Suspense

A teen tries to survive adolescence - and a pair of killers

 

Michael Koryta’s latest novel skillfully melds a thrilling adventure story set against the Montana wilderness with a poignant coming-of-age story. Those Who Wish Me Dead moves at a brisk pace as Koryta weaves in themes of redemption, survival and grief to illustrate how ethical choices can reverberate.

Teen Jace Wilson is spending the afternoon jumping in the pool of an abandoned quarry near his Indiana home when he witnesses two men in police uniforms drag a man to the quarry and kill him. Jace escapes but leaves behind his identification and clothes, which the men find. To keep him safe, former U.S. marshal turned security expert Jamie Bennett places Jace in a Montana wilderness training program for troubled teens run by survival expert Ethan Serbin.

Ethan doesn’t know which of the seven boys in the program is Jace. Witness protection doubling as wilderness training is a logical idea for Ethan, who found his own salvation in the woods when he was on the path to becoming a juvenile delinquent. The self-confidence survival skills had given him and the teens in his charge translate into any situation, rural or urban, but those skills will be tested when the two killers make their way into the wilderness.

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. As he matures in this high-stakes situation, Jace retains the persona of a teenager, and even the killers, with their odd speaking patterns and creepy stares, are frighteningly real.

Oline H. Cogdill reviewed this book for the Associated Press.

Read more Entertainment stories from the Miami Herald

  • Miami Beach

    A branch of O Cinema may be coming to North Beach

    Miami Beach may get an independent cinema for art and foreign films.

  •  
Chadwick Boseman stars as James Brown in “Get On Up.”

    Screen gems: What’s ahead in movies and on TV for the week of July 27

    The week ahead at the movies and on TV

  •  
 <span class="cutline_leadin">LAST STORIES AND OTHER STORIES</span>. William T. Vollmann. Viking. 704 pages. $36.

    Stories

    Tales of worldy travels take ghostly turn

    Among contemporary American authors, William T. Vollmann’s project is unique. There is simply no other writer on the map who purchased a Thai sex slave, tried to fight with mujahideen rebels in Afghanistan and almost died in the Arctic Circle. And that’s just for starters. Vollmann has traveled to war zones, pored over the U.S.-Mexico border and made a study of the world’s destitute. His mammoth curiosity encompasses questions of war, morality, economics, lifestyle, gender, aesthetics, art and music.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category