplot this was superb.
Which scene was your favorite?
I don't want to spoil this for anyone but I think the scene that touched me the most was towards the end when Hannah sat with Nick on the mountain watching the fire.
Any additional comments?
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The ending was not what I had expected. The brothers were GREAT the way they played off of each other, a some are not who they seem to be. I don't want to say too much but in my "opinion" this was certainly worth the credit.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful
As consistent as he has always been for me, I think Michael Koryta has just outdone himself this time. This book is superior.
Michael Koryta novels always contain s a well thought out scenario that feel like they have been well researched, including antidotes, details and descriptions that leave you feeling like he is writing about his life’s work in his back yard. The characters are creatively crafted. His writing is flawlessly paced. It just never lets up. The last hours of this I was looking for the button that makes the narrator talk faster; I was so invested into the character and their plight.
The bad guys in this book are so unique and their evil personas are so well constructed that the hair stands straight up on the back of your neck each and every time they come into a scene. When you don’t see them coming, you literally GASP out loud and stop what you’re doing. It just doesn't get better than this.
18 of 21 people found this review helpful
As a genre thrillers too often favor action and plot over character development, resulting in a library full of books populated by cardboard heroes and villains. Koryta consistently defies that norm and creates characters that we can invest in emotionally, simultaneously placing them in nail-biting situations. “Those Who Wish Me Dead” is one of his finest with an opening scene that informs us immediately of the deadly seriousness of young Jace’s situation. From that scene forward, the rest of the cast is introduced, and every one of them, good or bad, are drawn with a fine touch. My stomach clenched every time the Blackwell brothers appeared, knowing the cold blooded violence they brought with them. The wilderness instructor and his wife are very good but very human and vulnerable because, in spite of knowing of Jace’s danger, they underestimated the level of evil they faced. Fire on the mountain both compounds their problems and offers unforeseen hope.
The pace is non-stop, and I actually didn’t stop, listening in one long sitting. Koryta never shies away from letting some bad things happen to some of his characters, disdaining improbably coincidental saves. So you never know what’s coming, the tension never lets up. In true Koryta fashion, the ultimate hero of the story will hold your heart. A strong place to start for readers who have not read this author before.
23 of 28 people found this review helpful
I will hand it to Koryta. His style of prose is effortless. it pulls the reader/listener along on a swift current. Its very well done.
Many reviewers have said they like the villains here. I thought they were ok. They get where they are going too easily. The scenes they are in felt contrived. They also very much remind me of the psycho in No Country for Old Men. Only its a duo instead of a single guy. They give off the same vibe.
I think this story could have been a lot stronger if it had skipped the intro chapter (set up), and then focused 100% on the kid and the guide. Or even just the kid. A lot of tension seeps out of the pages when the focus moves from one point of view to another. Things happen too easily as well.
This is a solid 3 stars. I enjoyed it. But I also got frustrated when I found myself several times many steps in front of the action. The action was well done, but set up poorly. It dragged along.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
I was puzzled by the intro and actually thought I had the wrong audiobook. However, once the main story got started, I was hooked and finished this story in record time. After the ending, I wanted more.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This book kept me interested, with a decent plot line, though a little disjointed, and a believable set of psychotic villains, though I thought shortcuts were taken to arrive at the climax, which itself seemed forced to the point of being affectatious. All in all, a good, not great, thriller.
I hope Mr. Koryta brings back such superbly drawn evildoers (or some like the ones here) and put them in a grander story with a little more work on the protagonists.
The villains gave Mr. Petkoff a chance to shine, so I give him 5 stars.
6 of 8 people found this review helpful
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Almost did. In 24 hours anyway.
Any additional comments?
Excellent, shows what the best of this genre can be. An outstanding thriller with well-drawn characters that kept me glued to my headphones. Eye-popping suspense, starting with a real grabber of an opening and leaving me choked up at the end. Ready to chew through this author's whole catalogue.
6 of 9 people found this review helpful
It's no often that a book brings me to tears and this one did. After speeding through the book to get to the end, the book left me wanting to ponder over specific points and go back and read portions a 2nd time. I want to speculate on Jace's future and how the events in the story will impact his life. (Are we seeing the beginning of a series here?)
The characters in the book are well developed and believable. The story is too. If you are looking for a book that will hold your interest and keep you thinking after you have finished, Those Who Wish Me Dead will do just that.
4 of 6 people found this review helpful
The storyline is interesting but the book is rather flat as are the characters. The writing lacks grace and originality. I would not listen to another of his books. The performance was good considering that there was not much to work with.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful