Author: Michael Koryta

Absolutely Chilling! Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta

Posted September 23, 2014 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 11 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Absolutely Chilling! Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael KorytaThose Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta
Narrator: Robert Petkoff
Published by Hachette Audio on June 3, 2014
Genres: Mystery, Suspense
Format: Audiobook
Length: 10 hours, 30 minutes
Source: Publisher
Audio | Goodreads

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.

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 Robert 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.

About Robert Petkoff

Robert Petkoff is an award-winning American stage actor known for his work in Shakespearean productions and more recently on the New York City musical theater stage. Petkoff has performed on Broadway, the West End, regional theatre, and done work in film and television. Petkoff was featured as “Perchik” in the Tony award-nominated 1994 revival cast of Fiddler on the Roof but is perhaps best known for his role as “Tateh” in the 2009 revival of “Ragtime” on Broadway. Petkoff has also provided the voices for over two dozen audiobooks, winning awards for his reading of Michael Koryta‘s So Cold the River. Married to actress Susan Wands, Petkoff has lived in New York City for the last twenty years, and often performs in benefit concerts for theater-district-related charities.

About Michael Koryta

Michael Koryta (pronounced Ko-ree-ta) is the New York Times-bestselling author of nine suspense novels. His work has been praised by such writers as Michael Connelly, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Dennis Lehane, Daniel Woodrell and Scott Smith among many others, and has been translated into more than 20 languages. His books have won or been nominated for prizes such as the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Edgar® Award, Shamus Award, Barry Award, Quill Award, International Thriller Writers Award, and the Golden Dagger.

Before turning to writing full-time, Michael worked as a private investigator and as a newspaper reporter, and taught at the Indiana University School of Journalism. He was raised in Bloomington, Indiana, and graduated from Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice. In 2010 he was honored to be named the year’s “distinguished alumni’ by the criminal justice department. He currently divides his time between Bloomington and St. Petersburg, Florida, with his wife, two dogs, and a cat. Outside of writing and reading, his interests include hiking, camping, animals (please visit to learn about one of Michael’s favorite places) and the never-ending quest for the world’s best microbrew.