THE PROPHET by MICHAEL KORYTA
Title: The Prophet
Author: Michael Koryta
Publisher: Little Brown
Publish Date: 8/7/2012
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.
It's been a while since I've read something without any sort of fantasy trappings or supernatural going-ons, and until reading "The Prophet"I hadn't remembered how much I enjoy curling up with a good thriller.
This book also reminds me of yet another reason I am so gosh-darn in love with the BEA. When I walked into the BEA I had never heard of "The Prophet" or Michael Koryta, and (just being honest here) I probably never would have purchased it. If I was going to read a thriller I would have asked my father for a recommendation and he would have sent me Dennis Lehane or Lee Child's way.
I am so glad that I picked this one up, though. The plot itself isn't anything too unheard of: there's a murder, a feuding family, and lessons learned throughout the novel. Sounds kind of standard, right? But Koryta has such a command over his characters that I couldn't help but feel like I knew them. His characters are just so friggin human. They strengths, flaws, mistakes and their motivations of the protagonist brothers are so spot on that one can't help but feel attached to Adam and Kent, cheering when they make good decisions and even cheering when they make a bad decision; because heck, it makes the story all the more realistic.
I'll most definitely be reading more of Koryta's novels when I'm in the mood to jump back out of the supernatural and into more realistic fiction (which is funny to me, because realistic isn't a word often associated with thrillers).