The Prophet

The Prophet

by Michael Koryta
3.8 34

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The Prophet by Michael Koryta

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. As details emerge that connect the crime to the Austin brothers, the two must confront their buried rage and grief-and unite to stop a killer.

Michael Koryta, widely hailed as one of the most exciting young thriller authors at work today, has written his greatest novel ever-an emotionally harrowing, unstoppably suspenseful novel that Donald Ray Pollock has called "one of the sharpest and superbly plotted crime novels I've read in my life."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316215909
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 08/07/2012
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 101,995
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Michael Koryta (pronounced ko-ree-ta) is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, most recently THE PROPHET. His last three novels, THE RIDGE, THE CYPRESS HOUSE, and SO COLD THE RIVER were all New York Times notable books and nominated for several national and international awards. In addition to winning the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, his novel ENVY THE NIGHT was selected as a Reader's Digest condensed book. Koryta's work has been translated into more than twenty languages. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, Koryta graduated from Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice. He currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Bloomington, Indiana.

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The Prophet 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Although football is a main topic throughout this novel, in this small Ohio town (dominated, it seems, by the high school team) it is anything but a game. Typical of many rust belt areas, when the steel plants closed the population dwindled. But life goes on, especially for two estranged brothers, both of whom played for the Cardinals in their youth: Adam Austin, a fullback who was on the last championship eleven, and Kent, who starred as a quarterback after Adam’s graduation, and is now the head coach. Their subsequent lives have been dominated by an unfortunate occurrence one night when Adam was preoccupied with his girlfriend and Austin couldn’t leave his football duties to accompany their sister, Marie, home from school. It was Adam’s responsibility, and she never made it home. At some point after she went missing the family learned that she had been murdered. Neither brother forgave himself, especially Adam, who maintains the boyhood home with Marie’s room as a shrine. When the culprit is finally captured on a fluke in Cleveland and sentenced to prison time, Kent visits with him in jail and tells him he forgives him, an act which Adam hardly condones. Thus, the stage is set for a repeat performance when the girlfriend of the star receiver for Coach Kent’s team asks Adam to locate an address for her father who apparently has just been released from prison. Adam gets an address and the girl goes there, only to be brutally murdered. It turns out that Kent had recommended Adam, who has a PI license, to the boy, who had passed along the information to the girl. Each of the brothers feels responsibility, leading to a series of events through which they seek to redeem themselves for present and past actions. The author has written a suspenseful crime story based on good and evil, selfless acts, and atonement of sins. At no point does the reader know what will happen next, even when it is on the one yard line with goal to go. Highly recommended.
Humbee More than 1 year ago
The Coach and The Gladiator makes a stunning thriller for Michael Koryta fans! I'm a tainted reviewer on this one, have to tell you right up front. I've dipped into the well 3 times before and Michael Koryta is my new century favorite writer in this suspense thriller genre along with the likes of Dennis Lehane, William Landy, and Jeffrey Deaver. There are many good writers who can tap into the genre, but there are few masters. Michael Koryta is a master of it. His work is complex and psychologically blistering! It's pure joy to read. He's so far above the average writer we nearly need to create his own category. This is a thriller you won't expect, you won't see the outcome ahead, and you'll love the trip through the mineshaft to discover it. The psychological characterizations of two distinctly different brothers who are torn by their own reactions to their only sister's horrific murder when they were all teenagers, is genius. Koryta develops both of his characters in depth. Adam, the bail bondsman who stepped from the gridiron as a rough, hard-hitting giant/hero when his sister was killed, continues to embrace his gladiator actions and attitudes, acting often on instinct. While Kent took refuge in the coaching side of football, the thinking man's controlled side; embracing the spiritual and the mind-over-matter concepts while directing those who would use their hearts and bodies to win the game. Koryta employs both these men and their persona's to catch a killer who seems to "copycat" the kidnapping and murder of their sister in the new death of one of the coach's football hero's girlfriends. The psychology of the killer is also creative and engrossing. Koryta's development of a sociopath/psychopath is methodical and fearsome. However, this profile is not the main focus of the book. While I was initially yawning about football "plays," because I'm not a fan of the technical per se, I could see that they were necessary to understanding why the Coach and the Gladiator were making their choices in approaches toward the killer of the girl. Once I got hold of that fact and how it played into their past, the football aspects seemed to flow well for me. "The Prophet" ultimately, is not just a book about a serial killer or a psychopath, but it is the astute study of a family torn apart and changed by the actions of one. It's the story of the ultimate sacrifices made by that family; the psychological tortures they endure and how it shapes their lives, and the outcomes of that. It's also the story of every person's fantasy..."What would happen if a family member of a tortured and murdered child got to stalk and kill the murderer?" It's not until the last pages of the book that I finally put together all of the meanings of "The Prophet." This is a book you won't forget, and one you'll be recommending to everyone. Men and women alike will love the book. It's already on my Christmas list for my family. 5 perfect stars!
JudithMoMo More than 1 year ago
