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The Ridge Kindle Edition

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Length: 383 pages Word Wise: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews Review

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."

Author One-on-One: Michael Koryta and Steve Hamilton

In this Amazon exclusive, Michael Koryta is interviewed by fellow thriller author Steve Hamilton. The tables get turned when Koryta interviews Hamilton on the Misery Bay page.

Michael Koryta

Hamilton: You broke in the same way I did, through the St. Martin's Press/Private Eye Writers of America contest. That first book, Tonight I Said Goodbye, went on to be nominated for an Edgar Award. How did you handle such sudden success at such a young age?

Koryta: Well, the positive side of being 20 when the book won the contest and 21 when it was published was that I knew absolutely nothing about publishing. I was an undergrad, working two jobs. Between all that and writing, I didn’t have time to worry, I just kept my head down and got work done.

Hamilton: You did two more Lincoln Perry novels after that first one, then broke out of the series to write Envy the Night. That’s a fairly early departure from a series. Were you conscious of the risk you were taking?

Koryta: You know, I didn’t think of it as a risk. I thought it was a better book than what I’d done before and therefore a wise move. That was the book that had to be written. I didn’t feel as if I had much choice in the matter. You’ve got a limited number of shots, so the only risk I see is in letting those slip past for stories you’d love to tell.

Hamilton: You returned to the series for one more Lincoln Perry book (The Silent Hour). Now, these were all very well-received, well-reviewed books. You were definitely on most everyone’s short list of favorite private eye writers. Any sane, normal person would have kept going down that same road. But you? Not so much. Please explain yourself.

Koryta: Again, we come back to the idea of the story you’ve just got to write. I’d been entranced with the folklore and history behind So Cold the River for years, and I just couldn’t put the brakes on. I went off to write a 500-page ghost story, and it prompted a change in publishers, but that book also ended up selling better and getting better publicity than anything I’d done before. So sanity, schmanity, says I!

Hamilton: Seriously, no matter what anyone says now, it was a radical departure for you to try something so different. You probably don’t like categories any more than I do, but you’re probably going to find So Cold the River on the “Horror” shelf in many bookstores, right next to Stephen King. (King, Koryta--okay, maybe Dean Koontz is in the middle there.) The thing that makes this so amazing to me is that just a few years ago, the horror genre was essentially left for dead. You had to know this. And yet here you are, breathing new life into it. What on earth made you decide to attempt such a leap?

Steve Hamilton

Koryta: Ironically, it found me shelved in “fiction and literature” instead of either mystery or horror. I never considered it all that different from my past work. To me, it was still suspense, just with a supernatural thread. But of course I knew some people would feel differently. I tried to take comfort in knowing that other writers--King, Koontz, Matheson, Levin, McCammon, Straub, Bradbury--had done just fine by focusing on writing well. And Joe Hill! Before he got any bump from being King’s son, he got a lot of attention simply for writing a great book. Heart-Shaped Box was an encouragement for me, a reminder of how much fun a writer should be having at his craft. You can feel how much fun he’s having.

Hamilton: You’ve kept working in this same vein, with The Cypress House and now with The Ridge. As good as your crime fiction was, I can’t help but think that you’re really hitting your stride now. Does writing a story with paranormal elements give you a better opportunity to do something truly original and amazing?

Koryta: It opens things up a great deal. I think of Hitchcock, who always created suspense, but delivered it in a lot of different ways. Any writer who’s interested in putting a real squeeze of tension around the reader’s heart probably considers a spooky tale at some point, and I’m surprised more don’t chase the impulse. I find that it allows me to wrestle with larger issues thematically and symbolically. Now, that’s a personal experience. But the past three books feel bigger to me in those ways.

Hamilton: Any plans to return to crime fiction (or for that matter, to Lincoln Perry)?

Koryta: Absolutely! The next book is going to be a traditional crime novel, a story I’ve been kicking around for years, about two brothers who lost a sibling to violent crime and grew up coping with that tragedy in radically different ways. It’s also a football book--one of the brothers is a high school coach in Ohio, where high school football is a very big deal. As for Lincoln, we’ll wait and see.


