Friday, June 27, 2014

Those Who Wish Me Dead, by Michael Koryta

Michael Koryta. Those Who Wish Me Dead. New York: Little, Brown, and Company, 2014. 390 pages. ISBN 9780316122559.

In Michael Koryta's tenth book, two killers are tracking a young boy who witnessed them committing a murder. Jace has been put into a wilderness survival camp for the summer in an effort to hide him from the murderers who are after him. His name changed to Connor, he's trying to pass himself off as a juvenile with a troubled past. The survival camp is run by Ethan and Allison Serbin. In an effort to protect Connor, Ethan takes the boys into the mountains for days at a time, teaching them how to light a campfire, find drinkable water, and escape from wildfires. Somehow the killers track Connor down, and while interrogating neighbors to find out Ethan and Connor's location, set a fire that begins to spread through the mountains. When Connor realizes that the killers are nearby, he strikes out on his own, using the knowledge and skills he learned from Ethan. A forest ranger, Hannah Faber tries to help him escape from them.

The action and suspense are relentless in this book; I found it impossible to put down. There are completely unexpected twists and turns in the plot that kept me guessing until the end. Once again, Koryta refuses to give a pat happy ending to his book, providing instead a bittersweet ending that left me a little sad. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys thrillers or mysteries.

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