Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Koryta Scores Again
The Silent Hour, by Michael Koryta
When his superb stand-alone thriller Envy the Night won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for 2008, many of us wondered -- and hoped -- that Koryta might turn this story about the son of a hired killer and the daughter of a comatose garage owner into a series. Koryta had other plans: the fourth volume in his Edgar-nominated series about Lincoln Perry, an Indiana cop turned private eye. The author, who has worked as a journalist and a private investigator in his Bloomington hometown, has always been very good at catching the aura of small Indiana towns like Hinkley, where they hold an annual festival to welcome the return of the turkey buzzard. He maintains those same high standards in The Silent Hour, while deepening and darkening the plot.
"Crime Town, USA... It was an old nickname, went back almost fifty years, but people still attached it to Youngstown, a gritty factory town an hour from Cleveland," Koryta writes. "... Ties run deep in Youngstown, and a lot of them run through the Sanabria family." It is Dominic Sanabria who is the most frightening of the many bad guys who make up a large part of the cast. "... There was a ring on his finger that seemed brighter than the sunlight behind him," says Perry when Dominic shows up at his door early one morning, asking for the name of the client who hired Lincoln to find his sister. When Perry refuses, Sanabria says, "Maybe you like me. Maybe you like having me around, want me to drop in again. That must be it, because here you have a chance to send me away for good, and you're refusing that..."
Perry's client is Parker Harrison, who spent 15 years in prison for killing a man. Now he's been out for many years, searching for a remarkable woman who saved his life. After many refusals, Lincoln gives in and takes the case -- which leads him to an amazing, abandoned and neglected underground house called Whisper Ridge.
"For a while now Michael Koryta has been called one of the rising young talents in crime fiction," says Michael Connelly in a jacket blurb. "I say enough of that. Koryta is one of the best of the best, plain and simple."