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The Ridge PDF, ePub eBook


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Title: The Ridge
Author: Michael Koryta
Publisher: Published June 8th 2011 by Little, Brown and Company (first published January 1st 2011)
ISBN: 9780316053662
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

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In an isolated stretch of eastern Kentucky, on a hilltop known as Blade Ridge, stands a lighthouse that illuminates nothing but the surrounding woods. For years the lighthouse has been considered no more than an eccentric local landmark-until its builder is found dead at the top of the light, and his belongings reveal a troubling local history. For deputy sheriff Kevin Kimb In an isolated stretch of eastern Kentucky, on a hilltop known as Blade Ridge, stands a lighthouse that illuminates nothing but the surrounding woods. For years the lighthouse has been considered no more than an eccentric local landmark-until its builder is found dead at the top of the light, and his belongings reveal a troubling local history. For deputy sheriff Kevin Kimble, the lighthouse-keeper's death is disturbing and personal. Years ago, Kimble was shot while on duty. Somehow the death suggests a connection between the lighthouse and the most terrifying moment of his life. Audrey Clark is in the midst of moving her large-cat sanctuary onto land adjacent to the lighthouse. Sixty-seven tigers, lions, leopards, and one legendary black panther are about to have a new home there. Her husband, the sanctuary's founder, died scouting the new property, and Audrey is determined to see his vision through. As strange occurrences multiply at the Ridge, the animals grow ever more restless, and Kimble and Audrey try to understand what evil forces are moving through this ancient landscape, just past the divide between dark and light. The Ridge is the new thriller from international bestseller Michael Koryta, further evidence of why Dean Koontz has said "Michael Koryta's work resonates into deeper strata than does most of what I read" and why Michael Connelly has named him "one of the best of the best."

30 review for The Ridge

  1. 5 out of 5

    Arah-Lynda

    Let’s see, what do we have here? On a wooded hilltop in the middle of no where, on an isolated ridge, in eastern Kentucky, stands a lighthouse, constantly bathing the surrounding terrain with light. Lions, tigers, cougars and leopards and all sort of large cats, sixty seven in total, have been relocated to a new rescue center on a large tract of land close to the lighthouse. Deputy Sherriff Kevin Kimble of Sawyer County (home of the lighthouse and most recently the large cats) has spent year’s no Let’s see, what do we have here? On a wooded hilltop in the middle of no where, on an isolated ridge, in eastern Kentucky, stands a lighthouse, constantly bathing the surrounding terrain with light. Lions, tigers, cougars and leopards and all sort of large cats, sixty seven in total, have been relocated to a new rescue center on a large tract of land close to the lighthouse. Deputy Sherriff Kevin Kimble of Sawyer County (home of the lighthouse and most recently the large cats) has spent year’s now making regular visits to the closest women’s prison, to visit Jacqueline, the woman who shot him. She claims to have no memory of that and apologizes every time he comes. But why does he continue to visit the woman responsible for his injury? Roy Darmus a local reporter is struggling with how he is going to fill his days, now that the paper has closed its doors, when the phone rings. Wyatt French, the crazy old alcoholic who built and owns the lighthouse is knee deep in his cups and talking suicide while attempting to elicit a promise that Roy will ensure the light stays on and will tell the story. Dammit, now he has no choice. He will have to go out there and see what’s happening. And what do I love? Lighthouses - check, Cats - check, Mysteries and Thrillers - check, Red Wine – check. Wait a minute, what about ghost stories? Oh my - check. Could it be that Michael Koryta wrote this one just for me? Well done Michael and thank you! Note: The trade paperback that I have, includes a section immediately following the acknowledgements at the back of the book, about the real cats behind this story. Be sure and read that, it’s wonderful. Want to see them; www.exoticfelinerescuecenter.org

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lori

    This is a nice mix of supernatural thriller and police story. Plenty of gatekeeper to hell/deal with the devil creepy detail. I loved the cats; many are characters in their own right. I'd like to read more by Michael Koryta. I'm not sure why so much work went into developing Wes' character, but his prayer was a nice touch. It kept Kino from stealing all his thunder. The story is set in eastern Kentucky although nothing specifically suggest the location. It could be in any state with mountains in t This is a nice mix of supernatural thriller and police story. Plenty of gatekeeper to hell/deal with the devil creepy detail. I loved the cats; many are characters in their own right. I'd like to read more by Michael Koryta. I'm not sure why so much work went into developing Wes' character, but his prayer was a nice touch. It kept Kino from stealing all his thunder. The story is set in eastern Kentucky although nothing specifically suggest the location. It could be in any state with mountains in the background and enough rural area for a big cat sanctuary. Local law permitting. It could be Kentucky has changed since lived there. I remember that most counties were dry creating a robust market for drive-thru liquor stories in the few which permitted selling alcohol. Oh well, a general setting should have a broader audience.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jason

