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The newest thriller from Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author When fourteen-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he's plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare. The killers, The newest thriller from Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author When fourteen-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he's plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare. The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are slaughtering anyone who gets in their way in a methodical quest to reach him. Now all that remains between them and the boy are Ethan and Allison Serbin, who run the wilderness survival program; Hannah Faber, who occupies a lonely fire lookout tower; and endless miles of desolate Montana mountains. The clock is ticking, the mountains are burning, and those who wish Jace Wilson dead are no longer far behind.


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The newest thriller from Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author When fourteen-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he's plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare. The killers, The newest thriller from Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author When fourteen-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder, he's plunged into a new life, issued a false identity and hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled teens. The plan is to get Jace off the grid while police find the two killers. The result is the start of a nightmare. The killers, known as the Blackwell Brothers, are slaughtering anyone who gets in their way in a methodical quest to reach him. Now all that remains between them and the boy are Ethan and Allison Serbin, who run the wilderness survival program; Hannah Faber, who occupies a lonely fire lookout tower; and endless miles of desolate Montana mountains. The clock is ticking, the mountains are burning, and those who wish Jace Wilson dead are no longer far behind.

30 review for Those Who Wish Me Dead, Signed Limited Edition

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jonetta

    Posted on Blue Mood Café Quick summary Jace Wilson, 14-years old, unwittingly witnesses a murder and has the good sense to get away but left his ID behind. The killers are two cold-blooded brothers, Jack and Patrick Blackwell, and they never leave anyone behind. Jace is in a unique witness protection location, a wilderness skills program in the mountains of Montana. His instructor, Ethan Serbin, knows he's there but doesn't know which of his students is Jace. What works This is one of those books t Posted on Blue Mood Café Quick summary Jace Wilson, 14-years old, unwittingly witnesses a murder and has the good sense to get away but left his ID behind. The killers are two cold-blooded brothers, Jack and Patrick Blackwell, and they never leave anyone behind. Jace is in a unique witness protection location, a wilderness skills program in the mountains of Montana. His instructor, Ethan Serbin, knows he's there but doesn't know which of his students is Jace. What works This is one of those books that hooks you from the first sentence. Knowing that a young teenager is the hunted prey just elevated the suspense level to almost unbearable proportions. The Blackwells are two of the scariest villains I've read in fiction and, trust me, I've encountered some monsters. The beautiful but isolated Montana setting provided a surreal contrast to the nightmare created by the Blackwells search. The characters who come to Jace's aid...Ethan, his wife, Hannah the fire tower lookout among others...added even more depth to the story. Jace was also an extraordinary young boy who made this more interesting. The journey was just as important as the outcome. Plus, there was a twist at the end that blindsided me hugely. NEVER saw it coming, not even a hint. The climax was bittersweet but an appropriate ending for the characters and the story. The narration Absolutely superb! Robert Petkoff made a suspenseful story even more riveting. Everything was perfect...character distinctions, perfectly pitched voice elevation, pacing. This was my first time listening to Petkoff and when I discovered he narrates the Immortals After Dark series, I got the next book in audio format. The bottom line This is my first book by Koryta and I'm adding more to my shelf. It's a perfect blend of mystery, suspense and thrills. If you can listen to the book, you'll enjoy this story even more. 4.5 stars (I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    No matter how tightly you close your eyes......once you've seen Evil, it will always be there. Michael Koryta centers his story around a young boy barely into his teens. It's sometimes the young who must carry the burden and the weight of a responsibility far beyond a tender age. Jace Wilson finds himself on the ledge of an old quarry. He's taken a bet that he never planned for. It's the high dive right into the darkened water below that faces him this day. Jace knows that a practice leap off that No matter how tightly you close your eyes......once you've seen Evil, it will always be there. Michael Koryta centers his story around a young boy barely into his teens. It's sometimes the young who must carry the burden and the weight of a responsibility far beyond a tender age. Jace Wilson finds himself on the ledge of an old quarry. He's taken a bet that he never planned for. It's the high dive right into the darkened water below that faces him this day. Jace knows that a practice leap off that ledge is in order as he leaves his clothes bundled in a pile. How do you daredevil yourself? The leap is a push-off mainly of fear and terror as he finally hits the water. In shock, Jace kicks over to the rocks in order to get a grip. Within seconds he hears voices from above. Making himself as small as possible against the rocky cove, Jace will witness an unspeakable act. Someone is forcing a handcuffed man over the ledge. And the someones are in uniform. Right about now, he's gasping for air in order to stifle a mounting scream from within. And that pile of his discarded clothes? They become a calling card with his iphone as to his identity. Jace will now be running from the Big Dogs. Big Dogs don't leave witnesses. Koryta moves this story to the mountains of Montana. Ethan and Allison Serbin take on troubled boys from the city. Jace has been placed within this group and will go under the name of Connor Reynolds. The Serbins have no clue as to which boy is under protection. Ethan will take his group hiking and camping in the mountains instructing them in survival and dependency on one another. But there's going to be a predator duo who will be after the "former" Jace. We'll be introduced to the Blackwell Brothers whose hearts beat with blackened hatred. They've been bought and paid for by those wicked characters who want Jace's eyes closed forever. Ethan and Allison have no clue that Hell is rolling toward them at a rapid speed. Okay, you've probably seen the coming attractions for the Angelina Jolie movie coming out in theaters and on HBO Max this past week. Angelina Jolie will play the part of Hannah Faber who is stationed in a watch tower as a spotter for forest fires. She's going to play a crucial part in all this going forward. Needless to say, Michael Koryta got there first. Those Who Wish Me Dead is a fast-paced adventure into ruthlessness. Koryta takes on the themes of burning survival inflicted with the heat of relentless pursuit. Koryta knows how to lean on pressure that keeps the characters and the readers hyperventilating throughout the storyline. The run-up to the ending will take a vicious slide to the unexpected. Like they always say, the book is better than the movie. How about both?

