Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Ridge

The Ridge, the latest novel by Michael Koryta is another winner. Set in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, the story starts with the local sheriff, Kevin Kimble receiving a 5 am phone call from the town inebriate, Wyatt French. French is rambling talking about killing himself, but not willingly and just when exactly does a death become a murder? Wyatt has built a lighthouse in the woods because the dark was "not a good thing" cementing his reputation in the town as a nut case. At the time of the phone call, Kimble is driving to a women's prison to see Jacqueline - a woman who tried to murder him.

Roy Darmas is a local reporter whose parents were killed in a car accident on the ridge. Roy had also received calls from French, leading him to head out to the lighthouse. He finds French's body along with a note for the sheriff to personally investigate the death. There are maps and pictures taped to the walls of the lighthouse including pictures of his parents. Investigating, Roy finds out that all the people were killed at night near the ridge where the light house was built.

Audrey Clarke runs a large cat rescue service which has just relocated to property near the lighthouse. The cats don't like the new location - on the first night there they are agitated and growling at a blue flame like light that is moving in and around the lighthouse. Ira, a black cougar who simply appeared at the sanctuary, is especially agitated, so much so that he escapes by leaping a 14 foot tall fence. Black cougars hold mythical status in eastern Kentucky.

What is going on at the ridge? Strange things for sure. Ray discovers that people have been surviving what should be fatal accidents at the ridge for years. And then after their survival they murder someone. People who survive also report seeing a man or boy with a blue light. These strange happenings have been going on since the bridge trestle was built many years ago.

Koryta has written another great paranormal thriller. Kevin Kimble, the stoic sheriff is someone you would want protecting you. His main concern is to stop the strange happenings at the ridge and he gives it his all. All the characters are believable and actually likable, you would want to know even the creepy ones. Koryta once again blends just the right amount of tension and creepiness. This book is well worth the read.

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