    5 Stars This is my second Koryta novel that I have read, Cypress House was my first (I loved that one too). After finishing this novel I feel it is safe to say that Koryta is a masterful storyteller. He breathes life into his words, his settings, and his story. He creates characters that are three dimensional. They are real. They are not carbon copies or cookie cutter cutouts. Most importantly he creates a cast of characters that are memorable. I am not going to give any spoilers away with this r 5 Stars This is my second Koryta novel that I have read, Cypress House was my first (I loved that one too). After finishing this novel I feel it is safe to say that Koryta is a masterful storyteller. He breathes life into his words, his settings, and his story. He creates characters that are three dimensional. They are real. They are not carbon copies or cookie cutter cutouts. Most importantly he creates a cast of characters that are memorable. I am not going to give any spoilers away with this review except to say that this book would sit safely on any bookstore horror shelf. This is a supernatural thriller, no getting around it. It is a ghost story, a murder mystery, and a story about people accepting their place in the world. A Song from the book that really captures this story called “Lantern” “ It’s a hungry world out there Even the wind will take a bite I can feel the world circling Sniffing round me in the night And the lost sheep grow teeth Forsake the lambs and lie with the lions So if you got a light, hold it high for me I need it bad tonight, hold it high for me ‘Cause I’m face-to-face, hold it high for me In that lonesome place, hold it high for me With all the hurt that I’ve done, hold it high for me That can’t be undone, hold it high for me Light guide me through, hold it high for me And I’ll do the same for you, hold it high for me…” Like Cypress Hill, Koryta quickly establishes the setting as a main character in this novel. The woods, the river, the ridge, and the lighthouse, all make up the heart of this spooky read. Koryta does an amazing job at bringing the reader into the woods with his characters. You could almost smell the flowers, feel the breeze, and that flash of light from outside, maybe that came from the lighthouse. The locations of this novel add such depth and feel to the story that I did not want it to end. This is a mature book, filled with a lot of symbolism and deeper meanings. I found myself recalling pieces of this book and trying to put them into a bigger context. The lighthouse is a literal manifestation of light versus dark. The good versus evil theme is repeated all through this book and through some fabulous symbolic anecdotes. The cats and their role, their place in this story is worth a review on its own. I loved all the scenes that were about the complexities of these amazing and fierce creatures. It was a poignant and heartfelt scene between Wesley and Kino, and I found myself having to pause for a while to take it in. All the cats played a role in this book but Ira obviously was the star. I loved the mystery behind the black cougar. The fierceness of that feline added a great deal of suspense and tension to the characters and to the story. The characters are Koryta’s strong point. Kimble, Wes, Audrey, Roy, Kino, Wyatt, and of course Ira are all very well done, likable, believable, and memorable. I really believed that Kimble, after going through all that he had, and witnessing and investigating the horrors of his job, that he was able to take a leap of faith and believe what he was bearing witness to. Koryta does a fabulous job of bringing an otherwise unbelievable story to our world and gives it to us in a way that makes it seem real. Bravo!!! This is a very well written, atmospheric, symbolic, supernatural murder mystery. It is told by an amazing storyteller in a way that will surely have you catching your breath, looking out your window, and thinking about it long after you close the book (or ereader). I highly recommend this book and recommend Michael Koryta to all lovers of great fiction.

  4. 4 out of 5

    J.K. Grice

    I discovered Michael Koryta several years ago, and I'm so glad I did. His mysteries and supernatural thrillers are some of the finest I've ever read. THE RIDGE has all the elements for a top notch story: great characters, wild big cats, suspense, and the supernatural. I have read nearly every Koryta book published and never been disappointed. This is one of the best.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    I've read & really liked a couple of mystery-thrillers by Koryta, so expected this to be the same. It starts out as one, but is also supernatural horror. That's a genre I have enjoyed, although less lately. I wasn't expecting to turn down that road half way through the book & I found it jarring. I'm not a fan of pigeon-holing books by genres, but in this case I would have appreciated knowing that bit of information up front. It requires a different mind set. The characters, reading, twist I've read & really liked a couple of mystery-thrillers by Koryta, so expected this to be the same. It starts out as one, but is also supernatural horror. That's a genre I have enjoyed, although less lately. I wasn't expecting to turn down that road half way through the book & I found it jarring. I'm not a fan of pigeon-holing books by genres, but in this case I would have appreciated knowing that bit of information up front. It requires a different mind set. The characters, reading, twists & turns were well done, as usual. The supernatural element was different & pretty good too, although I never understood why the evil or (view spoiler)[ the black cougar (hide spoiler)] did what they did. Weak motivations there. The reader was good, too. On the negative side, Koryta tends to be a bit too detailed & went over the top into repetition explaining some feelings & motivations until I was heartily sick of them. Hmmm... maybe this was only a 2.5 star read, but I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Naomi

    Another winner by Michael Koryta..I can't believe this author is just becoming known to me as this is the third book of his I have read and absolutely love, each distinctly different...this one flows like a fine wine it is so good. It has sucked me in from the first page with its' mystery and characters. Even though this book is over 400 pages, I will read it in one day it is so good. I am now starting to go back and read others by this author that I miss and he will be an author that I follow h Another winner by Michael Koryta..I can't believe this author is just becoming known to me as this is the third book of his I have read and absolutely love, each distinctly different...this one flows like a fine wine it is so good. It has sucked me in from the first page with its' mystery and characters. Even though this book is over 400 pages, I will read it in one day it is so good. I am now starting to go back and read others by this author that I miss and he will be an author that I follow his website to know of new releases. I must disclose I won this on firstreads and am thrilled.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jeanette