  3. 5 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    Another very thrilling suspense novel from Koryta, who never seems to disappoint. Great characters and a tension filled story make THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD an excellent read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    What a great way to bring in the new year! There's plenty of suspense & some wicked surprises in store. Excellent characters, wonderful country, & more. It would have been a 5 star read except for stumbling over a couple of my pet peeves toward the end. Even so, I loved it. Koryta is an author I'll be seeking out in the future. He's not afraid to break with tradition when handling his characters. The story hooked me immediately & was very plot driven. Most of the characters were barely described What a great way to bring in the new year! There's plenty of suspense & some wicked surprises in store. Excellent characters, wonderful country, & more. It would have been a 5 star read except for stumbling over a couple of my pet peeves toward the end. Even so, I loved it. Koryta is an author I'll be seeking out in the future. He's not afraid to break with tradition when handling his characters. The story hooked me immediately & was very plot driven. Most of the characters were barely described & yet I pictured them clearly. There were couple of exceptions that were the better for it. The Pet Peeves were probably minor enough that most won't mind or notice them for the most part. All are spoilers in one form or another though. The one big one was The Gun: (view spoiler)[ A rifle with a scope falls & is later used to make a long distance shot. This fall killed one man & just about killed another yet the rifle is still accurate. Might as well bring on Glynda the Good Witch & have her float it down. (hide spoiler)] The others are fairly minor, but culminated at the end. It's as if he got tired & didn't go back to clean up properly. (view spoiler)[ - Everything about the horse didn't ring true. Two of them & one horse in that country. The broken leg. The months of stall rest suddenly followed by riding double. She didn't worry about the right things, either. - Him shingling while she is taping drywall during the rebuilding. With a tiny crew, a house is dried in fully first. Would you risk ruining your drywall because the wind tore up some tar paper & water flowed in to wet your insulation & ruin your drywall? - The whole burn the grass & survive bit there at the end seemed artificial. The time didn't flow right or something. I just went with it, but I'm glad I couldn't flip back a page & reread. (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Lawrence

    If you like action, suspense and the thrill of the chase, then this book is definitely for you. Another good book by Michael Koryta and I highly recommend this book to all MK fans and new ones too.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brooke

    As soon as I read the synopsis for this, I knew I had to pick it up during my next library run. Perhaps I had too high of expectations (especially considering the 3* rating I gave The Cypress House last year), but I'm still bummed I didn't enjoy it more. It took over a week to finish this, due to the fact I read multiple books in between, because by page 20 I felt like I could put it down. (Never a good sign.) Several days later I decided to buckle down & get through it. Thankfully, the journey As soon as I read the synopsis for this, I knew I had to pick it up during my next library run. Perhaps I had too high of expectations (especially considering the 3* rating I gave The Cypress House last year), but I'm still bummed I didn't enjoy it more. It took over a week to finish this, due to the fact I read multiple books in between, because by page 20 I felt like I could put it down. (Never a good sign.) Several days later I decided to buckle down & get through it. Thankfully, the journey was rocky at first but eventually smoothed out into an enjoyable enough ride. When fourteen-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a murder, he is thrust into a new identity & a new life. Now he is Connor Reynolds, an attendee for a wilderness survival program for troubled teens. His instructor, Ethan, isn't aware of which one of the boys is in hiding, but he agrees to this because he wants to help keep him safe. Little do they know, the killers are close to Jace's/Connor's trail. Too close. Now it's a pulse-pounding race to see what happens first: the Blackwell brothers getting to Jace, or Ethan being able to deliver on his promise of keeping the boy safe. And what better way to instill the fear of the clock ticking down than to add a mountain fire into the mix? Man vs wilderness: who will survive? Once I got over the initial hump of the first 1/3 of the book, I started to truly get intrigued once Jace was on his own & the Blackwell brothers arrived to town. I liked how this was truly a survival novel- with trinkets of helpful information to store away for later sprinkled in. I'm not the biggest outdoorsy person so I doubt it would be news to those who are, but I'm slowly trying to improve, so it was nice to see all the same. I think my biggest problem with THOSE WHO WISH ME DEAD wasn't the plot itself, but more so of the way Koryta painted his characters. Ethan's wife, Allison, is described as a "beauty queen" (of course) & when she has her showdown with the brothers, she still has thoughts of her appearance that takes away from the flow what what's happening in the mountains. Same goes for Hannah Faber, who watches for fires in the tower lookouts. It is described in Jace's thoughts that she is thin, thin enough to assume she has an eating disorder. Really? How does these unnecessary descriptions add to the novel? I'm not sure what Koryta was going for & it was distracting & off putting to see. The Blackwell brothers were creepy enough to be believable, to have a twinge of fear creep up your spine. In some ways I think there should have been more of a creepiness factor, but I'm happy this element didn't overshadow the book. I really enjoyed Hannah's character & wish more time would have been spent on her & Jace's journey instead of Allison (in actuality did she need to be there at all?? 🤔) . There were some things that bothered me including a Native American tracker (like that isn't a cliche), the fire not giving off enough of a glow to light the path & Alison going off into the mountains on horseback a day after she gets severely injured (yeah right). The ending was so sad (thankfully it didn't wrap up with a little red ribbon!), but I was satisfied with the conclusion. Overall an okay read; I really loved the chase & Hannah & Jace as characters. I would have liked this more if views about appearances were dropped & a gripping beginning was added. I almost dropped this, but I'm glad I stuck through. I think this would be a good choice to put on the big screen & I would still pick up another novel by this author (just with lower expectations).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Leslie Mills

