Michael Koryta never fails to give readers chills. Those Who Wish Me Dead, his tenth thriller, after 2012’s The Prophet, proves this trend is not changing anytime in the near future.
Thirteen-year-old Jace Wilson is a carefree kid concerned only with fitting in with his peers. Then he witnesses a murder by the morbidly fascinating Blackwell brothers, killers with pale blue eyes and robotic speech patterns. Witness protection is out of the question—the bad guys have informants on the inside. Jace’s parents decide to get him off the grid by hiding him in the Montana mountains with Ethan and Allison Serbin, a couple who conduct wilderness survival training for troubled youths. To protect him further, he’s given a new name, Connor Reynolds, and not even the Serbins know which of the six boys in their training group Jace is.
Even with these precautions, the Blackwells aren’t far behind. They’ll do anything—torture, arson, murder—to find him. When Jace realizes they’re closing in, he makes a break for the wilderness, using the survival training he’s received from Ethan. However, not only the Blackwells are threatening. A forest fire is raging out of control. Enter Hannah Faber, an ex-firefighter and a lookout in a desolate fire tower, who is haunted by the ghost of a young boy she could not save. When Jace appears at her tower, she vows she will not lose another boy in her care, be it to killers or fire.
No longer considered an up-and-comer, Koryta has arrived, and at the tender age of 31 has become the consummate thriller writer. In Those Who Wish Me Dead, not only do readers get a top-notch thriller with a delicious twist, but they receive a well-researched education on forest fires and firefighting as well.