    I liked the first 1/2 of this one because it really is spooky/ scary and the character development was better than is usual in the genre. But then it just got very wordy and convoluted in plot. It's not hard to figure out what the construct is or will become by the finale, but I thought the body count for it just become cartoon like. So during the 1/2 half I just had to plod on and get to know the individual big cats in a more thorough fashion. So overall, with the capacity / definition for evil I liked the first 1/2 of this one because it really is spooky/ scary and the character development was better than is usual in the genre. But then it just got very wordy and convoluted in plot. It's not hard to figure out what the construct is or will become by the finale, but I thought the body count for it just become cartoon like. So during the 1/2 half I just had to plod on and get to know the individual big cats in a more thorough fashion. So overall, with the capacity / definition for evil and its evidence here- I didn't enjoy it beyond a 2.5 star. I only rounded it up for the black mountain lion, Ira. And the tiger shelter episode section too made it a 3. He is a good writer. I've liked his others much better.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    This one was close a few times. My rating for this swung from 2 to 4 stars at different times. The book opens and there is a section that I found so annoying that I was thinking "if it goes on this way I'm putting it down". The protagonist of the book Kevin Kimble, has an obsession with Jacqueline Mathis, a prison inmate who shot him (before the book begins). Whenever the character refers to her, thinks about her, talks to her, etc. he waxes almost poetic spouting superlitives about her. It gets This one was close a few times. My rating for this swung from 2 to 4 stars at different times. The book opens and there is a section that I found so annoying that I was thinking "if it goes on this way I'm putting it down". The protagonist of the book Kevin Kimble, has an obsession with Jacqueline Mathis, a prison inmate who shot him (before the book begins). Whenever the character refers to her, thinks about her, talks to her, etc. he waxes almost poetic spouting superlitives about her. It gets wearing whenever she comes up, or it did for me anyway. On his way to visit Jacqueline, as he does monthly (or I get the feeling, at least monthly) Kimble gets a cryptic call from Wyatt French an odd alcoholic who lives in a landlocked lighthouse atop The Ridge of the title. Wyatt at one time had what seemed to be a promising future, owning all the land around Blade Ridge where he plans a housing development. But now he lives a liquor soaked existence in the strange lighthouse he has built on the last of his property. He tells Kimble to "keep the light on". The next day Wyatt is found dead in his lighthouse by Roy Darmus, the other person he has called. Darmus goes to the lighthouse, climbs the locked gate to get in, goes up the lighthouse stairs and is surprised by the gruesome sight that greets him at the top of said stairs, Wyatt's bloody body, with a self inflicted bullet wound in his head. In his surprise Darmus falls into the light...breaking the bulb and PUTTING THE LIGHT OUT...dum,dum,dum. The book tends in my opinion to swing from thoughtful and interesting to yawningly cliched. The lighthouse overlooks the property of another of our main characters, Audrey Clark who has decided that The Ridge" would be a perfect place for her rescue facility of big cats. In spite of the fact that the cats, "don't like the place" and make sure to sound off about it...Audrey thinks it's, just dandy. The cats and their plight serve as both plot point and counterpoint throughout the book. The book is what I suppose could be called a genre "breaker" or "bender" as it has elements of suspense, crime drama and of course paranormal thriller/horror novel. This is a point in its favor and (I'm told) it's something the author (Michael Koryta) is becoming known for. I (as mentioned) found myself (after we got past Kimble's obsessive love thoughts) interested in the book. I liked the plot and the way he tied together the plot lines. Unfortunately some of this was old hat and you'll have the "been there before" feeling if you've read many "haunting stories". The good news is that while it's not really new the source of the haunting or the way its said to have started isn't itself an over used one. On the other hand, I must say that, were I a betting man, I'd bet many of you will see the the plot point/twist (and I doubt you'll find it a surprising twist) with Kimble and Jacqueline coming the proverbial mile away. All in all while I was more than ready for this book to be over I still liked much of it. Had it stretched out much longer I might had skimmed the end and moved on, but it didn't quite drive me to that. All in all I don't hate it, but neither do I plan to search out anything else by the writer. Maybe later but why waste my time on something else that might at best be a lukewarm read when I have so many other books waiting? As noted, a lukewarm 3 stars. Not great, not awful, can't really recommend it but realize many will like it immensely.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    Earlier last year, I reviewed Koryta's "Cypress House." (Please see it on my blog in 2010) It was my first introduction to his writing. I became an immediate addict...Michael Koryta is a master storyteller. He is the type of author who could have us mesmerized for hours while we waited out a hurricane! And, we'd never even know we were in the midst of one except that it would be a fitting setting for his story. I could read his books in tandem and be entertained all week without boredom. Koryta's Earlier last year, I reviewed Koryta's "Cypress House." (Please see it on my blog in 2010) It was my first introduction to his writing. I became an immediate addict...Michael Koryta is a master storyteller. He is the type of author who could have us mesmerized for hours while we waited out a hurricane! And, we'd never even know we were in the midst of one except that it would be a fitting setting for his story. I could read his books in tandem and be entertained all week without boredom. Koryta's genius, it seems to me, is that he draws us in right away by making the circumstances quite ordinary and believable. The first chapter leaves us with a handful of questions; some of them not so obvious until we muse upon them. So much fun to do that. And, from that moment on, we are hooked. We are driven by an urge to know... His characters are so real, I feel as if I know them. They are easily visualized. They are easily understood from a psychological perspective. However, this doesn't mean all is immediately as it seems, ever, in a Koryta novel. My attention is driven by his type of characterization with the "brick hasn't yet fallen" suspense. What I'm trying to convey is that you think you can "see" the characters, but he always leaves you with that mote of doubt that irritates your seeker's eye. I wasn't expecting the supernatural context of this novel. I frankly refrained from reading the overleaf because I didn't want to spoil a minute of the actual read for myself. That's how good Mr. Koryta is! So, I didn't expect this ghostly intrigue and it was a surprising addition for me. From his typical writing genre as I knew it from "Cypress House" it was an unusual twist. Reminiscent of the Gothic novel, it worked perfectly with a modern day police suspense/mystery in the end. "The Ridge" is a book I couldn't stop reading until the end. I dreamt of it...I read it when I was eating, and I read it during commercials between the Casey Anthony murder trial. This gives you some idea of the intensity of the writing skills of this author. I'm obsessive about the Anthony Trial...and "The Ridge" tore me away at times! I can do no more than strongly urge you to get to know Michael Koryta as an author with his mind and fingers on the pulse of new suspense/thriller writing. If there is an evolution of writers with vision in this genre, Michael Koryta is leading the curve. His work reminds me why I read suspense and thrillers. Without going into the storyline of this book, which you can easily find on the regular book blurb for "The Ridge," I want to also say that it's a story that just left me with wide eyes and the feeling that it might really happen. I'm not one to chase after ghosts and demons, but this book made me think twice... You might want to leave the light on when you put it down at night...just sayin' 5 stars Deborah/TheBookishDame

