Thursday, March 5, 2015

Scaring Stephen King!

2015 will feature a lot of new releases. In addition to the new book, LAST WORDS, which will be released on August 18, Little, Brown and Co. will be reissuing THE PROPHET and THE RIDGE in mass market paperback and THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD in trade paperback. We will share the new covers as soon as they become available. Limited and lettered editions of THE RIDGE, SO COLD THE RIVER, and THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD are also pending.

In the meantime, for those who haven't read THE RIDGE yet, here are some thoughts on the book from Stephen King:

"THE RIDGE is a classic ghost story, penned by a master. I couldn't put it down, even though I almost screamed when the wind blew a branch against the tree outside my study. Yes, it's that scary."


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New release August 18th!

Markus Novak just wants to come home. An investigator for the pro-bono Death Row defense firm Innocence Incorporated, Novak's life derailed when his wife, Lauren, was murdered after conducting an interview on a case the two were working together. Two years later, her murder unsolved, Novak attempted to make progress through less-than-legal means and jailhouse bargaining. Now his job is on the line and he has been banished from his Florida home to assess a cold case in Indiana that he knows the firm has no intention of taking. His intention is to go through the motions and wait for the call that summons him home to face the judgment of his board of directors.

Ridley Barnes, the suspected killer in the Indiana case, has other ideas. Barnes, who brought the teenage victim's body out of an elaborate cave system beneath his rural farmland country, has claimed for ten years that has no memory of exactly where -- or how -- he found Sarah Martin's corpse. His memory of whether she was dead or alive at the time is equally foggy. Now he says he wants answers -- even if they mean he'll end up in the electric chair. 

After only 48 hours in Indiana, engaged in a psychological chess match that he doesn't want to participate in, Novak is made painfully aware of his options: if he has any chance of returning to the life and career he left behind in Florida, he'll need to find the truth in Garrison, Indiana, first.

Monday, July 14, 2014

People, O Magazine, and Reader's Digest chime in

Adding THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD to their summer must-read lists. Here are some additional reviews for the novel:

“Michael Koryta is a fearless stylist who has put his hand to ghost stories, historical novels, killer-thrillers, revenge tragedies, morality tales and detective stories. He’s now swinging from the high wire with THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD, a heart-thumping backwoods adventure that sends two creatively sadistic killers into Montana’s Beartooth Mountains, where they spark a monster forest fire to flush out the only witness to their crimes: Jace Wilson, a 14-year-old-boy…. Koryta rigs his tripwire plot with all sorts of unpredictable characters and unforeseen events, including a “flint-and-steel” electrical storm that will make your hair stand on end. There are any number of hunting parties combing the burning woods for Jace, from the Blackwell brothers to two determined women riding an injured horse. But sitting here, heart in mouth, it sure looks as if that raging forest fire will outrun them all.” —Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

“Michael Koryta's latest novel skillfully melds a thrilling adventure story set against the Montana wilderness with a poignant coming-of-age story…Koryta's vivid Montana landscape scenes pulsate with the smells and sounds of the great outdoors. His three-dimensional characters realistically explore the choices they are forced to make as the author keeps the plot twisting with believable turns.” ­—Oline Cogdill, Associated Press

“I was reminded of the best of John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy while reading these pages, but most of all, I was reminded of Koryta, who continually matches and exceeds the expectations that he himself creates with the release of each new book.”Book Reporter

The wilderness thriller with the summer's best opening sentence. Here's the first sentence of Those Who Wish Me Dead (Little Brown): "On the last day of Jace Wilson’s life, the fourteen-year-old stood on a quarry ledge staring at cool, still water and finally understood something his mother had told him years before: Trouble might come for you when you showed fear, but trouble doubled-down when you lied about being afraid."
"Pulse-pounding," "edge-of-your-seat," "unputdownable"—these cliches are all on the no-no list for book reviewers, but what's a 
reviewer to do when those are the words that best describe a novel? Well, she gets off her literary high horse. This pulse-pounding, edge-of-your-seat, unputdownable thriller is about Jace, the teenage witness to a crime; the evil brothers hellbent on stopping him from talking; and their crazy cat-and-mouse game that plays out in the Montana backwoods.” – Reader’s Digest

