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Envy the Night [Hardcover]

Michael Koryta

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Book Description

Aug. 5 2008
"Michael Koryta earns a seat at the high table of neo-noir crime writers by putting a fresh spin on the fathers-and-sons narrative."
---The New York Times

“Koryta is one of the best of the best, plain and simple.”
---Michael Connelly

“I’ve read the heir apparent. There is grit and determination in this writing; there is heart and character; the threat of violence first simmers, then boils over. The pulse quickens. This diabolical novel, laid out in simple but eloquent prose and pitch-perfect dialogue, heralds a changing of the guard. I have seen the future of ‘The Best Mystery Writer in America’ and its name is Michael Koryta.”
---Ridley Pearson

“Superb writing and storytelling from Michael Koryta, one of crime fiction’s brightest young talents. Envy the Night represents his finest work to date."
---George Pelecanos

In this first stand-alone novel from the critically acclaimed Edgar Award-finalist, Michael Koryta fulfills his early promise with a dark and mature novel of a young man trying to escape his past.

It has been seven years since Frank Temple III joined the rest of the world in learning his father's bloody secret: The U.S. marshal maintained a covert career as a contract killer, a double-life that ended in suicide to avoid prosecution and prison.

The shocking revelation triggered years of anonymous drifting for Frank, time spent running from his legacy and struggling to believe that the father he’d loved so dearly was entirely in the wrong. After all, the victims hadn't been innocents. And Devin Matteson, the man who’d lured his father into the killing game only to later give him up to the FBI, is probably the darkest of the lot. Those are troubling thoughts, and Frank tries to stay away from them. But when an old family friend calls to say that Matteson is returning to the isolated Wisconsin lake that was once sacred ground for their families, it’s a homecoming Frank knows he can’t allow.

His arrival in town reveals a situation far from the expected, though.

While Matteson is nowhere to be found, his old cabin is indeed occupied---by a strange, beautiful woman and a nervous man with a gun. When a pair of assassins from Miami arrive on their heels, Frank knows Matteson can’t be far behind. And while the wise move would be to call in the police and get out of town fast, that just doesn't feel right. After all, contract killer or not, Frank’s father was at heart a teacher. And his son excelled at the lessons.

Family secrets, mob hitmen, and a father’s shadowy legacy combine to make this Koryta’s most compelling thriller yet.

"This intricately plotted tale of revenge [has]...characters we root for and twists that keep us guessing. It's one of the best books of the year."
---Indianapolis Star 

“Addictively readable.”
---Chicago Tribune

“Sentence for polished sentence, no one in the genre writes better.”
---Kirkus Reviews

“Stylish prose...well observed.”
---The New York Times

“Haunting writing...sophisticated plotting.”
---Publishers Weekly

“It’s time to stop referring to Michael Koryta as a boy wonder and just focus on the sheer wonder of his storytelling. Koryta knows how to put his characters---and his readers---into an ever-tightening vise of twists, turns, and conspiracies, but it’s his empathy that makes his work stand out.”
---Laura Lippman

“For a while now Michael Koryta has been called one of the rising young talents in crime fiction. I say enough of that….Koryta is one of the best of the best, plain and simple.”
---Michael Connelly

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books (Aug. 5 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312361580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312361587
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,382,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Revenge drives this superb stand-alone from Edgar-finalist Koryta (A Welcome Grave). Frank Temple II, a U.S. marshal, commits suicide after a tip leads to the exposure of his secret life as a hit man. Seven years later, Frank II's 24-year-old son, Frank Temple III, learns from an old Vietnam pal of his father's that the man who ratted out Frank II, Devin Matteson, is returning to Wisconsin from Florida. Temple heads to his father's cabin in remote Willow Flowage, Wis., to confront Matteson, who first recruited Frank II into the assassination game. Temple realizes that there's more at stake than his vendetta against Matteson, as he encounters a group of ruthless killers and joins forces with Nora Stafford, the owner of an auto repair shop. Koryta's dialogue is as sharp as the knives his characters wield, and his plot twists at the most unexpected moments. This thriller places Koryta solidly in the company of the genre's most powerful voices. Author tour. (Aug.)
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“Koryta is one of the best of the best, plain and simple.”—Michael Connelly

“With Envy the Night, Koryta earns a seat at the high table of neo-noir crime writers.”—The New York Times

“A heart-pounding thriller.” —Boston Globe

“Koryta’s best work to date.” —George Pelecanos

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believe the hype! Aug. 20 2008
By Tim O'connor - Published on Amazon.com
What do you hope to get out of a book when you pick it up off the shelf (or click on it)? Well-written dialogue? In-depth, interesting, and unique characters? Intense and page-turning action? Well-placed humor? Moral debates that make you question what you would do in the given situation? Writing that grabs you and takes you along for the ride?