Wow, how have I missed this writer?I could not literally put the book down, which was difficult since I took it on vacation, and there were times I actually HAD to put it down. The characters and the story telling are so nuanced; the unfolding is perfectly timed and rings true, every move every character makes. There was not a moment that I felt that reality was suspended for the sake of the story. I cannot wait to read Michael Koryta's other 8 books. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It took awhile for me to really lose myself in this book, but then it became impossible to put it down, and the ending is one of the best I can recall. If you are a football fan, this is for you. If you are a spiritual person, it is for you. If you just enjoy a great suspense filled mystery story, it is for you, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am only 75% of the way through the book, but I'm so enthralled that I had to review it as soon as possible. I felt obligated to make sure everyone knows that you MUST read this book! Michael Koryta's storytelling has me depressed that I will not be able to find something even close to this interesting and thrilling once I've finished. I am actually delaying that inevitable end with a killer's patience. By the time I had realized how many layers each character had, "The Prophet" quickly showed me that I hadn't even begun to absorb the intricacies of the main players in the story. Two brothers lives were changed after a horrific event in high school. While one chose to internalize his distress, the other became a beacon of success and made a mission of his faith. Unbeknownst to the brothers is that a killer has come to their town with a point to prove and a chilling history. This book has already cost me hours of sleep and two missed train stops thanks to how deeply it took me in. I encourage anyone who appreciates a bit of mystery and intrigue to buy and read this now. You'll want to spread the word just like me in no time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the fourth book I have read by Michael Koryta and in my opinion it was the best. I am not one who gets overly involved with the characters in a book. They are fictional, after all. But I found myself actually caring about what happened to the Austin brothers. To me that is what separates a good book from a great one. Mr. Koryta has a real talent and I would recommend this book to anyone.
BookLoverDK More than 1 year ago
I've read many of Michael Koryta's books, and have loved them all. So when I learned he had a new book coming out, I pre-ordered it, expecting it to be on par with Koryta's other books. Sadly, I was disappointed. It took a while for the story to get even somewhat interesting. I'm not a huge football fan, and this book revolves around football, so that was part of the problem. The ending was a big disappointment to me, too. Koryta's other books have all been real page-turners; I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. But this one was a real yawner. Hopefully his next book will be back on par with the likes of "Cypress House" and "The Ridge."
Ted12842 9 months ago
Very well written. Starts off steady and builds to a startling climax no one would have expected. This is a talented author that I look forward to reading years to come.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo...boring! If I wanted a lesson in the ups and downs of football I wouldn't buy a murder mystery.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michael Koryta has written one of the best books I have ever read. Readers owe it to themselves to have the pleasure of reading this very well written story. Suprises are well hidden throughout, event to the last paragraph. J M Lydon
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Trublonde More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, from the plot line to the telling of the story with a small town football coach and his personal struggle told in tandem with his brother's in the aftermath of their sister's murder. I am surprised it took me this long to find this author, his stories are well written and satisfying!
susanneleist More than 1 year ago
I love the way Michael Koryta writes. His writing flows smoothly and his descriptions bring vivid images to mind. I read his earlier books, So Cold The Rive and The Ridge, and recommended them to everyone. I sat down to read this book with every intention of loving it. But soon I found out that I couldn't follow all the moves in the football games. I don't watch football. I don't know the terms or the players' positions. It made me frustrated. I concentrated hard on the games and followed them as best as I could. The main characters, Adam and Kent, were developed well in the book. I felt like I understood them. I had lost a brother at a young age and so I understood their pain that could last a lifetime. Their intense pain and loss affected their future decisions and life choices. The ending was sad. Part of me wished it could've ended on a happier note. I liked the story and the characters. All the loose ends were tied up at the end. But the author left part of the ending open for us, the readers, to think about. I am still tormenting about it today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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RonnaL More than 1 year ago
THE PROFET is a mystery that seems to say that everyone could reach a point in their lives that could cause them to be the villain that they feel they normally would condemn.  I've read glowing reviews, and reviews that trash this book as being too much about football and not enough about a mystery. I think perhaps those one star reviews are missing something that make this book so much more than just a mystery.  Will not say lots more on that because I believe the real discerning readers will be able to see this for themselves, and realize that this is a great mystery, but it is also a story that is so much more that JUST a mystery. The Austin brothers live in the same small town where they were born and raised, but they have had virtually no contact with each other for 22years.  Their relationship stopped one year when their sister was murdered.  Both boys were football heroes, and Adam was supposed to drive his sister home from school every day.  One day in his exuberance, he let his sister walk the five blocks home alone.  She never made it home.  Adam has been living in the guilt of his actions all of these years.  Now as a bail bondsman, he lives a completely different live than his brother, Kent, more commonly known as "Coach".  As "Coach" is driving his high school football team to a state championship title, another 17 year old girl is brutally murdered.  How the brothers handle this tragedy, and seek to solve and resolve this tragedy themselves, is what makes this a brilliant story.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
as per usual his books are great!! i had a very hard time putting this book down. Can't wait till another one comes out.
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