MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from The Prophet by Michael Koryta, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Prophet

by Michael Koryta

The Prophet
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2012, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2013, 432 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"I'd heard… I was given a referral."

"A referral," he echoed. "Can I ask the source?"

She pushed her hair back over her left ear and sat forward in the chair, meeting his eyes for the first time, as if she'd summoned some confidence. "My boyfriend. Your brother was his football coach. We heard from him that you were a detective."

Adam said, "My brother?" in an empty voice.

"Yes. Coach Austin."

"Kent," he said. "We're not on his squad, April. We can call him Kent."

She didn't seem to like that idea, but she nodded.

"My brother gave you a referral," he said, and found himself amused somehow, despite the aching ribs and bruised hand and the sandpaper eyelids that a full week of uneven hours and too much drinking provided. Until she walked in, he'd been two minutes from locking the office and going in pursuit of black coffee. The tallest cup and strongest blend they had. A savage headache had been building, and he needed something beyond Advil to take its knees out.

"That's right." She seemed unsatisfied with his response, as if she'd expected the mention of his brother would establish a personal connection. "I'm in school at Baldwin-Wallace College. A senior."

"Terrific," Adam said.

"It's a good school."

"I've always understood that to be true." He was trying to keep his attention on her, but right now all she represented was a delay between him and coffee. "What's in the folder?"

She looked down protectively, as if he'd violated the folder's privacy. "Some letters."

He waited. Could this take any longer? He was used to fighting his way through personal stories he didn't care to hear about, used to deflecting tales of woe, but he did not have the patience to tug one out just so he could begin deflecting it.

"What precisely do you need, April?"

"I'd like to get in touch with my father."

"You don't know him?" Adam said, thinking that this wasn't the sort of problem he could handle even if it interested him. How in the hell did you go about finding someone who'd abandoned his child decades ago? It wasn't like chasing down a guy who'd skipped out on bail, leaving behind a fresh trail of friends, relatives, and property.

"I've met him," she said. "But he was… well, by the time I was old enough to really get to know him, he was already in prison."

Adam understood now why she'd gone to the trouble of telling him that she was in a good school. She didn't want him to form his understanding of her from this one element, the knowledge that her father was in prison.

"I see. Well, we can figure out where he's doing his time easily enough."

"He's done. He's out."

Damn. That would slow things down.

"What I've got," the too-tan-for-October girl said, "is some letters. We started writing while he was still in prison. That was, actually, your brother's idea."

"No kidding," Adam said, doing his damnedest to hide his disgust. Just what this girl needed, a relationship with some asshole in a cell. But Kent, he'd have found that a fine plan. Adam's brother had gotten a lot of ink for his prison visits over the years. DRIVEN BY THE PAST, one headline had read. Adam found that a patently obvious observation. Everyone was driven by the past, all the time. Did Kent's past play a role in his prison visits? Of course. Did that shared past play a role in Adam's own prison visits? Better believe it. They were just different sorts of visits.

"Yes. And it was a wonderful idea. I mean, I learned to forgive him, you know? And then to understand that he wasn't this monster, that he was someone who made a mistake and—"

"He stopped writing when he got out?"

She stuttered to a stop. "No. Well, he did for a while. But it's an adjustment."

"It certainly is," Adam said, thinking That's why most of them go right back. She was so damn young. This was what college seniors looked like? Shit, he was getting old. These girls seemed to be moving backward, sliding away from him just as fast as he aged away from them, until their youth was an impossible thing to comprehend.

Excerpted from The Prophet by Michael Koryta. Copyright © 2012 by Michael Koryta. Excerpted by permission of Little Brown & Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: All Tomorrow's Parties
    All Tomorrow's Parties
    by Rob Spillman
    In this absorbing memoir, co-founder of Tin House magazine, Rob Spillman, recalls his artistic ...
  • Book Jacket: The Never-Open Desert Diner
    The Never-Open Desert Diner
    by James Anderson
    James Anderson's debut novel, The Never-Open Desert Diner, starts off as an entertaining ...
  • Book Jacket: The Vanishing Velazquez
    The Vanishing Velazquez
    by Laura Cumming
    Author Laura Cumming spins out a tale of obsession and ruin in her latest book, The Vanishing Vel&#...
Win this book!
Win The 100 Year Miracle

50 Copies to Give Away!

The 100 Year Miracle is a rich, enthralling novel, full of great characters.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Fair Fight
by Anna Freeman

A page-turning novel set in the world of 18th century female pugilists.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Dark Lady's Mask
    by Mary Sharratt

    Based on the life of the first professional woman poet in Renaissance England, and her collaboration with Shakespeare.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H Now B C?

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.