At the start of this stellar thriller from bestseller Koryta (If She Wakes), Nina Morgan fakes her own death in a remote area of Florida with the assistance of the two hit men who have orders to kill her—but decide not to because they’re unhappy with the man who hired them, among other reasons—in order to protect her husband, Doug Chatfield, and their two small children, Hailey and Nick. Ten years later, Doug dies in a car accident, a tragedy that triggers a contingency plan. Hailey, now 13, calls Nina’s pager, believing it’s the way to contact her aunt Leah Trenton. Nina, posing as Leah, takes custody of Hailey and Nick, now 11, and they start a new life in Maine. Despite Nina’s elaborate precautions, word of Doug’s death reaches Corson Lowery, the founder of what one U.S. senator calls “Blackwater on steroids.” Lowery, Nina’s former employer, was the person who ordered her killed a decade earlier. When he learns that the children have been picked up by a nonexistent aunt, Lowery puts two other hit men on her trail. Well-developed characters enhance the high-octane plot. Fans of nail-biting suspense will be in heaven. Agent: Richard Pine, InkWell Management. (Feb.)
"A new Koryta is an automatic must-read for me, but seriously - this one is special. What a ride! It might be the best thriller you'll read this year." Lee Child
“Koryta has crafted another shivery story with a killer of a start and a nail-biting ending…yet without scrimping on the heart and humanity of the characters, both good and evil.” Sandra Brown
“In this complex, surprising, and totally satisfying suspense novel, all of the moving parts, every character, every scene leads to one of the best showdowns I’ve read in years.” James Patterson
“Koryta’s expert plotting is on full display as he masterfully introduces one intriguing character after another, weaving their stories together while leading all of them—and the reader—to a stunning finale. Never Far Away is a must-read for thriller fans.” Alafair Burke, New York Times bestselling author of The Better Sister
"Michael Koryta is a powerful and masterful writer with bone-deep understanding of his characters, and a gift for perfectly- paced suspense. With its transporting sense of place, and elegantly layered but utterly breathless story, Never Far Away is the raw, emotional, and riveting work of a craftsman at the top of his game. By far one of the best books I’ve read this year.” Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions on the 7:45
"Never Far Away is an emotional story about parenting, teenage rebellion and a stunning travel guide to the wilds of Maine, with enough adventure and action for thriller fans....Koryta, who has received numerous awards and nominations, again shows his polish as a writer in Never Far Away, able to sculpt enthralling stories with believable characters and solid twists. Emotion and adventure meld perfectly in Never Far Away."Oline H Cogdill, South Florida Sun Sentinel
“A stellar thriller…. Well-developed characters enhance the high-octane plot. Fans of nail-biting suspense will be in heaven.” Publishers Weekly
"Michael Koryta's Never Far Away opens with a nail-biting scene....Thrillers are only suspenseful if the stakes are high and the villains formidable, and the Blackwell men in Koryta's novels are among the most lethal in crime fiction....The story is [Leah's], though: a mother who goes through her worst nightmares only to come out as fierce as those who wish her dead."Shelf Awareness
PRAISE FOR MICHAEL KORYTA AND RISE THE DARK
"Koryta delivers nonstop action in an all-too-plausible scenario, with that hint of the uncanny that's become his trademark. The ending will have readers pounding his door for more." Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of Guilty Minds'
"Outstanding in every way, and a guaranteed thriller-of-the-year... Stephen King would be proud of the set up, Cormac McCarthy would be proud of the writing, and I would be proud of the action. Don't you dare miss it."Lee Child, #1 bestselling author of Killing Floor
"Among his many gifts, Michael Koryta is a virtuoso in his use of outdoor settings... his thrillers present the great outdoors in their most frightening aspects. The book's atmospheric power and strong cast of supporting characters make Rise the Dark compelling from the get-go."Lloyd Sachs, Chicago Tribune
"Rise the Dark is both first-rate entertainment and an unusually interesting thriller in terms of its characters, its plot, and the ideas it explores, which include the electrical grid, Tesla's history, spiritualism, and the nation's possible vulnerability to a right-wing takeover."The Washington Post
Koryta kick-starts his latest novel with a witness to a murder faking her own death using the assassins hired to kill her. Nina Morgan must leave her husband and two children and assume a new identity to ensure their safety. Ten years later, the children's father dies and the kids, 13-year-old Hailey and 11-year-old Nick, are sent to live with Nina, whom they know only as "Aunt Leah." Her former employer, who set up the original assassination attempt, realizes that Nina must be alive. Using his power as the leader of a Blackwater-like paramilitary organization, he sends out new hit men to complete the job. From there, Nina and her children must learn to trust each other as they try to stay one step ahead of their hired killers. VERDICT Fans of the author's previous works will be on the edge of their seats as they follow his characters' attempts to survive vicious assassins. As he often does, Koryta (If She Wakes) provides strong character development, believable dialogue, and a fast-paced narrative. Keen observers will notice a brief sighting of two brothers (and evil murderers) who were introduced in Koryta's Those Who Wish Me Dead.—Jason L. Steagall, Arapahoe Libs., Centennial, CO
Having faked her death and fled her family a decade ago to protect them from killers, Nina Morgan—renamed Leah Trenton—is newly targeted by two assassins in the Maine North Woods.
The assassins have been dispatched by the Blackwater-like outfit for whom Nina was employed as a pilot and against whom she testified after witnessing a grisly murder. In her absence, before he died in a car accident, her husband instructed their daughter, Hailey, 13, and son, Nick, 11, to contact their "Aunt Leah" if something happened to him. Having never been visited by her, they're understandably upset when she suddenly appears at their home in Louisville and moves them to a Wi-Fi–less cabin in Maine. Soon enough, the killers track her down, leaving victims in their wake. Also arriving on the scene is sardonic young sociopath Dax Blackwell, part of a family of hit men featured in Koryta's novels. Asked by a family friend to protect Nina, Dax seizes the opportunity to even a score with the wealthy head of the black ops firm. He also likes the idea of making the suffering mom's life more miserable. All leads to a cleverly staged triangular encounter on and along the Allagash River. As always, Koryta uses outdoor settings masterfully. The usually persuasive author is less successful in overcoming some head-scratching plot contrivances and oddities. But the book is loaded with nail-biting suspense and parent-child emotion. And though there's more of Dax's corrosive wit than the story can bear ("You never stop talking, do you?" one character asks him), the book hits the ground running and never slows down.
Not one of Koryta's best but still a freshly imagined thriller.