    The women in our veteran Upper West Side book group long ago gave up reading thrillers in favor of Serious Literature, so we approached reading Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta (Little, Brown) with some amusement. Although Mr. Koryta has written several other novels, he was new to us. The novel is about a thirteen-year-old boy who witnesses a murder by two cold-blooded killers. He enters under an assumed name in a wilderness program for troubled youth, but the killers track him down, murd The women in our veteran Upper West Side book group long ago gave up reading thrillers in favor of Serious Literature, so we approached reading Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta (Little, Brown) with some amusement. Although Mr. Koryta has written several other novels, he was new to us. The novel is about a thirteen-year-old boy who witnesses a murder by two cold-blooded killers. He enters under an assumed name in a wilderness program for troubled youth, but the killers track him down, murdering everyone in their way. It’s a plot-driven story, with practically no physical description of the characters, with the exception of the two villains, brothers who are tall, blond, and blue-eyed, and speak in a strange, detached manner (reminding us of the villain played by Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men.)¬ These two chilling sociopaths are memorable creations. Jace, the boy in the story, was well rendered: You care about him, a timid child forced into a situation hitherto beyond his abilities. Ethan, the leader of the wilderness group, is half-formed. He’s defined by his wilderness skills and his love for his wife, and that’s about it. The others are such blank slates that they could be played by almost anyone the casting people choose, in the coming movie made from this novel. In particular, we agreed, the women were poorly written, especially Hannah, the fire watcher, whom one of us called “dumb as a duck.” And why does Ethan’s wife have to be a former beauty queen? We decided that the lack of character description must be a “guy thing.” Some of us found the violence and torture gratuitous, while others asserted they were necessary in order to communicate the utter bloodthirstiness of the villains. Some found the blatant foreshadowing in the story clever in the beginning, but overdone later. The events in the last third of the novel are piled on in a breathless crescendo we found not believable and, in particular, the idea that Ethan’s wife, Allison, who was severely burned and hospitalized the previous day, could mount a horse and go looking for her husband in the mountains, ridiculous. ‘You’ve gotta be kidding!” said one member, rolling her eyes. There was one jarring continuity problem, when Ethan, who knows that the Indian tracker, Luke, is dead, refers to him a little later as if he were still living. Despite these caveats, we found the book held our interest. The husband of one of our members grabbed it out of her hand and couldn’t put it down. The plot twist at the end revealing the villains’ collaborator (no spoiler here) came as a surprise. We were interested in the details about wilderness tracking and firefighting. To sum up, it was a good light read. We thought it would make a fun movie. Reading it was rather like eating potato chips—you can’t put the bag down until you’ve finished the last one, and when you have, it’s been pleasurable but completely lacking in nutrition.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Perri