It is not often that you can get all of those qualities in one book, but Michael Koryta again has given us a thriller with such vivid writing and complex characters that "Envy the Night" answers YES to each of those questions.

The real question is: What are you waiting for? "Envy the Night" is a first-class crime/suspense novel and has me greatly anticipating Koryta's next endeavor.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Miss This Thriller Aug. 19 2008
By R. Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
I am so happy to see that other readers loved this book as much as I did. I have read all four of his books and like one reviewer said, he just keeps getting better. I won't write a synopsis because the other reviewers have done such as excellent job as well as outlining why this book is a "must" for crime/thriller readers. It is not only a believable scenario, but incorporates tension, humor, good characterization, etc. It is highly touted by such well known authors as Ridley Peason, Michael Connelly and George Pelecanos. Please give this author his due as he seems to fit with the best of them.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nicely Done but Nothing Spectacular Sept. 10 2008
By Grey Wolffe - Published on Amazon.com
Maybe I'm just not a fan of Michael Koryta's style but I didn't find this book any better than the normal run of the mill mystery. He does write good dialog but then many writers do. He develops his characters well, but then many writers do. He has a good idea of where he is taking the story, but then a lot of writers do.

What I did find unappealing about the book, was the number of stock characters. The misunderstood son of a murderer, a 'Nam Vet who went off into the "boonies", a drug guy from Miami and his bad boys, the young girl fighting to save her daddies business after he has a stroke and the gun-moll with a heart of gold. So, what is this a Lifetime movie of the week?

Well written and well done but nothing to write home about.

Zeb Kantrowitz
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sins of Fathers Nov. 5 2008
By Ted Feit - Published on Amazon.com
This is the author's first standalone novel, and it is a fine example of craftsmanship. It portrays the short life of Frank Temple III, whose legacy includes two previous Franks, both war heroes (Silver Stars, Purple Hearts and the like). His father, Frank II, was a respected U.S. Marshall, before he became a paid hit man who ate his gun rather than be apprehended when the lad was 17.

Frank III was trained by his father to shoot and aggressively defend himself and could react faster than the eye could see. Misinformation from an FBI agent allowed Frank III to labor under the impression that an army buddy of his father, now a Miami gangster who lured him into his evil ways, ratted him out in a deal to save himself. The two friends, along with a third army buddy, built cabins along a Wisconsin lake, and Frank III vowed to kill the Miami gangster if he ever returned to the scene.

From these beginnings comes a well-plotted thriller with dire consequences for all. Frank III, who has stayed away from the Wisconsin lake for seven years, is informed that the Miami gangster is coming to his cabin. Naturally, the youth goes there intent on murder. A chain of killings results and Frank III has to face up to his own sense of morality and justice. The conclusion is as startling as it is unanticipated. Recommended.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tense thriller Aug. 14 2008
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
When his other clandestine life as a mob hit man is exposed, U.S. Marshal Frank Temple II, a, commits suicide. His family is shocked first by the revelation by the patriarch's death and his son who worshipped him cannot deal with his hero crumbling like this.

Seven years later, his twenty-four years old son, Frank III remains angry and still drifting as he has since his dad killed himself. When a friend from his dad's military days in Nam Ezra Ballard informs him the rat who squealed on his father is Devin Matteson, the son finally finds a reason to focus on life; he wants vengeance. He has the opportunity when Devin is coming from Florida to Wisconsin. The III waits at his late dad's cabin in Willow Flowage, but soon realizes he has a bigger issue to deal with; he and auto repair shop owner Nora Stafford are in deep trouble as some nasty killers stalk the area.

This tense thriller hooks readers from the moment Frank III leaves jail with a severe headache while thinking what to do about the info Ballard provided him.. Character fueled mostly by the son, ENVY THE NIGHT is a fast-paced taut tale that never misses a beat even when the exciting story line makes a turn from III the stalker to III the stalked. Michael Koryta is at his best with this action-packed Wisconsin thriller. This is an unputdownable thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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