“Not only does its plot sizzle with one shocking turn after another; it also involves a massive forest fire so vividly described you almost expect the edges of the pages to be scorched…Koryta builds the book's suspense with impressive skill, shifting among different characters' points of view to keep the reader constantly on edge.”Tampa Bay Times

“[A] heartpounder.”People

“[A] taut novel brimming with violence, terror, and (just as scary) the perils of growing up.”O, The Oprah Magazine

“Having joined the ranks of the very best thriller writers with his small-town masterpiece, The Prophet (2012), Koryta matches that effort with a book of sometimes-unbearable tension…this novel is brilliantly orchestrated. Also crucial to its success is Koryta's mastery of the beautiful but threatening setting, including a mountain fire's ability to electrify the ground, radiate a lethal force field—and create otherworldly light shows. Summer reading doesn't get better than this.” Kirkus (starred review)

“A fast-paced, terrifically entertaining novel.…The Blackwell brothers’ devious methods, the fire raging across the mountains, and the actions of those trying to save Jace will keep readers up well into the night.” Library Journal (starred review)

Koryta, a widely praised veteran of cross-genre tales, has upped his game with this stand-alone’s seamless blend of western-wilderness thriller and mainstream crime fiction, with a prickly dab of horror.Booklist (starred review)

“It’s an eerie setting with palpable threats at every turn, one that plays out somewhere between Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men and David Mamet’s screenplay for The Edge.” —Clayton Moore, Kirkus Reviews

Outstanding in every way, and a guaranteed thriller of the year.…Stephen King would be proud of the set up, Cormac McCarthy would be proud of the writing, and I would be proud of the action. Don’t you dare miss it.” —Lee Child, #1 bestselling author of NEVER GO BACK

“Warning: Michael Koryta’s wonderful, riveting, and harrowing THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD may just move you to tears. Enjoy at your own risk.” —Harlan Coben, #1 bestselling author of SIX YEARS

“Reading Michael Koryta is like stepping into fast water. You don’t know where the current will take you, only that it’s strong and deep and likely to sweep you away.” —John Hart, New York Times bestselling author of IRON HOUSE

“Absolutely breathtaking, nail-biting, and edge-of-your-seat. Michael Koryta is a master at maintaining suspense and a hell of a good writer. THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD is one of the best chase-and-escape novels you’ll read this year—or any other year. The pace never lets up.” —Nelson DeMille, New York Times bestselling author of THE QUEST

“Michael Koryta is that rare author who is at once a compelling storyteller and a fantastic writer. From the first sentence of THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD, you’ll be under his spell. This is an absolute sizzler.” —Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of IN THE BLOOD

“Michael Koryta’s THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD is an absolutely thrilling read. I read most of it with my breath held, occasionally exhaling to ask myself, ‘What will happen next?’ I highly recommend it.” —Kevin Powers, author of the National Book Award–nominated THE YELLOW BIRDS

“Michael Koryta isn’t just one of the finest authors working in the crime genre today. He’s simply one of today’s finest authors, period. THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD is Koryta at his best.” —William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author ORDINARY GRACE

“Wow! An absolutely first-rate novel. THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD is what every reader hopes for each time they start a book.” —Christopher Reich, New York Times bestselling author of RULES OF DECEPTION

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Amazon and Entertainment Weekly agree...

That THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD is the summer's #1 thriller.

and Entertainment Weekly:

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Return to the scene of the crimes...

Now this is what a book tour should be like! I’m sitting at a table outside of the Bearclaw Bakery in Cooke City, MT (year-round population 110 at last census, it is a CDP or “census-designated place”) and a friend I met last year, Cathy Pate, (whose son, Nick, played for the New Orleans Saints when they won the Super Bowl over my beloved Colts) walks up with a copy of the Oprah magazine that featured Those Who Wish Me Dead, tosses it on the table, and informs me that the postmistress made her wait until she’d finished a page in the book before conducting any Official Government Business. That’s the kind of response you like to hear!

The post office is not hard to visit – I could throw a baseball through the window from where I was sitting at the bakery, and I don’t have much of an arm – so I stopped by to thank Kara (the post master general for Cooke City/Silver Gate) for reading the book. I’m signing her copy when the door opens and one other person steps inside and says from behind me “It is a hell of a good book!” This is the owner of the Elkhorn Lodge. I haven’t met him before, but this is the way I prefer to meet people, and wish that it would happen more often. Clearly, I need to spend more time in Cooke City.

To say that the communities of Cooke City and Silver Gate have been supportive and generous in their enthusiasm over the book would be an understatement, and I can’t say enough just how much of a pleasure it was to see that. When you write about a real place, you try to do it justice, to get as much right as you can, and that’s not just locations on a map, it’s the feel of the place. You also hope that the locals will approve, and you better believe that those in Cooke City/Silver Gate wouldn’t be shy about offering opinions, good or bad! It meant a lot to me to see the book around town, to hear that so many people were aware of it, and appreciative of it. Now…about those things you try to get right – you better fess up when you get them wrong, too. I got a big one wrong, and I need to come clean. There’s a reference to a character walking down the sidewalk between the Cooke City General Store and the Miner’s Saloon. Well, as the storekeep’s daughter, Tessa, who tends the store more often than the storekeep himself as far as I can tell, got to that portion of the book, she said, “There ain’t no sidewalk.” And of course she’s right. I’ll defend myself only this far: there is a sidewalk in front of Miner’s, though it doesn’t go anywhere else, and most of the times I’ve exited the Miner’s Saloon, I’ve been in a state of, ahem, diminished observational capacity due to excessive hydration. (At high altitudes it is critical to stay hydrated. Ask any survival instructor). But Tessa is right, and I suspect that she is about most things.

The idea of my “Trace Jace” plan took a serious hit from the weather. Where Jace walked with Ethan, and then with Hannah, and where I have walked before, is unreachable now due to snow. In fact, most of the high Beartooths are unreachable due to snow, at least for hikers. I selected an “easy” route into the mountains and packed out a four-season tent. The easy route, on June 25, still featured stretches of snow that were three feet deep. Fortunately, it poured rain during most of the trip, which helped keep my mind off the snow. The better news yet was that the mosquitoes existed in clouds, which helped keep my mind off the rain. This is employing Reggie Bennett’s #1 survival priority of keeping a positive mental attitude: if you don’t want to think about the snow, think about the rain. If you don’t want to think about the rain, think about the mosquitoes. And as for the mosquitoes? Well, I was reminded of a quote from my friend, the stoic Bob Bley, who once advised Mike Hefron on how to handle wearing a cloud of mosquitoes as a shirt with the following instruction: “Just don’t mind them.”

The fourth official day of summer in the Beartooth Mountains

Hiking back out, we followed bear tracks so fresh that they hadn’t yet filled with rain. This would have been disconcerting if not for the fact that there were also cub tracks, and as everyone knows, there’s no safer situation that walking right up on a sow and her cub. It appeared the pair had gone down toward the Broadwater River to do some fishing. I let them take that path and fish in privacy. It’s the courteous thing to do; you never invade somebody else’s fishing hole, after all.

Hiking Buddy!!

I’m covered in mosquito bites, my knee aches from a bad twist in the snow, my nose somehow got so sunburned between the thunderstorms that it’s peeling in strips…and all I’m feeling right now is sadness that the trip is winding down. There’s no other place like the Beartooths, at least not in the lower 48, and as Hefron always reminds me: “If it was easy, everybody would be out here.”

That’s the beauty of it. The solitude and the wilderness. The way the mountains are always changing, and always gorgeous, no matter the weather. The way you can sit at your campsite and see an incredible expanse of wilderness but not another soul in sight. Then you get out of the wilderness, and back down to Cooke City and Silver Gate, and to a cocktail party on a cabin deck looking out over the mountains where every person in attendance has a different and fascinating story, and it should be little mystery why this area holds a special attraction to a writer. There’s a story at every stop here. Some might be found after sweating and gasping your way to a peak; others might be found over a beer and conversation. But the material sure isn’t going to run out.