    This was a thriller lover's thrilling thriller. The pacing was perfect, the action just kept coming. Loved the characters- the heroes are heroic, the villains are villainous and the setting in mountainous Montana, evocative. 4 1/2 stars rounded up. This was a thriller lover's thrilling thriller. The pacing was perfect, the action just kept coming. Loved the characters- the heroes are heroic, the villains are villainous and the setting in mountainous Montana, evocative. 4 1/2 stars rounded up.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    I was completely engrossed in this book, jaw open and dangling, heart beating a bit too quickly, and everything up until maybe the 70% mark. Then a few things happened that made me knock off a star and a half but those were probably things peculiar to me, alone, and won't bother other readers. So, here's the story: We start with a kid who is trying to tame his fear of heights when he finds a dead body and some killers. There is no wading into this tale, it is all SMACK! POW! in your face right aw I was completely engrossed in this book, jaw open and dangling, heart beating a bit too quickly, and everything up until maybe the 70% mark. Then a few things happened that made me knock off a star and a half but those were probably things peculiar to me, alone, and won't bother other readers. So, here's the story: We start with a kid who is trying to tame his fear of heights when he finds a dead body and some killers. There is no wading into this tale, it is all SMACK! POW! in your face right away. I was impressed. As for the cast, we've got two evil, creepyass brothers, who talk like this especially in the audiobook ((view spoiler)[which, later, becomes a highly-apt association and probably where the reader and perhaps even the author got the speech patterns (hide spoiler)] ) a former SERE trainer and his tough, kickass wife, a bunch of troubled kids in the ready-to-conflagrate mountains of drought-ridden Montana, and a damaged wildlands firefighter. Suspense builds as the cats start out after their nervous-but-hopeful mice and wind up getting a few other rodents along the way. In addition, there's a big, ol' forest fire and the storm season is here so that means lightning strikes all over the place and you know what? It's all going to come together to be suspenseful and thrilling. Who will survive? Not the pine trees, I can assure you. Is this fine literature? Of course it's not. Is it highly entertaining and easy to comprehend? Why, yes it is! The writing style is fast, there's enough description so you get the gist of the situation but you're left to paint the rest of the picture yourself most times; it's all perfect for this type of story. The gripes I had that did NOT lead to de-starring: -I know the story wouldn't have been intense had there been more reality applied, but how did so many people get into a wild fire zone during the burning? When our fires hit, we get put into serious lockdown and when it gets close, evacuation. Apparently, Montana does things differently. "Oh, well, this mountain is burning down and it's pretty dry up there and windy and so we expect this place to go up like hell, but, you know, just stick to the trails and such. You'll be fine. Don't dehydrate." Um, no. -I was never clear on time and distance in this place. I'm not sure how everyone managed to make it as far as they always did or seemed to go in the right direction and meet up with the people with whom they met up...night and day and travel distance didn't seem to mesh in my head. I was skeptical. -If there's a forest fire on a mountain, things around the mountain do not get dark at night. It glows for miles. There should have been more glow, more noise, more heat, more smoke while everyone was out in the wilderness as it burned. That bugged me a bit. -Really? A native American tracker? Because that's really all Native Americans can do if they work for the forest service, you know. They're all trackers. <--sarcasm. But those things did not keep me from loving these things: -Jace. Man, that kid is no dummy. Did he know things beyond his age? Maybe, but remember, he's been studying survival on his own for awhile because he's paranoid about what happens when one is not aware of one's surroundings. Plus, some kids are just clever. He's one of them. I liked that a lot. -Allison. Wow. Well, up until the part that made me roll my eyes because come on, she's not the terminator. Still. Wow. -Hannah. My neighbor is a hot shot. At least for now; he's soon to be not my neighbor and not a hot shot because he just got a different job in another state. But right now, he's on fires, he's like Hannah. I've heard some stories. Nothing in-depth, of course, but I like to know about what he and his team are doing out there, right up with the fire, fighting it back, moving it forward. It's incredibly interesting. Some of Hannah's knowledge mirrored some of those stories. That was neat. -There are good how-to-be-in-the-wilderness tips throughout, which made me very happy. There are also some bad ones (really, seriously, please NEVER practice your fire-building skills while in drought-ridden pine forests. Just don't do it for any reason at all ever) -That horrible, almost deliciously-awful irony of footwear choice. So much cleverness leading to so much NO NO NO-ness when it was supposed to be the exact opposite. Based on all that, this is a solid 4, maybe 4.5 star story. Here's why it's only 3 for me, and seriously, I'm going to spill secrets so if you don't want to know, do NOT open the spoiler: (view spoiler)[ 1. Just, no. A burn victim who has had the shit smacked out of her is not going horseriding the next day, not even to find her husband and another woman's missing child. No, the hospital is not going to let her sign herself out. In fact, why is she even awake? Shouldn't they have her drugged up and sleeping so she can heal? She is burned up, full of smoke, and her jaw is broken. I had a really hard time with her and what's-her-head going horseback riding into the wilderness to find fire, children, and husbands. Just...no. 2. SURPRISE! NO! That's dumb! Ok, I didn't quite buy that what's-her-name was Jace's mom but, really? REALLY? In the words of Dr. Evil, "Rigoddamndiculous" One star died right there. 3. Hannah's sentimental end. I was all ensaddened until that point and then I was pissed off because I could hear some editor somewhere going, "No. This is too harsh. She's been a hero. You've gotta give her something, man. You know in that scene in Beetlejuice where the football team all shows up in solidarity? Yeah, make it like that. That will make this all sappier and the girls will cry and everyone will love this book. They'll make it into a movie. Just don't make it so horrible and realistic, for the love of all things safe and undamaging." Well, F-U, editor. We don't all need candy to get over our boo boos. Sometimes, we have to bleed and we have to deal. Stop softening the blow. (hide spoiler)] karen, I think you're going to like this one, probably for the same things I liked. Survival tips! Hooray! I do NOT recommend this for residents of Washington, Oregon, or Utah this summer and definitely not for anyone who is still tender about the firefighters in AZ last year.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Perry

    Hellhound Duo from Hades' Hollow Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. (King James Version, Job 5:7) Cue up "Dueling Banjos": This book kept me interested with a decent plot line. It's most notable for a pair of brothers that were the most believable and meanest set of psychotic villains I've seen in a story. On the other hand, it seemed the author took unnecessary shortcuts to arrive at the climax, which seemed forced. All in all, a good, not great, thriller. I hope Mr. Koryta wri Hellhound Duo from Hades' Hollow Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward. (King James Version, Job 5:7) Cue up "Dueling Banjos": This book kept me interested with a decent plot line. It's most notable for a pair of brothers that were the most believable and meanest set of psychotic villains I've seen in a story. On the other hand, it seemed the author took unnecessary shortcuts to arrive at the climax, which seemed forced. All in all, a good, not great, thriller. I hope Mr. Koryta writes another novel with such superbly drawn demons, putting a little more work into developing the protagonists.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Andrea

    I won this book on first reads I would of rated this book more than 5 star.brilliant writer it had me on my edge of my seat theres a few exciting twists about a young lad sees a murder hides in the mountains with the killers on his tail.glad I won this book brilliant read really recommend it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Banner

    Wow this was suspenseful! We start out with a young man witnessing a murder and has to be put in witness protection. He finds his way to Ethan and Allison Serbin a couple that run a survivor training course and once a year take in troubled teens as a way to help them learn some very important life skills. When I read the publishers summary I had the plot all worked out in my mind as pretty typical, but after reading the sample I thought it was well written and jumped in. This story is not typica Wow this was suspenseful! We start out with a young man witnessing a murder and has to be put in witness protection. He finds his way to Ethan and Allison Serbin a couple that run a survivor training course and once a year take in troubled teens as a way to help them learn some very important life skills. When I read the publishers summary I had the plot all worked out in my mind as pretty typical, but after reading the sample I thought it was well written and jumped in. This story is not typical! There were so many surprises and direction changes that I was pretty much glued to my kindle until I finished. This was enjoyable entertainment. If your uncertain, do as I did and get the free Kindle preview. This has 10 chapters, by that time, you will know. I wish more publishers did this. Enjoy!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Yigal Zur

    amazing stoey. so well written. sharp and fine. no word wasted in this amazing story about a boy forced to fight for his life. great feel for nature and mountains. loved it

