Monday, June 30, 2014

Review: Those Who Wish Me Dead

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

When 13-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. -- Little, Brown

Many of you probably know this, but I am a big fan of books by Michael Koryta. Every summer, I look forward to his latest novel and this year's THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD was no exception. In fact, I was even more excited than usual after reading this book's description. Don't get me wrong... I always enjoy Mr. Koryta's books, but I admit I was excited that this one was a pure thriller without any of that supernatural stuff!

THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD has a great premise! Jace Wilson, a thirteen year old boy is a witness to a horrific murder. committed by the notorious Blackwell Brothers. In an effort to protect him from the murderers, he is sent to the mountains of Montana to be part of a wilderness skills program for troubled teens.

Ethan and Allison Serbin are the couple who runs the camp. While both have strong survival skills, they are definitely tested to their limit when the Blackwell Brothers show up in Montana looking for Jace. In addition, Hannah Faber, a woman who works in a fire lookout tower and has her own set of baggage, finds herself caught up in the chase. Can these individuals protect Jace or will they become the brothers' next victims?

THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD was a real page-turner! I couldn't put this book down. The characters were interesting, the crimes were wretched, and the action was extremely fast-paced. Mr. Koryta has an uncanny knack of creating scary stories, and I loved that this one scared the heck out of me with just man versus nature. (I guess you're figuring out that I'm not a big fan of supernatural, scary things!)

This novel definitely took me on roller-coaster ride! The book had some really BAD guys and their pursuit of Jace was pretty terrifying on its own. However, Mr. Koryta also managed to stage this book in the desolate mountains of Montana (which to a non-outdoorsy girl is pretty scary too!) He then added the element of forest fires to the story to increase the suspense even more. I loved how tension just kept building and building and how the story toyed with my mind. And there were even a multitude of twists and turns (some pretty huge ones!) that kept me guessing and not knowing who or what to believe.

In addition to Mr. Koryta's amazing storytelling skills, I loved how he brought this story to life through his descriptions. There were brutal and detailed descriptions of the crimes, but there were also some unbelievable descriptions of the mountains of Montana. For someone who has never been out west, I was able to picture these isolated mountains and their dangers quite vividly. I was especially impressed with his accounts of the forest fires -- I could almost feel the heat and smell the smoke!

It didn't come as any surprise to me that THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD has already been optioned for film by 20th Century Fox. I don't say this often, but this book will make one heck of a film -- one of those movies that leave you hanging on the edge of your seat for two hours! I can't wait to see who they cast in the roles! And then there's the gorgeous (and dangerous) setting...

THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD is definitely one of my favorite Koryta books. Once again, I'm extremely impressed with whatever this guy writes! Highly recommended to fans of thrillers and suspense!

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read. Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.


Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm about halfway through this one on audio, and it is tense. Those two dudes are seriously messed up (and their voices portrayed on audio are really creepy). I could easily see this one as a movie. I guess I don't mind his woo-woo stuff in his stories, but I think the more realistic ones are the most terrifying.

Beth F said...

I haven't read this one yet. Looks like I'd better bump it up on the list.

bermudaonion said...

Oh man, between your review and Sandy's comment, I'm anxious to get to this - now I need to decide if I should try it in print or audio.