**ARC provided by NetGalley**
Faith and forgiveness, revenge and redemption, the ways in which tragedy can shape our lives, and the different paths it can lead us. As two brothers unwittingly become part of the murder investigation, both must confront the role their choices had in the murder and confront demons of the past.
Adam and Kent Austin live in the small Ohio town they grew up in, and each brother has shaped their lives around the horrendous murder of their sister, Marie, more than twenty years ago – although neither of them realizes it.
When another murder of a teenage girl leaves the town reeling, both Adam and Kent will have to face the past and choose their own path – faith and forgiveness or revenge and redemption. Can the past be put to rest and the future redeem sins of the past?
After their sister’s death, Kent Austin devoted his life to coaching football and his family. He revels in the glory of the football field, but to him, football has always been more than the guts and the glory, it’s a way to reach kids and teach them valuable life lessons they can take away from the field.
Adam Austin has never been able to get over Marie’s death, or the role he played in it. Adam’s life takes a different path than Kent. Instead of trying to help kids, he’s intent on locking up the bad guys. Running a bail bonds office gives Adam the chance to chase down criminals and get them off the streets.
Adam and Kent are two very different characters I loved seeing the events play out through both of their perspectives.
I’m not a huge football fan, so some of the game scenes were a little tedious for me, but I did love how Koryta related the game with the events of the murder investigation.
The novel is a study of contrasts- from Adam and Kent themselves to the ways in which they deal with their grief to the two murders, to the road to football glory and the road to revenge. Koryta does a wonderful job weaving all of these into a highly enjoyable thriller.
The plot is filled with twists and turns and I couldn’t figure out how it was going to end, I had a few theories but I ended up being surprised by the ending – in a good way. There’s nothing worse than figuring out the plotline and having to trudge through the rest of a book. Not so with Koryta, he gives the reader the subtle clues to unlocking the secret but holds onto it until the final twist.
Having never read Michael Koryta before, I was a little apprehensive about reading and being unsatisfied by his work but I enjoyed every minute of The Prophet and look forward to reading more by Koryta in the future.