  10. 4 out of 5

    David

    Michael Koryta gets compared with Dean Koontz, and now I see why. This book is a fairly standard supernatural thriller, but it was well-executed, with the "rules" of the woo-woo stuff explained and making sense of all the events. Technically I guess telling you that the Big Reveal is supernatural in nature is a spoiler, but it's very heavily hinted at early on, and pretty obvious long before it's spelled out. It also features a big cat rescue sanctuary, and since one of my favorite charities is Michael Koryta gets compared with Dean Koontz, and now I see why. This book is a fairly standard supernatural thriller, but it was well-executed, with the "rules" of the woo-woo stuff explained and making sense of all the events. Technically I guess telling you that the Big Reveal is supernatural in nature is a spoiler, but it's very heavily hinted at early on, and pretty obvious long before it's spelled out. It also features a big cat rescue sanctuary, and since one of my favorite charities is one of those (though it's located in the Arizona desert, rather than in the backwoods of Kentucky like this one), I decided to pick this book up in an Audible sale. The big cat sanctuary consists of lions and tigers, leopards and ocelots, and a mysterious black panther. It was just moved into the area, when the husband of the woman running it died tragically. Now she is forced to keep it running with the help of two assistants, and unfortunately the local crank, an old drunk who built a lighthouse at the top of the ridge - many miles from the ocean - is causing trouble for them, telling them they and their cats don't belong here. The other main character is Sheriff Kimble, who is in love with a woman who's serving time for shooting him. Actually, she's serving time for shooting her abusive husband, but she "accidentally" shot Kimble as well. As the story unfolds, it turns out it wasn't such an accident, but it had something to do with spooky woods around the ridge where the lighthouse and the cat sanctuary are located. Kimble, a journalist whose parents died on the ridge when he was a kid, and the owner of the cat sanctuary all get dragged into the sinister mystery of why so many deaths have happened there and what is causing all the supernatural heebie-jeebies. Naturally, the cats play a part in the story, and Koryta makes them characters as well. I liked this story, which involves people making choices, good and bad, dealing with Big Bads, and heroic sacrifices. Nothing special in the genre, but suitable for fans of supernatural thrillers who don't want an overdose of horror or gore.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary Gramlich

    THE RIDGE written by Michael Koryta 06/11 - Little, Brown & Company - Hardcover, 368 pages Can you control the madness when good and evil reside in the same body? Deputy Kevin Kimble is a good cop that keeps things going in the right direction for the fine folks of Sawyer County in eastern Kentucky. His path collides with everyone but during the latest event on Blade Ridge, nothing is as it appears and every direction he takes leads him to another mystery. The crime scene he is called to at fir THE RIDGE written by Michael Koryta 06/11 - Little, Brown & Company - Hardcover, 368 pages Can you control the madness when good and evil reside in the same body? Deputy Kevin Kimble is a good cop that keeps things going in the right direction for the fine folks of Sawyer County in eastern Kentucky. His path collides with everyone but during the latest event on Blade Ridge, nothing is as it appears and every direction he takes leads him to another mystery. The crime scene he is called to at first appears to be the suicide of a lonely man living in a lighthouse with the occasional drunken trip to town. For Kevin it looks too much like a murder especially since the man called that morning to talk about his upcoming death saying it would not be at his own hand and he expected proper justice. The more Kevin investigates the less anything makes sense in a reasonable investigative manner so it is now time to make other decisions and call in some out of the norm help. Kevin talks the recently unemployed newspaper owner Roy Darmus into following up on research to help figure out what the maps, names and lettering of the word NO meant to the crazy man in the lighthouse. Roy can research years of newspaper data and hit every source possible to figure out who all these faces belonged to and how they ended up dead. Kevin is also dealing with the large cat facility that just opened and making sure the caretaker, Audrey knows what she is doing. The residents do not like the animals there and the animals really dislike the area once the sun goes down and the darkness contains them. Audrey fought to be there with her husband who died on Blade Ridge making this dream a reality but she is afraid of the dark as well and the nightmares that haunt her seem to come directly from this area. For Kevin it seems all possible answers lead back to the woman locked up in prison for shooting him. She holds the secret to what made her take a gun, kill her husband, and then turn it on the man trying to save her without being able to remember any of it. Kevin has spent every month of her incarceration visiting her and trying to forget that what he feels for her is not victim guilt but male attraction to a beautiful woman. This book is as phenomenal as every other book written by Michael Koryta, but really takes the scary, creepy factor up a notch. This story draws you in and you refuse to believe this is not a recounting of fact instead of fiction. You will not be able to put it down so keep reading but do not turn off the lights.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Patricia

    Chief Deputy Kevin Kimble is making an early morning drive when he receives a very strange and disturbing phone call. The call is from Wyatt French one of the stranger residents of Kimble’s county. Wyatt lives on a hilltop known as Blade Ridge. Wyatt is famous for his heavy drinking and his residence. Wyatt lives in a lighthouse that lights up the hills surrounding his home. Wyatt’s call is to ask just one question of Kimble and that is if Kimble would rather have a homicide to investigate or a Chief Deputy Kevin Kimble is making an early morning drive when he receives a very strange and disturbing phone call. The call is from Wyatt French one of the stranger residents of Kimble’s county. Wyatt lives on a hilltop known as Blade Ridge. Wyatt is famous for his heavy drinking and his residence. Wyatt lives in a lighthouse that lights up the hills surrounding his home. Wyatt’s call is to ask just one question of Kimble and that is if Kimble would rather have a homicide to investigate or a suicide. Kimble finally responds with the answer of suicide. Kimble’s early drive is a strange one. He makes a monthly visit to prison to visit Jacqueline Mathis. Mathis is serving time for the murder of her husband. Jacqueline also severely injured Kimble although she claims not to remember that she shot him. Kimble thinks that his visits are not common knowledge but his telephone conversation with French reveals that French is well aware of these trips. Audrey Clark is the owner of a big-cat sanctuary and is in the process of moving the animals to her new location on Blade Ridge. The cats are restless and seem to be dissatisfied with the new sanctuary. Kimble’s return home after his prison visit finds him faced with the discovery of Wyatt French's body. French’s death appears to be a suicide but Kimble keeps going over the statements made by French in his phone call and the strange items revealed in the search of French’s lighthouse home. Between the investigation of French’s death and the trouble stirring at the cat sanctuary it seems that Blade Ridge is a dangerous place to be. Roy Darmus is a newspaper reporter whose newspaper has just closed down but Roy also becomes interested in French’s death and Blade Ridge. Kimble and Darmus work together to uncover the mystery that surrounds the Ridge. Digging into the past finally reveals the history of Blade Ridge and the very real dangers that lurk there – dangers that Wyatt French attempted to fight. I enjoyed this author’s The Cypress House and So Cold the River. This one is even better than the first two. The three books are all stand-alones.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Almeta

