Those Who Wish Me Dead

Those Who Wish Me Dead

4.6 52
by Michael Koryta
     
 

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The newest thriller from Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author

When fourteen-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

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Overview

The newest thriller from Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author

When fourteen-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.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Michael Koryta is a fearless stylist who has put his hand to ghost stories, historical novels, killer-thrillers, revenge tragedies, morality tales and detective stories. He's now swinging from the high wire with Those Who Wish Me Dead, a heart-thumping backwoods adventure…Koryta rigs his tripwire plot with all sorts of unpredictable characters and unforeseen events, including a "flint-and-steel" electrical storm that will make your hair stand on end.
The New York Times - Janet Maslin
…a lean, propulsive action-adventure thriller with a raging forest fire as its backdrop and with much more finesse than that description might suggest. The ingenious tricks and conversational wit of Those Who Wish Me Dead don't usually come with this territory…Attitude is one of Mr. Koryta's strongest attributes. He barges through this story with utter confidence, which makes its bravado impossible to resist…Those Who Wish Me Dead [is]…great, gripping fun.
Publishers Weekly
04/21/2014
A lack of morally complex characters facing tough ethical choices makes this fast-paced thriller a lesser effort for Edgar finalist Koryta (The Prophet). At an abandoned quarry in Indiana, 13-year-old Jace Wilson, who’s just jumped into the quarry’s pool, sees two men in police uniform cut a man’s throat and toss him into the water. The killers chase Jace after finding his clothes, but he manages to escape. Jamie Bennett, a former U.S. Marshal, places Jace in the care of a friend of hers, survival trainer Ethan Serbin, who takes him along on a wilderness training program that he runs for troubled youths in Montana, though Ethan doesn’t know which of the seven boys he’ll be instructing needs witness protection. Inevitably, the two creepy killers get on Ethan’s trail. For someone as smart as Ethan is supposed to be, he fails to anticipate an obvious move on the part of the killers, leading to the first of several developments that many readers will view as contrived. Agent: David Hale Smith, Inkwell Management. (June)
Lisa Unger
"Michael Koryta is that rare author who is at once a compelling story teller and a fantastic writer. From the first sentence of Those Who Wish Me Dead, you'll be under his spell. His characters are living, breathing people you'll care about; his setting is a place you'll visit and stay -- long after you've decided to leave because you'rescared. You can't leave; you're trapped. There are too many nerve-jangling, beautifully written, razor sharp moments and you won't want to miss a single one. This is an absolute sizzler."
Harlan Coben
"Warning: Michael Koryta's wonderful, riveting, and harrowing Those Who Wish Me Dead may just move you to tears. Enjoy at your own risk."
Nelson DeMille
"Absolutely breathtaking, nail-biting, and edge-of-your-seat. Michael Koryta is a master at maintaining suspense and a hell of a good writer. Those Who Wish Me Dead is one of the best chase-and-escape novels you'll read this year - or any other year. The pace never lets up."
Christopher Reich
"Wow! An absolutely first rate novel. More than just an edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline-fueled story of life and death and survival in the Montana wilderness. Those Who Wish Me Dead is what every reader hopes for each time they start a book. A smart, surprising, and emotionally engaging experience that simply does not let up. Ever!"
Ron Carlson
"This book captured me. Here are two bad guys so bad, so well drawn, that I wanted to avert my eyes--but I didn't want to miss a beat of this sharp thriller. This is a smart big book with what are called twists and turns, but which are really terrific surprises in every deepening layer. Young Jace's journey to survive is a gripping rush. I know not to run in the woods but I wanted to tell him: run, woods or not, just run!"
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-05-17
Hiding a teenage murder witness among a bunch of delinquent kids in a survival-training program in Montana seemed like a good idea. But when two coldblooded killers track him there from Indiana, everyone's life is at grave risk.The program is run by Air Force veteran Ethan Serbin, who lives with his wife, Allison, in a mountain cabin. She distrusts Jamie Bennett, a federal marshal and former trainee of Ethan's who shows up in the middle of the night, having recklessly driven into a blizzard, to plead for their help. Jamie says the boy, Jace Wilson, is too hot for even a witness protection program. When Jace arrives, it's anonymously, under the name Connor Reynolds. He's badly lacking in confidence but proves adept in handling himself outdoors. Just as he's settling in, though, the killers—two brothers with a creepy way of conversing with each other even as they're about to commit an atrocity—infiltrate the mountain community. Knowing what they're capable of, Jace/Connor drifts away from the pack, teams up with a female fire ranger who feels responsible for her boyfriend's accidental death and fervently hopes an escape route he devised as part of his training will lead them to safety. Having joined the ranks of the very best thriller writers with his small-town masterpiece, The Prophet (2012), Koryta matches that effort with a book of sometimes-unbearable tension. With the exception of one plot turn you'll likely see coming from a mountain pass away, this novel is brilliantly orchestrated. Also crucial to its success is Koryta's mastery of the beautiful but threatening setting, including a mountain fire's ability to electrify the ground, radiate a lethal force field—and create otherworldly light shows.Summer reading doesn't get better than this.
From the Publisher
"Warning: Michael Koryta's wonderful, riveting, and harrowing Those Who Wish Me Dead may just move you to tears. Enjoy at your own risk."—Harlan Coben, #1 bestselling author of Missing You and Six Years

"The summer of 2014 brings Those Who Wish Me Dead, a lean, propulsive action-adventure thriller with a raging forest fire as its backdrop and with much more finesse than that description might suggest. The ingenious tricks and conversational wit of Those Who Wish Me Dead don't usually come with this territory....Attitude is one of Mr. Koryta's strongest attributes. He barges through this story with utter confidence, which makes its bravado impossible to resist."—Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Outstanding in every way, and a guaranteed thriller-of-the-year...Stephen King would be proud of the set up, Cormac McCarthy would be proud of the writing, and I would be proud of the action. Don't you dare miss it."—Lee Child, #1 bestselling author of Never Go Back

"Those Who Wish Me Dead is an absolutely thrilling read. I read most of it with my breath held, occasionally exhaling to ask myself, 'What will happen next?' I highly recommend it."

