Chilling story, great narration

Those Who Wish Me Dead - Michael Koryta

Originally posted on The Book Nympho


Quick summary
Jace Wilson, 14-years old, unwittingly witnesses a murder and has the good sense to get away but left his ID behind. The killers are two cold-blooded brothers, Jack and Patrick Blackwell, and they never leave anyone behind. Jace is in a unique witness protection location, a wilderness skills program in the mountains of Montana. His instructor, Ethan Serbin, knows he's there but doesn't know which of his students is Jace.


What works
This is one of those books that hooks you from the first sentence. Knowing that a young teenager is the hunted prey just elevated the suspense level to almost unbearable proportions. The Blackwells are two of the scariest villains I've read in fiction and, trust me, I've encountered some monsters. The beautiful but isolated Montana setting provided a surreal contrast to the nightmare created by the Blackwells search.


The characters who come to Jace's aid...Ethan, his wife, Hannah the fire tower lookout among others...added even more depth to the story. Jace was also an extraordinary young boy who made this more interesting. The journey was just as important as the outcome. Plus, there was a twist at the end that blindsided me hugely. NEVER saw it coming, not even a hint. The climax was bittersweet but an appropriate ending for the characters and the story.


The narration
Absolutely superb! Michael Petkoff made a suspenseful story even more riveting. Everything was perfect...character distinctions, perfectly pitched voice elevation, pacing. This was my first time listening to Michael Petkoff and when I discovered he narrates the Immortals After Dark series, I got the next book in audio format.


The bottom line
This is my first book by Koryta and I'm adding more to my shelf. It's a perfect blend of mystery, suspense and thrills. If you can listen to the book, you'll enjoy this story even more. 


(I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)