    It was satisfying to witness the authorities interpreting the physical evidence correctly, and not, as was expected, being mislead. In other words, SMART cops, for a change. (view spoiler)[ Their acceptance of the other supernatural evidence seemed a bit too easily done. I ‘m pretty sure I would have resisted longer. (hide spoiler)] Although I had an inkling of what had to be the only solution to the dilemma. I didn't want it to be true. Lions and Tigers and (view spoiler)[ an awesomely enlightene It was satisfying to witness the authorities interpreting the physical evidence correctly, and not, as was expected, being mislead. In other words, SMART cops, for a change. (view spoiler)[ Their acceptance of the other supernatural evidence seemed a bit too easily done. I ‘m pretty sure I would have resisted longer. (hide spoiler)] Although I had an inkling of what had to be the only solution to the dilemma. I didn't want it to be true. Lions and Tigers and (view spoiler)[ an awesomely enlightened panther (hide spoiler)] , OH MY!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Tonile {My Cup and Chaucer}

    Anyone who knows me well knows that I love a good scary story. Ghosts and spooky things that go bump in the night have always appealed to me, and rather than try to shut that odd side of me out, I have found that embracing it makes me infinitely happier. So it was a happy discovery when I found Michael Koryta had released a new book, The Ridge. I read The Cypress House earlier in the year and while I did like the chilling tale of the man who could see death before it arrived, I enjoyed The Ridge Anyone who knows me well knows that I love a good scary story. Ghosts and spooky things that go bump in the night have always appealed to me, and rather than try to shut that odd side of me out, I have found that embracing it makes me infinitely happier. So it was a happy discovery when I found Michael Koryta had released a new book, The Ridge. I read The Cypress House earlier in the year and while I did like the chilling tale of the man who could see death before it arrived, I enjoyed The Ridge far more. Koryta is brilliant at taking the ordinary and making it scary, and I really admire him for that. In the opening pages, deputy sheriff Kevin Kimble, a man in love with a woman who shot him, receives an ominous phone call from the town drunk and lighthouse keeper Wyatt French. Uneasy after their conversation, Kimble continues his day, unknowing that French also contacts local journalist Roy Darmus. The two men are drawn together when French is found dead in his lighthouse, surrounded by technical light equipment, maps of the Ridge, and photos of people with the word ‘NO’ scrawled over them. In the days that follow, Kimble and Darmus will discover a terrifying past surrounding the Ridge, and be forced to make decisions that could change their lives forever. At the same time, Audrey Clark is moving her wildcat sanctuary to the land adjacent to the lighthouse. With sixty-seven cats in total, including a rare black panther named Ira, the move should be a relatively easy undertaking. Nothing could have prepared Clark and her staff for the feline response to their new home, and Ira’s fabulous escape is just the start of the problems that arise when the sun sets and darkness descends upon the Ridge. To say that I loved this novel almost feels like an understatement. The rich back-story to support the modern mystery, the tormented characters who try their best to get through the day, and the presence of unimaginable evil all form this magnificent story that makes the reader question what they would do if, when they were about to run out of time, they were offered more time, but at a price. When your life is on the line, will you admit defeat? Or do you snatch life from the jaws of death, but in doing so condemn another to take your place? The Ridge is a fantastic story that ticks the boxes as both a creepy ghost tale and taught psychological thriller. An absolute must read for 2011.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    Unlike others who did not like this book, I have no problem with the mixing of detective and supernatural elements in a story. Koryta is a gifted writer and the story here is told well. But, I live in eastern Kentucky where this book is set and that was one of the reasons I tried to read it. Eastern Kentucky is in the heart of that region now called "Appalachia," and has a unique culture and mindset - a cross of genteel southern, Bible-belt religion, and mountain pioneer thinking. This is the ho Unlike others who did not like this book, I have no problem with the mixing of detective and supernatural elements in a story. Koryta is a gifted writer and the story here is told well. But, I live in eastern Kentucky where this book is set and that was one of the reasons I tried to read it. Eastern Kentucky is in the heart of that region now called "Appalachia," and has a unique culture and mindset - a cross of genteel southern, Bible-belt religion, and mountain pioneer thinking. This is the home of snake handlers, of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, of coal mining and labor disputes ("Matewan," the movie for example), etc. Though the characters are finely conceived, they appear to have been created in a vacuum with no reference to the time and place where they "live" in this book. It would appear that the author set the novel here because the image of a lighthouse on a ridge hundreds of miles from any large body of water captured his imagination, but it seems clear that he never visited the area, never read any other fiction set in this location, or even performed cursory research on the history, society or legal system. He appears to think that the "mayor" is a county official rather than a city one. The murder investigation proceeds without involvement of the Kentucky State Police, which is just inconceivable. Frankly, stumbling over one thing after another that I simply could not accept as believable given the setting, I couldn't even finish reading the book. Maybe it is wrong to review a book I haven't completed, but the faults I have are not ones that could be erased by fine writing, character development or a clever plot.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Gloria Piper

    Whew! Upon seeing Koryta's manuscript, I can understand why he is an award-winning author. I didn't want to let go of this masterfully written novel until the end. The story: On a ridge in a remote forest of Kentucky, far from the ocean, a lighthouse shines. Its beacon is too bright, too annoying for Audrey Clark who had chosen this unpopulated area to build a sanctuary for large cats. Even so, their existence is threatened. But that's not all. The man who built the lighthouse lives there alone a Whew! Upon seeing Koryta's manuscript, I can understand why he is an award-winning author. I didn't want to let go of this masterfully written novel until the end. The story: On a ridge in a remote forest of Kentucky, far from the ocean, a lighthouse shines. Its beacon is too bright, too annoying for Audrey Clark who had chosen this unpopulated area to build a sanctuary for large cats. Even so, their existence is threatened. But that's not all. The man who built the lighthouse lives there alone and calls Roy Darmus, the town journalist, and Deputy Sheriff Kevin to investigate a situation that doesn't make sense. The man raves about choosing between murder and suicide. Accidents do occur on the ridge, followed by killings. Are the cats to blame for the latest, or are the killings murders? The situation is eerie, and surprises await as we follow the three main characters, Audrey, Roy, and Kevin. Koryta develops his characters well, even giving personality to a melanistic mountain lion and a tiger who are pertinent to the story. We care about each actor, and I can't say which is my favorite--I like them all. Well, maybe it's the mysterious mountain lion. There is just the right amount of drama, creepiness, background and description to take us on a great ride through twists and turns to a satisfying conclusion. I look forward to other books by Michael Koryta.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Lighthearted