  14. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway which didn't influence my review. I've read other books by this author and enjoyed them, but I think that this was his best novel yet. It had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, afraid to see what happened next, while at the same time, afraid that I couldn't read the book fast enough to see what happened next. This suspenseful book was full of surprises that I never saw coming. And it was full of characters I came to care about, making me nervou I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway which didn't influence my review. I've read other books by this author and enjoyed them, but I think that this was his best novel yet. It had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, afraid to see what happened next, while at the same time, afraid that I couldn't read the book fast enough to see what happened next. This suspenseful book was full of surprises that I never saw coming. And it was full of characters I came to care about, making me nervous as to whether or not they would survive. Because make no mistake, this book was definitely about survival, whether it was surviving wildfires, two stone cold killers, or cowardice and self doubt. Ethan Serbin, a survival instructor in Montana who in the past has taught elite military personnel how to stay alive, is now devoting his time to running a wilderness program for troubled kids, teaching them both survival skills and self confidence. He and his wife, Allison, have been asked by a law enforcement officer to shelter in their program a young man who witnessed a brutal murder, the witness protection program not being an option since law enforcement officers may be involved in the crime. The killers are hunting the boy, wanting to eliminate him as a witness and anyone who gets in their way of finding him. Drawn into the fray is Hannah Faber, a former Hotshot firefighter who now mans a lookout tower to spot and report any evidence of wildfires. But what she observes from her tower this time is a different kind of threat, though no less deadly than fire raging through the mountains, her troubled past having to be put aside in order for her deal with it. What elevated this story above all the other similar stories in this genre was the tight plotting and the original characters. The story begins with Jace, a young man afraid of heights until he encounters much worse fears when encountering the murderous, intelligent, and strangely, emotionless Blackwell brothers. Jace is the hub of the wheel from which the murderers and all the other flawed characters spin their stories, the larger story rolling along, building speed, until it reached the satisfying ending. The author had me rooting for Jace and those trying to help him, their only hope being to outwit the two murderers they had no ability to out power. This story was entertaining, but it was also informative and interesting with all the survival and wildfire facts sprinkled seamlessly throughout it. So as you can tell, I highly recommend this book if you're looking for a suspenseful story with well drawn characters who will stay with you long after you've closed the book on them. Look for it in June, 2014.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kristin (MyBookishWays Reviews)

    http://www.mybookishways.com/2014/07/... I’m not new to Koryta’s work, and really enjoyed The Prophet, so I had high expectations for this one. Since I read it in one afternoon, it’s pretty safe to say they were met. I’m a sucker for survival stories, and this is one, but it’s also a thriller that pretty much starts with a bang and doesn’t stop to take a breath. Jace Wilson is 13 when he decides to practice his diving in a quarry in order to make good on an ill conceived bet. He’s worried about t http://www.mybookishways.com/2014/07/... I’m not new to Koryta’s work, and really enjoyed The Prophet, so I had high expectations for this one. Since I read it in one afternoon, it’s pretty safe to say they were met. I’m a sucker for survival stories, and this is one, but it’s also a thriller that pretty much starts with a bang and doesn’t stop to take a breath. Jace Wilson is 13 when he decides to practice his diving in a quarry in order to make good on an ill conceived bet. He’s worried about the fallout if he fails to deliver on the dive, but when he encounters a dead body in the water, throat cut, after one of his dives, the bet becomes the least of his worries. This is a creepy, creepy scene, and Koryta sets it up perfectly, especially from the perspective of a 13 year old boy. If the body wasn’t bad enough, the two killers actually return, with a hostage, and poor Jace actually witnesses that killing. Jace is subsequently given a false identity, and eventually finds his way to Ethan and Allison Serben, who run a survival wilderness program in Montana. Ethan and Allison are approached by former US Marshall Jamie Bennett, who had previously taken part in one of Ethan’s survival courses. Jamie gives them the bare minimum that they need to know in order to make a decision: one of the boys in their next survival program will be a witness under a fake name, and there is little to no chance that he will be found in the Montana wilderness. Allison initially thinks it’s way too risky, and Ethan does too, but Allison knows that he won’t say no, that he can’t say no. Soon, Ethan and Allison meets the new group of boys, and off they go, with Allison manning the radio, but with no knowledge of their route this time. One would think that Jace would be safe in the mountains, but these killers are far from ordinary. Let’s talk about the Blackwood brothers (our intrepid killers) for a minute. Not only do they have absolutely no qualms about killing, and killing a child, no less, but they’re just creepy. The author notes that it’s like they’re in their own little world, and everyone else is just window dressing to be dealt with. They’re as cool, calm and collected as it comes, and very, very capable. As you can guess, a game of cat-and-mouse is afoot, but it’s in the Montana mountains with an advancing forest fire, and it’s a chilling scenario. Jace is a smart, capable kid, though, and he’s got Ethan, Allison, and emotionally damaged former firefighter, Hannah Faber, at his back. Koryta has a gift for smart characters that don’t stretch believability (they’re smart, but flawed, too), and in Allison and Hannah, he’s given us some of the strongest female protagonists that I’ve seen in a long time. Yes, Ethan is manning the survival expedition, but Allison is no wilting violet sitting at home waiting for her husband to return. She’s awesome, and the lengths that she will go to in order to protect those she loves is boundless. I also love a thriller that makes my jaw drop, and this one did it in the third act. I couldn’t put it down, seriously. This is a smart thriller with smart characters and some of the most unearthly bad guys I’ve read in a while. The pacing and dialogue reminded me a bit of peak Koontz (without the SF/supernatural element), and for me, this is a positive. Koryta’s got his own unique mojo, however, and it works, as does just about everything in this book. This is the perfect summer thriller.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jane Stewart

