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The Prophet

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,598 Ratings  ·  552 Reviews
Adam Austin hasn't spoken to his brother in years. When they were teenagers, their sister was abducted and murdered, and their devastated family never recovered. Now Adam keeps to himself, scraping by as a bail bondsman, working so close to the town's criminal fringes that he sometimes seems a part of them. Kent Austin is the beloved coach of the local high school football ...more
Hardcover, 399 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2012)
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The Aeneid by VirgilAnna Karenina by Leo TolstoyThe Real Life of Sebastian Knight by Vladimir NabokovThe Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. SmithThe Prophet by Michael Koryta
Gray n Red!!!
5th out of 42 books — 8 voters
Gone Girl by Gillian FlynnDark Places by Gillian FlynnNo Time for Goodbye by Linwood BarclaySharp Objects by Gillian FlynnCaught In The Light by Robert Goddard
Non Police/PI Mysteries
78th out of 357 books — 58 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Sep 10, 2015 Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing
Shelves: man-tears, 2015
The Austin brothers haven't spoken in years, not since high school when their sister was abducted and murdered when one of them should have been driving her home. Now, Kent is a football coach and Adam is a hard-drinking bail bondsman. When Adam unwittingly sends another girl to her doom, the two brothers must work together to find her killer...

Holy. Shit. This was one hell of a book.

The Prophet, while appearing initially to be a crime book, is really about what happens to families after a trage
This story is kinda like if Coach Eric Taylor on Friday Night Lights and Nick Stefanos from the crime novels by George Pellecanos were brothers who had been pulled apart by a family tragedy and now faced a killer.

Actually, I’m just being glib and that’s not doing justice to this book. Let’s start over:

In 1989, Adam Austin was a high school football star and his younger brother Kent looked to follow in his footsteps. As their team was in the middle of a season that would culminate in a state cha
Sep 29, 2015 Brandon rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Brandon by: Dan Schwent
Shelves: favorites, fiction, 2015
I’ve always been a fan of football movies. Which is strange considering I don’t particularly care much for the sport itself. Watching it live, I find it slow, boring and I only vaguely understand the rules enough to get by. However, if told right and paced correctly in a story, there’s a special sort of high drama that goes hand in hand with the sport.

Michael Koryta uses an infinitely talented and well disciplined high school football team chasing the state championship as a backdrop for a story
Jan 27, 2015 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent thriller from Koryta & well read. It was quite a bit longer than I expected. Could have ended at the end of part 3, about the 3/4 mark, but continued on. I usually don't like that, but there were threads that needed resolution & it was a great one.

The characters might have spent a bit too much time thinking, but they were well & clearly drawn from kids to adults. There was plenty of action & it all made sense. Quite horrifying at times & every parent will ha
Aug 03, 2012 Lou rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller, arc
Check out my interview with Michael Koryta in August 2012 >>

Kent Austin a coach of a football team and is brother Adam Austin, a bail bondsman, are two main characters from this story.
Coach is a family man who walks with prayers in mind and hopes he has conquered vengeance with forgiveness and offered redemption for the guilty.
Their kin had been murdered in the past and a recent murder with possible links to people near him, bring t
Mallory Heart Recommends
Aug 09, 2012 Mallory Heart Recommends rated it it was amazing
36 stars!

Review of The Prophet by Michael Koryta

Publication date August 7, 2012

I had hoped this would be one of my favourite author’s stunning Supernatural thrillers (this is what happens when one doesn’t read the blurb LOL). It isn’t-but it is a stunner nonetheless. As far as I am concerned (and I believe I’ve read all his books to date), author Michael Koryta cannot write an imperfect book. Yet in “The Prophet” he has gone above and beyond even his usual perfection, and written a book so deep
Sep 13, 2014 Gatorman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic read from Koryta, who does crime fiction much better than supernatural. The writing is top notch and the charecterizations are spot-on. The troubled relationship between brothers Adam and Kent is well-played and the football background is blended in nicely without overwhelming the main storyline. The ending is powerful and satisfying. Very highly recommended.
I really like Michael Koryta's recent novels. So Cold the River, The Ridge, and The Cypress House were all really good mysteries with a supernatural twist. They were suspenseful without really being gory enough or scary enough to fall into the horror category. I also really liked the first of the Lincoln Perry mystery series, Tonight I Said Goodbye. It was a tightly crafted detective novel that kept me guessing.

Because his last three novels were supernatural suspense, I was expecting this novel
Oct 28, 2014 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of thrillers and American football
Recommended to Mark by: Susanne Leist
Well this book was mostly about a football coach and his brother, they lost their sister to a murder, and the story tells how they both coped with this loss in their lives.
When another young girl loses her life in a horrific way when one is a successful American football coach and the other one a bailsman it will change their lives again and set them on a course that unites them again in a way.