    Why would someone build a lighthouse in the middle of the woods? A curious landmark for years, given its location in an isolated stretch of eastern Kentucky, the strange, pulsing light in the abandoned mining country hasn’t warranted much attention until recently. The creation of a large-cat sanctuary nearby changes things, however. Wyatt French, builder of the lighthouse, is not happy that the sanctuary will bring visitors to his neck of the woods; Audrey Clark, owner of the sanctuary, is not h Why would someone build a lighthouse in the middle of the woods? A curious landmark for years, given its location in an isolated stretch of eastern Kentucky, the strange, pulsing light in the abandoned mining country hasn’t warranted much attention until recently. The creation of a large-cat sanctuary nearby changes things, however. Wyatt French, builder of the lighthouse, is not happy that the sanctuary will bring visitors to his neck of the woods; Audrey Clark, owner of the sanctuary, is not happy that the lighthouse illuminates the area so brightly. Things come to a head when French places cryptic calls to deputy sheriff Kevin Kimble and local journalist Roy Darmus before committing suicide. He wants Kimble to investigate his suicide and he wants Darmus to keep the light on. LOVED this book!!! Part ghost story, part mystery–all thriller. The mystery hooked me–why was the town drunk obsessed with accidents occurring within the vicinity of Blade Ridge, why was he terrified of the dark, and why did he kill himself when he obviously didn’t want to? The supernatural feel was perfect–an eerie blue flame that appears to a select few, the reaction of the cats to their new home, the troubled history Darmus discovers as he researches the maps and photos French had pinned up on his unfinished walls. I could not put this book down.

  18. 5 out of 5

    William Bentrim

    The Ridge by Michael Koryta Once again, Michael Koryta takes ordinary folks and puts them in extraordinary situations fraught with danger and mystery. A lighthouse in the woods and an exotic cat rescue center draw focus on the deep woods surrounding a remote mining community with an unusual number of deaths. Michael Koryta has the ability to bring to the printed word characters that you might know. His characterizations are detailed and clear. He paints scenarios that are vivid and emotionally ev The Ridge by Michael Koryta Once again, Michael Koryta takes ordinary folks and puts them in extraordinary situations fraught with danger and mystery. A lighthouse in the woods and an exotic cat rescue center draw focus on the deep woods surrounding a remote mining community with an unusual number of deaths. Michael Koryta has the ability to bring to the printed word characters that you might know. His characterizations are detailed and clear. He paints scenarios that are vivid and emotionally evocative. I found myself humming The Lions Roar Tonight several times as I read. Kevin Kimble’s infatuation was more far fetched than many things in the book, the man had a huge capacity for forgiveness. To my mind, the eliciting of emotions is a mark of a successful author. Koryta successfully draws out tension, anxiety, pity, empathy, anger, frustration, fear and love. His books are difficult to qualify, not horror but certainly not mundane fiction. I highly recommend the book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steve Holden

    I've been extremely busy and managed to get so behind on my Goodreads reviews and goal! I've been reading, but with the end of the school year and a major house project, I panicked as I saw that I was both behind in reviews and showing that I was reading books long finished. Anyways, this is my first Koryta book, and I enjoyed this enough to look for his name again at the library. This one has a very interesting premise, and definitely a supernatural angle to a mystery. It's set in Kentucky - an I've been extremely busy and managed to get so behind on my Goodreads reviews and goal! I've been reading, but with the end of the school year and a major house project, I panicked as I saw that I was both behind in reviews and showing that I was reading books long finished. Anyways, this is my first Koryta book, and I enjoyed this enough to look for his name again at the library. This one has a very interesting premise, and definitely a supernatural angle to a mystery. It's set in Kentucky - and revolves around a strange man in an area of many disappearances and deaths, that also houses a cat rescue/sanctuary. The storyline quickly gets going, and we have an investigator and journalist converge to try to uncover the mysteries behind this ridge. This is not a go to genre for me, but I enjoyed this enough during a very busy stretch of time for me. I'll check out some other titles by Koryta - maybe I'll try to be sure the next one deals less with the supernatural elements in this one.

  20. 4 out of 5

    November Is Nyarlathotep

    Another super-stunner from accomplished and incredible author Michael Koryta, whose novels satisfy, inspire, enrapture, and convince readers in every aspect. Every single essential in a novel is present-and far, far more. Mr. Koryta could teach courses to aspiring novelists on the proper ways to suspend the readers’ disbelief, so that acceptance of the Supernatural comes automatically, even to readers who are usually skeptics (of which this reviewer is not one). In this novel, Mr. Koryta offers Another super-stunner from accomplished and incredible author Michael Koryta, whose novels satisfy, inspire, enrapture, and convince readers in every aspect. Every single essential in a novel is present-and far, far more. Mr. Koryta could teach courses to aspiring novelists on the proper ways to suspend the readers’ disbelief, so that acceptance of the Supernatural comes automatically, even to readers who are usually skeptics (of which this reviewer is not one). In this novel, Mr. Koryta offers law enforcement, big cat rescue, romance, murders, history, wildlife, scenic locales, horror, and plotting that is beyond the capacity of most humans. I could say so much about this novel, but all that’s needed is this: READ THIS BOOK