    3 ½ stars. Slightly above average but I was not excited. I didn’t smile. I didn’t feel good with anticipation - probably because the main characters were mostly victims. I prefer books where the main characters do smart things or unexpected things. Here the main characters are smart and do reasonable things, but nothing special or different. Two evil brothers go anywhere, do anything, and no one sees them or stops them. They kill and torture, including police. They were definitely interesting, bu 3 ½ stars. Slightly above average but I was not excited. I didn’t smile. I didn’t feel good with anticipation - probably because the main characters were mostly victims. I prefer books where the main characters do smart things or unexpected things. Here the main characters are smart and do reasonable things, but nothing special or different. Two evil brothers go anywhere, do anything, and no one sees them or stops them. They kill and torture, including police. They were definitely interesting, but I wanted something better about the good guys. There was justice in the end which I liked. I loved Envy by this author. It was similar in that the bad guys were practically unstoppable. But the hero was a highly skilled fighter and shooter. He did surprising things and could thwart the bad guys. He surprised them. They didn't expect someone like him. That was fun. I was disappointed with the crisis scene at the beginning of this book. 14 year old Jace is swimming in a quarry and hiding under a rock when the bad guys appear. They kill a guy and throw him in the water. Then they see Jace’s clothes nearby and start looking for him. The scene stops. We don’t see what happened with their search for Jace until much later in the book when it is vaguely referred to - no details shown. That could have been a great scene with Jace’s emotions as he hides, flees, gets away, or whatever. Even better, have the boy do something surprising. See Spoiler. (view spoiler)[ Apparently the bad guys called the man who hired them saying a boy/witness might be hiding in the water. The man said there is not enough time to search so leave it. I’m thinking why no time to search? These bad guys began a several weeks long search for the boy right after that. The author did not clarify or do enough with that. (hide spoiler)] AUDIOBOOK NARRATOR: Robert Petkoff did a fine job. DATA: Narrative mode: 3rd person. Unabridged audiobook length: about 11 hrs. Swearing language: none that I recall. Sexual content: none. Setting: current day mostly Montana. Book copyright: 2014. Genre: suspense thriller.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maureen DeLuca