Kevin Powers, National Book Award Finalist and author of The Yellow Birds

"Reading Michael Koryta is like stepping into fast water. You don't know where the current will take you, only that it's strong and deep and likely to sweep you away. That's what the best fiction does, and Koryta does it better than just about anyone else."—John Hart, author of Iron House

"Absolutely breathtaking, nail-biting, and edge-of-your-seat. Michael Koryta is a master at maintaining suspense and a hell of a good writer. Those Who Wish Me Dead is one of the best chase-and-escape novels you'll read this year - or any other year. The pace never lets up."—Nelson DeMille, author of The Quest

"Michael Koryta isn't just one of the finest authors working in the crime genre today. He's simply one of today's finest authors, period. His stories are taut, compelling, and beautifully rendered. His understanding of human nature-the good, the evil, and all the gray between-is masterful. Those Who Wish Me Dead is Koryta at his best."—William Kent Krueger, author of Ordinary Grace

"Michael Koryta is a fearless stylist...a heart-thumping backwoods adventure that sends two creatively sadistic killers into Montana's Beartooth Mountains, where they spark a monster forest fire to flush out the only witness to their crimes...Koryta rigs his tripwire plot with all sorts of unpredictable characters and unforeseen events, including a "flint-and-steel" electrical storm that will make your hair stand on end. There are any number of hunting parties combing the burning woods for Jace, from the Blackwell brothers to two determined women riding an injured horse. But sitting here, heart in mouth, it sure looks as if that raging forest fire will outrun them all."—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

"Not only does its plot sizzle with one shocking turn after another; it also involves a massive forest fire so vividly described you almost expect the edges of the pages to be scorched...Koryta builds the book's suspense with impressive skill, shifting among different characters' points of view to keep the reader constantly on edge."—Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times

"Michael Koryta is that rare author who is at once a compelling story teller and a fantastic writer. From the first sentence of Those Who Wish Me Dead, you'll be under his spell. His characters are living, breathing people you'll care about; his setting is a place you'll visit and stay -- long after you've decided to leave because you'rescared. You can't leave; you're trapped. There are too many nerve-jangling, beautifully written, razor sharp moments and you won't want to miss a single one. This is an absolute sizzler."—Lisa Unger, author of In the Blood

"Wow! An absolutely first rate novel. More than just an edge-of-your-seat, adrenaline-fueled story of life and death and survival in the Montana wilderness. Those Who Wish Me Dead is what every reader hopes for each time they start a book. A smart, surprising, and emotionally engaging experience that simply does not let up. Ever!"—Christopher Reich, author of Rules of Deception

"This book captured me. Here are two bad guys so bad, so well drawn, that I wanted to avert my eyes--but I didn't want to miss a beat of this sharp thriller. This is a smart big book with what are called twists and turns, but which are really terrific surprises in every deepening layer. Young Jace's journey to survive is a gripping rush. I know not to run in the woods but I wanted to tell him: run, woods or not, just run!"—Ron Carlson, author of The Signal

"Those Who Wish Me Dead is beautifully written, perfectly paced, expertly structured, and simply unputdownable. Koryta is an absolute master."—Deon Meyer, author of Seven Days

"This novel is brilliantly orchestrated. Also crucial to its success is Koryta's mastery of the beautiful but threatening setting, including a mountain fire's ability to electrify the ground, radiate a lethal force field-and create otherworldly light shows. Summer reading doesn't get better than this."—Kirkus (starred review)

"Koryta, a widely-praised veteran of cross-genre tales, has upped his game with this stand-alone's seamless blend of western-wilderness thriller and mainstream crime fiction, with a prickly dab of horror...Combine Koryta's existing fan base, the current vogue for wilderness thrillers, and an aggressive marketing campaign, and you get a novel certain to attract a whole lot of eager readers."—Christine Tran, Booklist (starred review)

"More than outstanding, this book will have you jumping from one chapter to another as the fire races across the mountains, as Jace and Hannah try to survive, and while Ethan tries to keep both killers away from Jace...This thriller had me glued to the words, not wanting to do anything else but finish this book. Koryta pens a novel that will leave you gasping along with the characters.This is excellent and one I recommend. Absolutely without a doubt."—Suspense Magazine

Library Journal
★ 04/01/2014
Kortya (The Prophet) opens his latest thriller with a very likeable 13-year-old Jace Wilson witnessing a brutal murder committed by assassins—and brothers—Jack and Patrick Blackwell. Instead of being placed in the regular witness protection program, the boy is hidden in a Montana wilderness survival camp for troubled teens, run by Ethan and Alison Serbin. Jace and Ethan are soon putting their outdoor skills to the test as they are hunted down by the Blackwell brothers. Allison and a former firefighter named Hannah round out the cast of characters in this fast-paced, terrifically entertaining novel. VERDICT The Blackwell brothers' devious methods, the fire raging across the mountains, and the actions of those trying to save Jace will keep readers up well into the night. With a national author tour and movie rights already sold, this, Kortya's tenth novel, could be the one that brings the talented writer into the mainstream. [See Prepub Alert, 1/6/14.]—Jason L. Steagall, Gateway Technical Coll. Lib., Elkhorn, WI

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316122559
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
06/03/2014
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
163,716
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.40(d)

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