  21. 4 out of 5

    Gatorman

    A solid, immensely entertaining tale from Koryta, deserving of 4.5 stars. Koryta does the supernatural thing much better here than in So Cold The River. This story of a suicide, a lighthouse and the age-old secret that connects them starts off strong and doesn't let up. The mystery is engaging, the characters well-drawn and the writing top-notch. The ending does not disappoint. Not quite a 5 star read but pretty damn close. Highly recommended.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marvin

    This is a strong entry in the modern ghost story and the deal with the devil sub-genre. It took me a little while to get into it as it started out like many of the mainstream rehashed ideas that you get from the dime-a-dozen horror pulp writers. Yet Kortya can write and by about a third into it, I could see the story was not going to go the usual way. This is my first read from this author and I'm looking forward to others.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Miriam

    My favorite Michael Koryta to date! It is a super creepy supernatural thriller set in rural Indiana where there is an inland light house and an exotic cat rescue preserve (Based on this amazing place: http://www.exoticfelinerescuecenter.org/). You will be completely engrossed by this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Dark and spooky, The Ridge combines flawed yet likeable characters, a creepy and mysterious setting, and a ghost story. Like So Cold The River, this book winds an entire story around a place touched by evil and the choices people make. I was riveted from page one. Highly recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    Hard to write a scary story effectively yet The Ridge is one. Large game animals, lighthouse and a spooky blue light that portends evil, this book was chilling.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    I've been a fan of Michael Koryta's almost as long as I've been reading crime fiction. When Koryta branched out to try his hand with the supernatural, I followed despite the fact that it wasn't my cup of tea. His work in this area intrigued me and captivated me, due in large part to the qualities that make him such a fabulous crime writer as well. He tells a superb story with fascinating, well-developed characters. However, when asked what my favorite work of his was, I always went back to his s I've been a fan of Michael Koryta's almost as long as I've been reading crime fiction. When Koryta branched out to try his hand with the supernatural, I followed despite the fact that it wasn't my cup of tea. His work in this area intrigued me and captivated me, due in large part to the qualities that make him such a fabulous crime writer as well. He tells a superb story with fascinating, well-developed characters. However, when asked what my favorite work of his was, I always went back to his second crime novel, SORROW'S ANTHEM, followed closely by ENVY THE NIGHT. Until now. THE RIDGE is the work of an exceptionally talented story teller coming into his own. The richness of the characters, the depth of the symbolism, the strength of the atmosphere all combine to suck the reader into Koryta's world. You fall down his rabbit hole and land in a world you logically know doesn't exist, but the reality of what you experience convinces you otherwise. Whether writing in first person, or as in THE RIDGE from third person, Koryta allows his reader to intimately understand the mind of his protagonist, which in turn helps a bond form between reader and character. Now the reader is invested. Kevin Kimble is no different. What makes THE RIDGE different is Koryta's inclusion of the big cats and their roles as characters. Each cat is distinct with its own personality. Symbolically, those cats begin to have parallels to their human counterparts. The lighthouse, featured prominently on the novel's cover, is also an important symbol. Koryta plays tug-of-war with good and evil - light and dark, leaving both sides covered in the mud of ambiguity. With these elements of depth, the plot can't help but be multi-layered. Surfacely, Koryta had constructed an entertaining plot with well-timed twists and exciting action. Below that is a look into the human condition. The phrase "bound by balance" is repeated throughout the novel, and Roy Darmus, a reporter, tells Kimble, "You must be able to believe in a great evil." These underlying symbols and themes lodged themselves in my brain and still tumble around, demanding me to pay attention. There are so many incredible strengths to this novel, but the one I believe holds them all together, like a tendon in the body, is Koryta's beautiful demand of the language. So often I will stop and simply marvel at the construct of a sentence, at how a simple compilation of words can create such a powerful effect: "She took her seat again, and he pulled up a plastic chair that screeched coming across the floor and sat beside her. Not all the way at the opposite end of the table, but not too close either. Purgatory distance." I was caught off guard the first time I read this passage, having to re-read it several times. But it wasn't until I came back to the passage after finishing the book that I could appreciate all the nuances and meaning packed into it. Koryta is an author who demands re-reading to completely appreciate everything nestled into his work. Koryta has built upon his strengths in THE RIDGE, making this his most powerful novel to date. Now when people ask me what my favorite book of Koryta's is, I'm going to have to answer THE RIDGE

  27. 5 out of 5

    Miles

    On an isolated ridge in the Kentucky woods stands a homemade lighthouse, hundreds of miles from any substantial body of water. Local reporter Roy Darmus has always found it an amusing oddity- until he is selected as the recipient of a suicide note from its builder. Roy enters the bizarre structure to find the walls covered in maps bearing the names of the dead - including his own parents, who were killed in a car accident when he was a boy. Roy soon has a storytelling assignment more daunting th On an isolated ridge in the Kentucky woods stands a homemade lighthouse, hundreds of miles from any substantial body of water. Local reporter Roy Darmus has always found it an amusing oddity- until he is selected as the recipient of a suicide note from its builder. Roy enters the bizarre structure to find the walls covered in maps bearing the names of the dead - including his own parents, who were killed in a car accident when he was a boy. Roy soon has a storytelling assignment more daunting than anything he's seen before: convincing people that an age-old legend has in fact come to life. With haunting atmosphere and tension-coiled plot, THE RIDGE is a terrifying journey into the heart of darkness. I’ve always had a fascination with lighthouses – end of statement! Don’t ask me why or how because I honestly couldn’t tell you but the sad fact is, despite this fascination, I’ve never been in one! The closest I came to fulfilling my goal was on holiday a few years ago in Australia while visiting friends in Byron Bay. Unfortunately for me my timing was off and the lighthouse was closed. The magnificent lighthouse, built in 1901 is on Cape Byron Bay and stands proudly as the most Easterly light in Australia. Living in a windswept lighthouse, witnessing wave upon wave voraciously lashing against the unforgiving rocks somehow appeals to me! Whether it’s the romantic in me or a desire to live a solitary life I have no clue! Michael Koryta’s new supernatural thriller The Ridge revolves around a lighthouse built in a vast woodland by a solitary drunk who has seen better days. The Ridge is the third book I’ve read by Michael Koryta in the last twelve months and I have to say he’s fast becoming my favourite author and if there’s one author I can’t wait to release another title it would unquestionably be Michael. Following on from the highly successful So Cold the River and The Cypress House - both standalone novels - Koryta returns with a beguiling standalone narrative and yet another novel with a deep understanding and affinity with the power of darkness, history and evil. I do worry about Koryta’s mental state sometimes but he seems grounded enough to me! Of the three books I’ve read So Cold the River still remains my favourite – I urge you all to add this to your to be read list - but isn’t that always the way? The first book you read by an author, the first version of a song sung by an artist or the first film by an actor; they always stick in your mind more than any remake or follow up. The Ridge is another intelligently crafted novel and has a taut narrative that will remain with you for years to come. Written by an outstanding wordsmith the novel sucks you in from the opening scenes and appears to have an invisible hold that only falters once the all encapsulating dénouement is upon us. Full review on my blog:- http://www.milorambles.com/2011/09/03...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Giovanni Gelati