    Once again if I had the option for a 1/2 star- this book would be 4.5 . (The only reason for not a 5 star read is only a few 'quirky' things- that I noticed with the book- ).... but even so - WOW, did I really love this book We have a 14 year old boy, Jace Wilson ,who was minding his own business and just happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. He witnessed a brutal murder , by the Blackwell Brothers. When the Brothers realized there was a witness, their attempt to catch him had faile Once again if I had the option for a 1/2 star- this book would be 4.5 . (The only reason for not a 5 star read is only a few 'quirky' things- that I noticed with the book- ).... but even so - WOW, did I really love this book We have a 14 year old boy, Jace Wilson ,who was minding his own business and just happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. He witnessed a brutal murder , by the Blackwell Brothers. When the Brothers realized there was a witness, their attempt to catch him had failed. As of now the only thing left for the Brothers to do is to find Jace and kill him. The only way to keep Jace safe is to totally take him off grid. Jace enters a wilderness survival program for troubled teens run by Ethan Serbin and his wife Allison in Montana. I absolutely fell in LOVE with Ethan, an elite survival-skills instructor during his Air Force career- now married to Allison who is another fantastic character to this story!! The mountains are where much of the action takes place and where you see how truly evil these brothers can be. They care about nothing or no one, only about each other and getting the job done leaving a trail of death and destruction in their paths. The characters in this book are excellent. Jace is immediately likable. He is a wonderful combination of self-doubt, courage, and initiative. Ethan and Allison are fantastic and then we also get to meet Hannah, who is a gem. Her backstory is fantastic and adds a wonderful depth to the overall story. The villains are CREEEEEPY, for a lack of a better word with multifaceted personalities and unique qualities that make them not only worthy opponents, but chilling characters. A fantastic read !!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    Saw a preview for this new movie last night (2021) and thought the premise looked familiar--guess I read it in 2014! Original review: Very fast paced book--a thriller that just keeps moving in different directions. A little surprise twist, but it's more about the journey and the adventure than the mystery. Overall just a fun summer read. Saw a preview for this new movie last night (2021) and thought the premise looked familiar--guess I read it in 2014! Original review: Very fast paced book--a thriller that just keeps moving in different directions. A little surprise twist, but it's more about the journey and the adventure than the mystery. Overall just a fun summer read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Those Who Wish Me Dead – Simply Brilliant I am not sure what world I have been living in for the last few years but I had never heard of Michael Koryta until Hodder sent me a copy of Those Who Wish Me Dead, I now know what I have been missing. Koryta is an outstanding crime thriller author who will literally blow your socks off with the story and leave you with a tear at the end. Those Who Wish Me Dead is well researched well written and breathe takingly brilliant. Jace Wilson is a 14 year old boy Those Who Wish Me Dead – Simply Brilliant I am not sure what world I have been living in for the last few years but I had never heard of Michael Koryta until Hodder sent me a copy of Those Who Wish Me Dead, I now know what I have been missing. Koryta is an outstanding crime thriller author who will literally blow your socks off with the story and leave you with a tear at the end. Those Who Wish Me Dead is well researched well written and breathe takingly brilliant. Jace Wilson is a 14 year old boy who is trying to conquer his fear of heights by diving in to the old quarry pit behind his house. He manages a dive and finds more than he has bargained for, when he comes across a dead body and as he scrambles to get off the pit lake the police appear and he witnesses them killing a man and he hides. He is in fear of his life and that fear will carry with him throughout the book. He might be hiding in plain sight with the name of Connor Reynolds but will what he learns on the mountains be enough for him to be a survivor? Ethan Serbin is an instructor in survival skills and has taught that in the Montana mountain range since he left the Air Force and lives in his log cabin with his wife Allison. Every summer he takes boys on a summer camp of survival on the mountains and this year is going to be no different, or so he thought. Ethan has taken Connor on the mountains to teach them survival skills when the Blackwell brothers turn up in his local area and reek havoc and death on everything and everyone that they come in contact with. On hearing what is happening in the local town Connor knows that they are there to kill him and he has to get away from the group. So begins an extraordinary chase and escape novels and who will be left standing at the end will keep you turning the pages as you hope just hope that Connor survives. The pace is relentless as he enlists the help of Hannah a fire watcher to get him to safety. He has to beat the mountains, the weather and more importantly he has to beat the deadly forest fires. Through the prose that Koryta uses you are drawn in to the fight for survival you take the highs and the lows because of the wonderful evocation that Koryta brings to this thriller. The closer you get to the conclusion the faster you need to go can Connor survive bullets, mountains and fire and more importantly the Blackwells. You feel the nervous pace of Connor as he is trying to escape the deadly Blackwells who are ice cold and evil. This is a brilliantly stunning fast paced novel that is outstanding from the writing, the imagery and the will to be a survivor. Those Who Wish Me Dead will draw you in and you really want to be the survivor, but it may leave you with a tear or two depending on who and what you are.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    It's been a while that I enjoyed a book so much that I didn't want it to end. The pace never bogged down with characters I liked and villains I loathed. There was a lot of information about survival techniques and forest fire maintenance that was integrated into the story in such a way that I didn't feel like I was reading a survival manual. There were some over the top situations, but that goes with the genre. I've read others that really pushed the limits of believability. This was not one of It's been a while that I enjoyed a book so much that I didn't want it to end. The pace never bogged down with characters I liked and villains I loathed. There was a lot of information about survival techniques and forest fire maintenance that was integrated into the story in such a way that I didn't feel like I was reading a survival manual. There were some over the top situations, but that goes with the genre. I've read others that really pushed the limits of believability. This was not one of them.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    When fourteen-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a murder, his life is turned upside down. Jace is given a new identity and placed in a wilderness survival program for troubled teens. The police believe this will be a good way to keep Jace off the grid while they search for the killers. Ethan and Allison Serbin run the program. They've been told that one of the boys is a witness to a murder, but they don't know which teenager it is. As Ethan leads the boys into the mountains, he is watching his back When fourteen-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a murder, his life is turned upside down. Jace is given a new identity and placed in a wilderness survival program for troubled teens. The police believe this will be a good way to keep Jace off the grid while they search for the killers. Ethan and Allison Serbin run the program. They've been told that one of the boys is a witness to a murder, but they don't know which teenager it is. As Ethan leads the boys into the mountains, he is watching his back to make sure no one has tracked the group of boys into the wilderness. This is my first book by this author but it won't be my last. This book has a great plot and a wonderful setting in the mountains of Montana during wildfire season. The characters of Jace, Ethan, Allison, and fire tower lookout Hannah Faber are well-developed, but Jack and Patrick Blackwell, the villains of the story, steal the show. They are creepy and very disturbing. I was totally drawn into this story and lengthened my daily walks just to listen to more and more of the audiobook. Robert Petkoff's narration was superb, especially when it came to the Blackwell Brothers. My rating: 5 Stars.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bonnie Brody

    Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta is a thrilling ride in the mountains of Montana. Jace is a thirteen-year-old on the run after witnessing two brothers kill a man. The brothers are frighteningly competent killers who will stop at nothing to silence Jace and anyone who gets in their way. The witness protection program cannot protect Jace so he is enrolled under a pseudonym in a camp that teaches troubled youth how to survive in the wild. Ethan and Allison run the camp. Shortly after Jace, Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta is a thrilling ride in the mountains of Montana. Jace is a thirteen-year-old on the run after witnessing two brothers kill a man. The brothers are frighteningly competent killers who will stop at nothing to silence Jace and anyone who gets in their way. The witness protection program cannot protect Jace so he is enrolled under a pseudonym in a camp that teaches troubled youth how to survive in the wild. Ethan and Allison run the camp. Shortly after Jace, now known as Connor, takes off into the mountains for training, the brothers arrive spreading death and torture as they pursue Jace. They try their evil ways on Allison. She is hurt; down, but not out, and sends out a distress signal. Ethan finds out that Allison has been hurt and takes the boys with him back to town, but Jace knows that he must run away from the group if he is to survive. He runs, utilizing the survival skills he’s already learned from Ethan. As he’s running, he finds Hannah, who works a fire lookout. Jase convinces her to help him escape the murderous brothers and the two take off to try to make contact with a crew fighting the forest fire raging below. In the hospital while visiting Allison, Ethan is kidnapped by one of the brothers to track Jace. The brother threatens that Allison will be killed if he refuses to go with him. Ethan’s plan is to trick the brother and kill him in the mountains, but the other brother shows up and now he has the lethal two to deal with. Allison finds out that Ethan has gone back to the mountains so she checks herself out of the hospital to try and save Ethan. The fire is a big one and promises to get fiercer yet. The two brothers are a formidable team and they’re getting close to Jace. Will they kill Jace and Ethan before Ethan can stop them? Will Hannah get Jace to the fire crew before either the brothers or the fire gets them first? Will Allison get to Ethan in time? Will Jace survive? This is a cliffhanger of a thriller all the way and will make a fine movie. The characters are well-developed. We care about the heroes and dispise the really awful villains. The author captures the sense of place in the mountains of Montana really well.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    I've always liked plots that revolve around regular folks who, when faced with sudden life and death situations, step up and confront the fear head-on. Young Jace Wilson accidentally witnesses a brutal murder while swimming in a local quarry and was recognized by the two killers. His parents send Jace into the mountains of Wyoming in a desperate attempt to get him off the grid and keep him safe to testify. They enlist him in a Outward Bound kind of wilderness program for troubled teens headed up I've always liked plots that revolve around regular folks who, when faced with sudden life and death situations, step up and confront the fear head-on. Young Jace Wilson accidentally witnesses a brutal murder while swimming in a local quarry and was recognized by the two killers. His parents send Jace into the mountains of Wyoming in a desperate attempt to get him off the grid and keep him safe to testify. They enlist him in a Outward Bound kind of wilderness program for troubled teens headed up by an ex Air Force survival trainer and his wife. The action very quickly shifts into high gear when the killers locate Jace in Wyoming and proceed to hunt and kill him before he can identify them. The chase is a major adrenalin rush and a fast, fun read with unforgettably compelling characters who definitely step up and confront their fears in the form of two very proficient psychotic killers and a raging forest fire................Ed