And that was the thriller bit and the rest is about the game of American football. While a writer like
Jul 31, 2012 Jason rated it liked it
3 Stars

Michael Koryta is one of my favorite authors writing today. His books are creative and unique in that they often combine the everyday with a touch of the supernatural. His environments and his locations are characters in themselves, giving the books life and imagination. The Ridge and The Cypress House are two of my favorite reads of his that I recommended to my family and my friends. In this book, The Prophet, Koryta steers his tale in a direction of the main stream. This is his most acc
Kelly Hager
Jul 30, 2012 Kelly Hager rated it it was amazing
Adam and Kent are brothers, but couldn't be more different. They haven't been close in years, probably ever since their sister Marie was murdered. Kent is a high school football coach and Adam is a bail bondsman and occasional private detective.

One of Kent's players' girlfriends goes to Adam to help find her father. He tracks him down and gives her the address. When the girl is later found murdered, Adam vows to find him and kill him. In his mind, it's all wrapped up with his sister's
Mary Gramlich
Mar 13, 2013 Mary Gramlich rated it it was amazing
At some point we all answer for what we have done

Brothers Adam and Kent have lived through the worst that any person could imagine a murdered family member. Each had made a decision the night their sister Marie was abducted and murdered to be consumed with their own teenage lives and shirk the responsibility of taking care of their sister. The brothers grew up and moved on to other adult lives with Kent coaching their hometown team and trying to save the world through religion. Adam became a ba
George Lichman
Jul 27, 2012 George Lichman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Michael Koryta's ninth book, The Prophet, is scheduled for release on August 7, 2012. After three paranormal thrillers, The Prophet is a return to Mr. Koryta's roots: a mystery set in northeast Ohio. Since I am a fan of mysteries, a fan of Mr. Koryta, and a northeast Ohioan, I was excited to get my hands on a copy of this thriller. And I was not disappointed. On page five, still part of the prologue, I knew I was hooked after reading this, a glimpse inside the mind of the as of yet unknown anta ...more
Aug 19, 2012 Alecia rated it liked it
Way too much football in this book, both literally and (perhaps?) as a metaphor. Not a big fan of the game, so there were many pages of boredom and skimming of excrutiating (to me) high school football game details. Kent Austin, one of two brothers who are the novel's protagonists, is a beloved high school footbal coach. He and his brother Adam have not spoken in years, since their sister was abducted and murdered. Adam is a bail bondsman, struggling with overwhelming guilt and remorse relating ...more
Dec 27, 2015 Meg rated it really liked it
Brilliant! Adam and Kent Austin lost their sister when she was brutally murdered at age 16. Years later the brothers still live in their hometown: Adam is a bail bondsman, Kent the high school football coach. When another teenage girl is murdered the ghosts of their past collide with a present day horror.

Great characters and a story full of twists make this a great book. The book came recommended by one of my favourite authors - Dennis Lehane - and it put me in mind of his sharp and gritty style
Nicholas Sparks
Jan 12, 2016 Nicholas Sparks rated it it was amazing
Michael Kortya is a masterful storyteller, and he has written another gripping thriller about two brothers searching for a murderer in a football-loving town. You won’t want to put it down.
Morgan Mussell
Aug 11, 2012 Morgan Mussell rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, thriller
Half the storefronts are empty in Chambers, Ohio. Abandoned steel mills stand as silent monuments to a past that will never return. Two brothers, Kent and Adam Austin, work in two of the biggest industries that remain in the town - high school football and bail bonds. Their careers, like most everything else in their lives, were defined the night someone kidnapped and murdered their sister when the three of them were in high school.

The brothers have hardly spoken during the 22 years since their
Diane S ☔
Aug 07, 2012 Diane S ☔ rated it really liked it
A small town in Ohio, once the home of steel, now dying, population decreasing and a very good high school football team that means much to the people who haven't left. Two brother, taking different paths after the murder of their sister and someone who wants to test one of the brothers faith. Another winner by Koryta, a thriller that explores the concepts of revenge and redemption, faith and acceptance. It is also a novel about what family means, that despite differences there may be times when ...more
May 16, 2016 MissSusie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Michael Koryta’s writing and this book was no exception, although the football stuff was a bit too much for me as was Kent’s holier than thou attitude. Brothers Kent, big time football coach, and Adam, semi- low-life bail bondsman/ PI have never gotten over their sister Marie’s death. I felt bad for Adam he has blamed himself all these years for his sister’s death and it tore the brothers apart and that separation has not gotten better with years.

Right before the big play-off game a you
Feb 08, 2013 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
When I started this, I thought I was in for a Raymond Chandleresque treat, complete with hard-boiled detective, savvy resigned beautiful secretary, innocent but evasive young girl, etc. etc.