"The Ridge is a classic ghost story, penned by a master. I couldn't put it down, even though I almost screamed when the wind blew a branch against the tree outside my study. Yes, it's that scary."―Stephen King

"Somehow, Michael Koryta gets better with every book, no small feat considering the quality of those he's already written. Here's a writer for the new century, one to read, admire and, yes, envy."―Tom Franklin, author of Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter

"An eerie tale... a dark and compulsively readable story...Reading The Ridge is a fine way to chill down a hot summer night. But you'll want to leave the lights on."―Colette Bancroft, Tampa Bay Times

"A rural Kentucky community becomes the unlikely focal point for a series of enigmatic and terrifying events in Koryta's subtle supernatural thriller...Koryta matches an original and complex plot line with prose full of understated menace."―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"A freshly imagined and elegantly constructed variation on the dead-of-night ghost story.... [an] eerie tale... readers are swept along by Koryta's narrative voice, which is surprisingly soft and low and poetically insinuating."―Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times

"A man in love with the woman who shot him. Who could possibly resist that story? Not me. Read on, and discover one of the scariest and most touching horror tales in years."―James Patterson

"From page one of The Ridge, Michael Koryta has the reader leaning forward, racing down the page, driving deeper and deeper into his creepy, pulpy tale to find out what bad thing is going to happen next. As in So Cold the River, Koryta delivers a midwestern ghost story based on place--another roadside attraction from his haunted heartland. Reader, heed my advice: hold his hand tight. You don't want to get caught out here alone in the woods, in the night, in the dark."―Stewart O'Nan, author of Emily, Alone

"Koryta delivers another supernatural thriller with punch....Part ghost story, part murder mystery, all thriller, this fast-paced and engaging read will have readers leaving the night-light on long after they have finished the book."―Library Journal (starred review)

"[An] intense novel that has a touch of Stephen King thrown in for good measure... A chilling story that will have you burning the midnight oil and wishing you had a lighthouse to ward off any dark presence around you."―Jackie K. Cooper, The Huffington Post

Product Details

  • File Size: 2194 KB
  • Print Length: 383 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1444707647
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (June 8, 2011)
  • Publication Date: June 8, 2011
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047Y16VC
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #113,616 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Michael Koryta (pronounced ko-ree-ta)is the New York Times bestselling author of nine novels, most recently THE PROPHET. His last three novels, THE RIDGE, THE CYPRESS HOUSE, and SO COLD THE RIVER were all New York Times notable books and nominated for several national and international awards. In addition to winning the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, his novel ENVY THE NIGHT was selected as a Reader's Digest condensed book. Koryta's work has been translated into more than twenty languages. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, Koryta graduated from Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice. He currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida, and Bloomington, Indiana.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By TMStyles VINE VOICE on June 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Koryta is one of the most talented and imaginative writers to appear on the literary scene in a long time. He has proven his versatility with both crime fiction thrillers and lately with thrillers laced with a touch of the supernatural. He is masterful at creating mood and a sense of "presence" in his descriptions of places and people. His characterizations are thorough and believable and his plots can swiftly sweep up the reader and not let go until the last page is turned.

In "The Ridge", old eccentric Wyatt French tends a lighthouse in an isolated part of Kentucky known as Blade Ridge--a lighthouse with no apparent purpose since there is nothing to monitor and alert in this inland forest, or is there? When Wyatt commits suicide in his beloved lighthouse, a series of photos and research are found that ultimately lead Chief Deputy Kevin Kimble and former journalist Roy Darmus into an uneasy alliance investigating the inordinate number of deaths occurring on Blade Ridge over a long period of years.

There is something strange and not quite right about that lighthouse and the troubled area surrounding it but the evilness harbored there can only be imagined. Audrey Clark is moving 67 large wild cats (lions, tigers, panthers)into a new sanctuary that she and her late husband developed near the lighthouse and the cats are quick to anonounce their unhappiness with the area, especially at night. What is out there? What is disturbing them? What prompts the largest and rarest cat of all to escape into the surrounding wilderness?

"The Ridge" is at once an enduring love story, a character study of commitment to a cause, and a tale of the supernatural.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Shannon L. Yarbrough VINE VOICE on June 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is actually the first book by Michael Koryta that I have read, and it certainly will not be the last. I have already invested in a few of his other books, and can't wait to read them.

The Ridge is a good solid supernatural mystery, but I would have liked a bit more of the supernatural. Since Koryta's earlier work fell more into the mystery/investigation drama, I'm assuming that's definitely where he gets his strong points from.

We begin with a small town in Kentucky where a large cat refuge has just set up camp on Blade Ridge, next door to the town drunk who built a bizarre lighthouse on his property and has been investigating odd deaths/murders that have taken place on the ridge. A series of accidents and events, including one escaped rare black cougar, quickly set up the plot for the charactes and the reader.

We are led by Kimble, chief deputy, in love with a female inmate who shot him and who also suffered from an accident at the ridge. When some of the cat refuge workers also fall victim to strange events, and the lighthouse owner takes his life, the investigation turns to a strange blue ghost light and the dark history surrounding a trestle that overlooks the ridge. Throw in an aging reporter whose newspaper has just shut down and you've got quite a cast of interesting characters.

Like I said, the whole supernatural element is neat, but I just wanted a bit more of that after having read authors like King and Koontz. I didn't shiver like I wanted to! It was more of the mystery elements and the "who-dun-it" plotlines that really solidified Koryta as being an author I will definitely read again.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard Harborough on June 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Ridge, written by Michael Koryta, has blown me away. I am an avid reader, and almost balked at the idea of picking up this book that Amazon had recommended to me, after all, I had no idea who the author was. Well, let me tell you, I am glad I chose to spend my $14 wisely, and I emphasize the word WISELY. Not only is the book extremely well written, with an intricate plot, well developed characters, and an interesting setting, the author has chosen to blend two genres (and my two favorite) detective fiction and horror.

The horror here rivals some of Stephen King's or perhaps Richard Matheson's work. It is tightly constructed, revealing elements as if peeling the layers off of an onion. Slowly, you start to dread, and start to understand the insanity that has infected so many of the novel's characters. In the detective genre, Koryta, who is more familiar with this genre based on his prior outings, constructs an interesting story, providing plenty of twists and turns. The novel reads like the best detective fiction out there today with a twist of something different.

At about 350 pages, the novel is not over-bearing in the least, and in fact had me wanting more. I loved absolutely every word. If you enjoy novels by King, Matheson, Dennis Lehane, or the like, I urge you to check this book out. This author has gotten me on his band wagon, and I hope he has you too. And if not, then perhaps the Ridge will get to you...
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18 of 23 people found the following review helpful By William Skipper on June 20, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A notorious loner and alcoholic who has built a lighthouse in the middle of the mountains of Kentucky calls Deputy Sheriff Kevin Kimble (who coincidentally is love with a prisoner who once shot him in the back) to announce his impending suicide. There's also a refuge for 65 lions, tigers and such moving in next door to the lighthouse property. The local newspaper is folding, and reporter/editor Roy Darmus (whose parents died in an accident in the very same place years before) is out of a job for the first time in his life. The reporter has also received a call from said alcoholic lighthouse guy who says some creepy yet intriguing stuff about the reporter's parents' deaths. There's also the widowed cat keeper lady to consider and the murderess/paramour of the Sheriff to salivate over. Throw in a devil or two, a couple of ghosts, a runaway black panther, and you get THE RIDGE

Sound complex? It is. It starts complicated and then it gets weird.

Who's the main character of this book? I'm not sure. Who exactly is the reader supposed to identify with? It's unclear.

The tale starts out strange and gets peculiar, but the poor reader is left without clear emotional through-line into the story.

For the intrepid who can stick with it, the ending pays off. However, it takes a lot of effort to keep turning the pages.

I started reading Koryta for the excellent Lincoln Perry series and I'm a fan, and admittedly the supernatural novel is not my area of interest, but THE RIDGE simply doesn't provide a strong enough hook to keep the average Joe interested enough to keep the pages turning.
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