The Prophet

The Prophet

By Michael Koryta

Little Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316122610, 403pp.

Publication Date: August 7, 2012


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."

About the Author
MICHAEL KORYTA's first novel, "Tonight I Said Goodbye", was published when he was just twenty-one. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana, where he began working as a newspaper reporter and for a private investigator while still in high school. "Tonight I Said Goodbye "won the St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America Contest for first novel and the Great Lakes Book Award for best mystery, and was a finalist for the Edgar Award for best first novel. His other novels include "Envy the Night" (winner of the 2008 mystery/thriller Los Angeles Times Book Prize), "The Silent Hour", and "Those Who Wish Me Dead".

Praise For The Prophet


"The Prophet is a relentless, heart-in-your-throat thriller about ordinary people caught in the middle of an extraordinary nightmare."
-Dennis Lehane

"Michael Koryta is an amazingly talented writer, and I rank The Prophet as one of the sharpest and superbly plotted crime novels I've read in my life."
-Donald Ray Pollock, author of Knockemstiff and The Devil All the Time

"Friday Night Lights meets In Cold Blood in this powerful tale...It's a brilliantly paced thriller that keeps its villains at a tantalizing distance, a compelling family portrait, a study in morality that goes beyond the usual black-and-white judgments, and an entertaining spin on classic football fiction. A flawless performance."
-Kirkus, starred review

"Elegantly written...Koryta shows great sensitivity in examining how each brother deals with these parallel tragedies."
-Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

"Thriller Award-finalist Koryta (The Ridge) triumphantly returns to crime fiction with this multi-layered exploration of guilt and redemption....Like Laura Lippman, Koryta has a gift for melding a suspenseful, twisty plot with a probing, unflinching look at his protagonists' weaknesses."
-Publisher's Weekly, starred review

"The Prophet is like a long, heart-stopping pass down the sidelines in the final seconds of a decisive game. It's made me want to leap to my feet and cheer Koryta on."
-Scott Smith

"A delicious read, intricately woven, with characters who are impossible to forget. Michael Koyta excites and satisfies on every level."
-Elin Hilderbrand

"Edgar-nominated mystery wunderkind Koryta (he turns 30 this year) has earned kudos from veteran thriller writers Stephen King and Dean Koontz. He proves plenty worthy of praise in this vivid portrayal of a small Midwestern town and the evils that befall it....With its crisp writing and steady suspense, this is a must-read for his fans both old and new."
-Booklist, starred review

"Gut-wrenching at every level."
-Library Journal, starred review

"A compelling story...a powerful psychological portrait."
-Tampa Bay Times

"Could. Not. Put. It. Down."
-The New London Day

Praise for Michael Koryta:

"Somehow, Michael Koryta gets better with every book, no small feat considering the quality of those he's already written. Here's a writer for the new century, one to read, admire and, yes, envy."
-Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter