QUICK OUT: "The Prophet" By Michael Koryta

I love football (primarily the Dallas Cowboys).  I also love to read.  Occasionally, those two passions come together.  As a writer for The Landry Hat, we were recently offered a unique opportunity to receive an advance copy of a new book and post a review.  I thought this week – before the start of the regular NFL season – would be an ideal chance to take our eye off the ball so to speak and share a review of a really excellent novel!

The book is entitled “The Prophet” written by Michael Koryta.  To be honest, I had never heard of this author despite the fact that he has published eight previous books in the mystery/thriller genre and has also won the prestigious Los Angeles Times Book Prize.  His writing has been widely praised by more familiar names such as Dean Koontz, James Patterson, and Stephen King.  As a former private investigator and newspaper reporter, Koryta brings a wealth of knowledge and a sense of authenticity to his books.  He also brings a unique and powerful writing style with a knack for creating vivid imagery.  For example, in the second paragraph of “The Prophet” he writes, “Those who pass him have their heads down and shoulders hunched, turtles seeking their shells.”  What a simple but powerful analogy that give the reader a perfect idea of the scene.

The Prophet” is particularly relevant to a football website because the story is set in the middle of Ohio football country and takes place during the state championship season of a big-time football program in the small-time mid-western town of Chambers, Ohio.  Football is intimately and skillfully woven into the story.  It involves two brothers – one the successful head coach of the Chambers High School Cardinals – the other a bail bondsman/private investigator who played on the last Chambers team to win a state championship over 20 years earlier.  The brothers share more than a name though.  They share a tragedy as well – the murder of their sister in 1989.   A tragedy that still haunts them both and has driven a wedge between them – a void that is bridged only with the advent of a new tragedy and another murdered girl.

The Prophet” is an intriguing story full of some unexpected twists and turns.  A football fan will enjoy how football is intertwined in the story, but you would not have to be a football fan to be able to follow and enjoy the novel.  Overall, I found it a very easy read and tough to put down.  I plan to get some of Koryta’s other works and give them a read as well.  I highly recommend “The Prophet” and enjoyed it very much.

We are a week away from the start of the 2012 season.  Let’s hope the Cowboys get as many players as possible healthy and on the field for the game next Wednesday against the Giants!  The wait is going to seem like forever.  What better time to distract yourself with a good book?  Go Cowboys!

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