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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.
Michael Koryta, long hailed as one of the best young thriller writers at work today, has written his greatest novel ever - an emotionally harrowing, unstoppably suspenseful novel that proves why Michael Connelly has named him "one of the best of the best".
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By John on 06-13-15
Don't worry Mel - Everyone did click no
Here we are.. A good review!!!!! I may have stretched the 5 star rating out a bit - But it absolutely fluctuated between a 4 and a 5 throughout the book. If I compare it to the absolute crap I've come across lately - Then its a 5.
What to say - What to say... First - This book did have a lot of football talk > But not 90% as some (Mel) would lead you to believe. It was maybe 40% - 50% > but a lot of it was philosophical lessons and the characters in the story-line were part of the murder mystery, so there was a reason for it to be there. You don't have to be a football person to like or understand the small parts that were actually about football.
This was easily the best book I've listened to by Michael Koryta ... Better by a lot than "Those that wish me dead" and a billion times better than "The Ridge" > In my humble opinion. I'm tired of ridiculously unbelievable plot lines of mobs and ghosts.
This ending was great!!!!!!!!!! Not at all what I expected and I loved that.... I sit on the couch at night and guess the ending correctly 85% of the time in the who don-it shows. This book built up in speed as it went along, and ended with a powerful punch.
I found myself pushing the wrong button when it was done and started listening again.
The narrator was really good. He rocked this book... Better than that Brick guy...
For what its worth.................. J
15 of 15 people found this review helpful
By Janice on 08-21-12
Koryta does not write easy books, especially his non-Lincoln Perry books. Characters are complex, flawed and often just wrong. But they are written just right. Adam and Kent Austin are brothers who have spent 22 years trying to cope with the tragic murder of their sister in their own ways - and have become estranged in the process. Then another similar murder occurs with the victim having the slenderest of connections to both brothers, and they are forced to confront each other and their past. They have to find out why the killer is using their past to manipulate the present.
Football plays a large role in this story - Kent is the high school coach, and there is a significant amount of time spent discussing games, strategy and players. If you have only a passing interest in football, or no interest, try to just get the gist of what is being said - the technicalities of the game are not critical to the narrative. But if you can see the game of football as an allegory for the lives of the two protagonists, you see how their approach to the game dictated their responses to the defining event in their lives, and how they will respond to the current crisis. As I write this I realize that football-as-life sounds like a cliche, but Koryta manages it with dexterity. The characters are not caricatures.
The mystery solving portion of the story is very real, each person behaving as they must, right or wrong. Mistakes are made that cannot be taken back, forcing new decisions on others. The suspense and foreboding mount, leading to the inevitable conclusion. Koryta has added yet another heroic antihero to his list. I swallowed this book almost whole - sacrificing sleep, unwilling to let it go.
18 of 20 people found this review helpful