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.
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."
THE TOWN FEELS LIKE home immediately, and he credits the leaves. It must be a pickup day. Plastic bags bursting with withered remains of life are stacked on the curbs, a few spilling over onto the sidewalks, flecks of crimson and copper that dot the white concrete like blood splatters on pale flesh. The air is that contrary blend: alive with a smell, but the smell is death.
Those who pass him have their heads down and shoulders hunched, turtles seeking their shells. He stands tall as he walks, embracing the cold wind, which is wonderfully unblocked by concrete walls, unmarred by razor wire fencing. He is grateful for that. There are other people in this town who have similar feelings, memories of days when one could not embrace the wind and longed to, no matter how bitter and chill. He knows some of them, and he knows that those very memoriesrealitiesare in some cases exactly what chased them to this town, a chance to hide from the past.
Hot diggity! How can you lose by reading a gritty whodunit about football, smack in the thick of football season? Here's the thing: You can't. Even if you're not a football fan. Even if you can't tell a cornerback from a lineman. Because, see, I don't even know the difference between those two positions and I loved this book. Michael Koryta takes full advantage of the football theme in The Prophet. It serves as a story arc, a metaphor and - most interestingly - structure for this dark thriller.
(Reviewed by Donna Chavez).
Full Review (1062 words).
In The Prophet Adam Austen is a licensed commercial bail bondsman. It is a profession unique to only two countries in the world, the United States and the Philippines (a former U.S. colony).
Other countries use a variety of methods to ensure that defendants will show up for a court date. For example, in the UK, in the case of serious crimes such as murder, defendants will likely be kept in jail; but in most other cases defendants are released back into the community "on bail" with or without restrictions (such as limits on where they can travel) and with the knowledge that failure to attend court will add an additional crime to their record. In some cases, defendants (or people standing surety for them) are required to pay a penalty ...
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Gone for Good is at once a powerhouse of suspense and a haunting tale of love--the love between brothers, between lovers, between family members. It is one of those rare thrillers that not only makes the pulse pound, but stirs the heart as well.
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