(Image from Barnes & Noble)
When 14-year-old Jace Wilson witnesses a brutal murder involving local law enforcement, his family knows it's not safe for him to stay in his hometown. Violent killers are on the loose—and they're looking for Jace. Using a false name, he is enrolled in a wilderness survival program for troubled teens. Off the grid in the Montana mountains, he should be safe while the police hunt down the murderers. Should be.
The Blackwell Brothers, a dangerous duo, know their continued freedom depends on the elimination of Jace Wilson. No matter where he flees, they will find him. Only three people stand in their way: Ethan and Allison Serbin, the couple who runs the wilderness survival program, and Hannah Faber, a lonely firefighter who battles her demons from the tower where she watches the forest for flare-ups. Compared to the Blackwells, it's not much of a defense. As the murderers come ever closer to Jace's hideout, it's up to him and a trio of unprepared adults to keep them all alive. But the Blackwells, as everyone knows, never allow witnesses to live ...
Given all the hype surrounding this book, I expected a lot more out of Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta. I figured it would be an exciting, fast-paced thriller—and it was. It just wasn't much else. The characters—with the exception of the Blackwells, who were delightfully unique (in a scary, cold-blooded kind of way)—didn't get developed much in the course of the story. Plotwise, the novel remained pretty generic. On the whole, I found the whole thing depressing and disappointing. I wanted—expected—too much from it, I guess. Overall, it's an average thriller, entertaining enough, but with few surprises.
(Readalikes: Although I haven't read the novel versions of these movies, Those Who Wish Me Dead reminded me of The Client [book by John Grisham] and Stand By Me [based on The Body by Stephen King])
If this were a movie, it would be rated:
for strong language, violence, and scenes of peril
To the FTC, with love: Another library