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bracken

    I'm not a fan of precocious child books (or precocious child anything for that matter), but Michael Koryta avoids the pitfalls of writing a youthful protagonist with skill and a deftness that kept me reading happily. Add to the stew a pair of villains who seem equal parts the unstoppable Salamanca Brothers (from Breaking Bad) and Anton Chigurh from McCarthy's No Country For Old Men, a supporting ensemble of compelling and well-developed characters set in motion by and against them, and an ending I'm not a fan of precocious child books (or precocious child anything for that matter), but Michael Koryta avoids the pitfalls of writing a youthful protagonist with skill and a deftness that kept me reading happily. Add to the stew a pair of villains who seem equal parts the unstoppable Salamanca Brothers (from Breaking Bad) and Anton Chigurh from McCarthy's No Country For Old Men, a supporting ensemble of compelling and well-developed characters set in motion by and against them, and an ending that is best described as incendiary.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    OMG! That was an E-Ticket Ride!!!! Hold on to your seats kind of novel! This was suspense in the best sort of way. The bad guys were written so well. I could hear them in my mind and it gave me chills! The good guys were good, but flawed. Everything that I have been looking for from new to me authors! I have found a new favorite!

  26. 5 out of 5

    SUSAN *Nevertheless,she persisted*

    I thought this book was both predictable and implausible. You really lost me at burn victim on horseback roaming the countryside.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    When Jace Wilson witnesses a murder, it is decided that he needs to be protected, but instead of going into WITSEC, Jace is taken to a wilderness camp designed to deal with troubled teenagers. Jace becomes known as Conner and starts his journey with Ethan and Allison Serbin who own and run the wilderness camp. It isn't long before the killers known as the Blackwell Brothers track Jace down and begin to track him into the wilderness, but when the brothers accidentally start a forest fire, Hannah When Jace Wilson witnesses a murder, it is decided that he needs to be protected, but instead of going into WITSEC, Jace is taken to a wilderness camp designed to deal with troubled teenagers. Jace becomes known as Conner and starts his journey with Ethan and Allison Serbin who own and run the wilderness camp. It isn't long before the killers known as the Blackwell Brothers track Jace down and begin to track him into the wilderness, but when the brothers accidentally start a forest fire, Hannah Faber who lost her husband to a fire a year ago becomes Jace's only hope for survival. Those Who Wish Me Dead uses the wilderness survival trope and adds a couple of unusual killers to the mix. We get very little backstory on most of the characters, but the story does focus on Jace through his thoughts and feelings as he runs from the killers. All of the characters make questionable choices throughout the story, but the plot does move forward with lots of action and adventure. Overall, Those Who Wish Me Dead is a decent survival story, which is very different from the recent movie of the same name based on this book.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lisazj1

    I've read a few of Michael Koryta's books and they usually have at least a touch of the supernatural. This was just a straight up crime thriller and a damn good one. The tension never let up and I was totally caught up in the story. Really great read! I've read a few of Michael Koryta's books and they usually have at least a touch of the supernatural. This was just a straight up crime thriller and a damn good one. The tension never let up and I was totally caught up in the story. Really great read!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Terri Wino

    Whew! This book gripped me from the beginning and didn't let up on the suspense until the final pages. This is the first book I've read by Michael Koryta and it certainly lived up to the hype I had read in other reviews. He has created characters that you easily find yourself caring about and wanting them to be safe, and those murderous brothers pursuing their quarry in this book -- perfect cold-blooded psychos that never go beyond the bounds of believability...which makes them all the more terr Whew! This book gripped me from the beginning and didn't let up on the suspense until the final pages. This is the first book I've read by Michael Koryta and it certainly lived up to the hype I had read in other reviews. He has created characters that you easily find yourself caring about and wanting them to be safe, and those murderous brothers pursuing their quarry in this book -- perfect cold-blooded psychos that never go beyond the bounds of believability...which makes them all the more terrifying! If you're looking for a fast-paced, suspenseful thriller, Those Who Wish Me Dead certainly fits the bill!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Not too bad. This is a book where you definitely have to suspend belief. Towards the end there was something that really had me rolling my eyes but it lead to a twist I never saw coming!

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