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The Prophet by Michael Koryta (Review #2)

The Prophet by Michael KorytaReviewed by Patricia Reid

Marie Austin was picked up on her way home from school, brutally attacked and killed. The death of Marie had a profound effect on her brothers Adam and Kent. The family was torn apart by the tragedy. Both boys were outstanding football players. Kent went on to become a coach at the high school. Adam became a bondsman and private detective. Adam felt responsible for his sister’s death. He was to pick her up and give her a ride home from school but instead he picked up Chelsea Salinas and spent the evening with her.

Adam is still with Chelsea even though she is married. Her husband is in prison. Adam owns his parents house along with his brother Kent. Adam has reconstructed Marie’s room to be exactly as it was when she was alive and spends many hours in Marie’s room.

Kent has married and loves his job as Coach of the local football team. A championship is in sight and Kent is busy preparing his team. Kent is also deeply religious and became involved in visiting prisoners. Adam is furious that Kent has taken this road in life. Adam still attends the games coached by his brother but there is no closeness between the two brothers. Read the rest of this entry »

The Prophet by Michael Koryta

The Prophet Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

With The Prophet, Michael Koryta returns to the type of book that first made him a bestselling author. After taking a walk on the paranormal side for the last few books, Koryta returns readers to Ohio for a “family in conflict” suspenseful mystery.

The basic plot of The Prophet is set around two bothers Kent and Adam Austin. When they were teenagers, their sister was abducted and found murdered. The loss of their sister nearly destroyed the family and the aftermath has followed the brothers into their adulthood. But different people deal with extreme guilt and grief in different ways. Adam’s life fell apart. He dropped out of Ohio State leaving a very promising football career on the field when he left. Eventually, he returned home to become a bail bondsman. In contrast Kent seemed to reach deep inside himself and gather strength from the tragedy. Kent became deeply religious. He married, became the local high school football coach and is now, finally about to lead the town’s team to a state championship. One brother lives on the edge of society while the other has become a pillar of that same society. And then, unbelievably, another young woman is murdered. The parallels to the earlier crime are just too much for the town. Again, the high school’s team is marching towards a championship and again the Austin brothers are part of that team. When their sister was murdered, Adam was the star of the team. Now it’s his brother Kent who is coaching. The town is left to wonder how this could all be happening again.

Koryta is a master at weaving the plot around the characters’ strengths and flaws in such a way that readers are drawn in to the story almost as characters themselves. As the town tries to sort out what has happened and compares the new murder with the Austin girl’s murder twenty years ago, as a reader I couldn’t help but get caught up in the “isn’t it just a little too much of a coincidence” line of thought of the townspeople. Adam was the football hero in the past and now here is his brother leading the team this time around. The first victim was their sister, now the second victim is again connected to Adam. Read the rest of this entry »