And then it turned into a football novel. I'm not a big fan of football. It's violent and the game seems to be comprised of people in helmets lining up, shouting a few words then crashing into each other, piling up on top of whomever has the ball until the whistle blows. Then they stand up in virtually the s
Oct 14, 2013 Ronna rated it really liked it
THE PROPHET is a mystery that seems to say that everyone could reach a point in their lives that could cause them to be the villain that they feel they normally would condemn. I've read glowing reviews, and reviews that trash this book as being too much about football and not enough about a mystery. I think perhaps those one star reviews are missing something that make this book so much more than just a mystery. Will not say lots more on that because I believe the real discerning readers will be ...more
Aug 28, 2012 Patricia rated it it was amazing
Marie Austin was picked up on her way home from school, brutally attacked and killed. The death of Marie had a profound effect on her brothers Adam and Kent. The family was torn apart by the tragedy. Both boys were outstanding football players. Kent went on to become a coach at the high school. Adam became a bondsman and private detective. Adam felt responsible for his sister's death. He was to pick her up and give her a ride home from school but instead he picked up Chelsea Salinas and spent th ...more
Daniel Bland
Aug 15, 2012 Daniel Bland rated it it was amazing
"There's no fear that can break true faith, isn't that right? I always admired your conviction. Your foolishness. Will you forgive me, too, coach? Will you pray for me? Will you remain unbroken?"

It is a cool autumn evening in Chambers, Ohio, and beloved football coach Kent Austin's team is just a few wins away from an undefeated, record-breaking, state-championship season. His older brother Adam Austin, a bail bondsman in the same small town, meets a young woman looking for her father, asking Ad
Alisa Kester
Dec 19, 2012 Alisa Kester rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrillers
This is definitely a four-and-a-half-stars book, but I'll round up, in Koryta's case. This is my first book by this author, and really, I should never have read it. I only picked it up because it has an interesting cover (birds of any sort, even dead ones, attract me) and when I started skimming a few pages, I noticed a large part of it was about football. GAH. Football. I dislike pretty much all team sports, but I have a special hatred for football.

But the writing...the writing was clearly good
Oct 06, 2012 Kris rated it it was ok
This book had a good solid serial-killer-thriller premise and got off to an interesting start...and then it unraveled in a few different ways by the end, with a sudden and too-unexpected twist, too much hand-wringing over the same subjects all the way through, and, most irritatingly, a tendency for the author to make his characters suddenly forget how to speak in contractions ("I will not let that happen...", "I do not know how...")over and over. Clunky dialogue makes me crazy: it's not like an ...more
Melanie Johnson
Jul 29, 2014 Melanie Johnson rated it really liked it
Kent is the local football coach that has never taken his team to a state championship. He is Zen-like in his approach to coaching. His brother, Adam, is a chain-smoking, liquor drinking, former football star and who is now a bail bondsman in the same hometown. When they were younger, their sister, Marie, was killed. Now a local young woman has been killed again and the murders are similar.

I have never read a Michael Koryta novel, but now I can't wait to go grab the rest of his collection. Real
Jul 06, 2015 Brenda rated it really liked it
Michael Koryta is one of a few writers who shifts from genre to genre even though it is considered career suicide to do so. Koryta however, seems to actually thrive on it! Known as a crime/suspense novelist, Koryta shifted into supernatural novels like So Cold the River or The Ridge but in The Prophet, he returns to his roots of crime and suspense.

Adam and his brother Kent couldn’t be less alike. Adam, a PI and a bail bondsmen, lives a life that is not much different than the criminal element he
Liz Crowe
Feb 25, 2016 Liz Crowe rated it it was amazing
As I was perusing the shelves for something to give Mr. Crowe for a stocking stuffer that he could use on his upcoming trips for work overseas, I stumbled upon this book. It was a "store favorite" at an independent bookstore downtown Ann Arbor and, since I'd snagged a copy of the latest Jack Reacher for him already, I though I'd take a chance on an author new to us.

As is usually the case, he never got around to reading it (he always reads the Lee Childs books though!) and I grabbed it last week,
Ross Cumming
Oct 24, 2015 Ross Cumming rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I had never heard of the author Michael Koryta before reading this novel and I only started reading it as I saw my eldest son had read it and given it a 5 star review. However on the strength of this novel I'll certainly be delving further into his canon in the future.
Kent Austin is the coach of the local high school football team, for which he used to play, and they now have a shot at the State championships this year, while his brother Adam, also an ex high school football star, now runs a ba
Dec 08, 2015 Mike rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller-crime
Your younger sister was murdered when you were in high school. A murder that you could have prevented if you had only drove her home from school. Now 20 years later, another high school girl has been murdered and it seems as if the murderer is sending a message to you. But your sister's murderer was caught years ago and died in prison. What's going on here?

That's the setup for Koryta's The Prophet. It is a character study of two brothers and their grappling with the past as much as it is a murde
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Michael Koryta (pronounced Ko-ree-ta) is the New York Times-bestselling author of 11 suspense novels. His work has been praised by Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Dennis Lehane, Daniel Woodrell, Ron Rash, and Scott Smith among many others, and has been translated into more than 20 languages. His books have won or been nominated for the Los Angeles Times Boo ...more
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“He kept the gun in his lap as he drove, and he prayed. It was the strangest prayer he’d ever offered. He asked for strength to do the wrong thing, and then forgiveness for doing it.” 0 likes
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