    I enjoy lighthouses, my wife even more than I. We like to visit them whenever and wherever we are. The one in this story though, no thanks we will pass on it. I am a big fan of Michael Koryta and his writing. Revisiting his detective series is something I am holding out for though, each time there is more news from his camp, I am hopeful. Okay it’s a Friday, we have a pretty hot blogtalk show to do in a little bit, let’s get to the action and then chat a little on what is between the covers: “On I enjoy lighthouses, my wife even more than I. We like to visit them whenever and wherever we are. The one in this story though, no thanks we will pass on it. I am a big fan of Michael Koryta and his writing. Revisiting his detective series is something I am holding out for though, each time there is more news from his camp, I am hopeful. Okay it’s a Friday, we have a pretty hot blogtalk show to do in a little bit, let’s get to the action and then chat a little on what is between the covers: “On an isolated ridge in the Kentucky woods stands a homemade lighthouse, hundreds of miles from any substantial body of water. Local reporter Roy Darmus has always found it an amusing oddity- until he is selected as the recipient of a suicide note from its builder. Roy enters the bizarre structure to find the walls covered in maps bearing the names of the dead--including his own parents, who were killed in a car accident when he was a boy. Roy soon has a storytelling assignment more daunting than anything he's seen before: convincing people that an age-old legend has in fact come to life. With haunting atmosphere and tension-coiled plot, The Ridge is a terrifying journey into the heart of darkness.” Tension, incredible prose, and a gift for ratcheting up the action and the stakes is this author’s hallmark. I can feel comfortable knowing that no matter what the subject matter or genre Michael Koryta is going to take me on a rollercoaster ride of emotion till he is satisfied he has played with my mind enough. I like it, I am hungry for more. Things have changed around here. I am now the published author by Trestle Press of “I Have Chrome Balls, Don’t You?” an “In Between The Collaborations”, “Down Low- Dead” with Vincent Zandri, “The Jersey Shore Has Eyes” with Big Daddy Abel”, “G.S.I Gelati’s Scoop Investigations Psychotic Detectives” with Thomas White, “Who Whacked The Blogger” with Benjamin Sobieck,“Thad and The G-Man’s Most Awesome Adventure” with Thad Brown , “Hotel Beaumont” with B.R. Stateham, “Bring Us Your Living…Now!” with HR Toye, “The Edge of Cataclysmic” with Big Daddy Abel, “The Ultimate Six-Pack” ,”Fangs,Inc.” with Laurie Bowler and the soon to be released “A Prince in Trenton ,Seriously?” with Mark Miller . All the stories are available @ Amazon, Barnes & Nobles and Smashwords. I am also the host of the wildly popular The G-ZONE blogtalk radio show. Thanks for stopping by today; We will see you tomorrow. Have a great day. http://www.gelatisscoop.blogspot.com

  29. 4 out of 5

    Clark Hallman

    The Ridge by Michael Koryta is a very creative and enjoyable novel. It takes place in a rural area of the forested hills of Eastern Kentucky near a small town. Wyatt French, a long-time eccentric resident of the area, built a lighthouse on the ridge that runs through his property. The powerful light shines its beacon over the forested valley and the small river that flows through it. It also illuminates a big cat sanctuary that is adjacent to French’s property and provides a home to numerous lio The Ridge by Michael Koryta is a very creative and enjoyable novel. It takes place in a rural area of the forested hills of Eastern Kentucky near a small town. Wyatt French, a long-time eccentric resident of the area, built a lighthouse on the ridge that runs through his property. The powerful light shines its beacon over the forested valley and the small river that flows through it. It also illuminates a big cat sanctuary that is adjacent to French’s property and provides a home to numerous lions, tigers, mountain lions and other wild cats that have been rescued from unsuitable situations. Seemingly, the lighthouse beam upsets the cats in the sanctuary at night. However in reality, it is something far more sinister than the lighthouse that disturbs the cats at night. Deputy Sheriff Kevin Kimble and his staff become involved when Wyatt French, the lighthouse owner, commits suicide. However, their investigation expands when one of the mountain lions escapes from the sanctuary and a sanctuary staff member is apparently killed by one of the cats. The investigation gets more complicated when it is determined that the death was not caused by the cat. The man was shot. The situation continues to escalate when one of the sheriff’s deputies is murdered at the sanctuary. Eventually, the investigation reveals that many deaths and murders have taken place in the area near the sanctuary and lighthouse over many years. This book is an amazingly good thriller. The plot is complex, the characters are interesting, and the action is gory and suspenseful. In addition, the book is an amazingly good, and eerie, ghost story, which includes a creepy setting and a unique and compelling story that keeps the reader speeding through the pages. These ghosts are malevolent and (of course) Chief Deputy Kimble and his companions risk their lives and their immortal souls while pursuing their investigation. Koryta does a nice job of linking the lighthouse, the cat sanctuary, and the ghosts together in this supernatural mystery. I enjoyed The Ridge very much and I look forward to reading more of Koryta’s work.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jim Lay

    3.5 stars. Solid writing but the story didn't quite work for me. I plan to check out more of the author's work, however.

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